Marriage is the most intimate of all human relationships and created by God to be a visible expression of Christ on the earth. As such, I approach all marriage requests with great care and deliberation. When I officiate over a wedding ceremony, it means that I believe that the couple will honor the Savior by their godly lives, their commitment to one another and the cross. Issues such as church membership, family connections, or short-term engagements will not be automatic factors in accepting marriage requests.
To help couples prepare for their life-long covenant, I require them to participate in a rigorous pre-marital counseling program. This means that each partner must actively engage in the counseling dialogue and complete all assigned homework. The goal of this no-fee counseling is two-fold: first, it helps the couple to approach marriage from God’s perspective and prepares them for the storms of life that affect us all; and second, it helps me assess whether the couple is on their way to a lasting and God-honoring marriage. As a couple considers a pastor to counsel and marry them, they should ask themselves the following questions:
- Are we currently walking with the Savior? If not, are we willing to accept biblical instruction to help us honor Christ? If the pastor suggests that we delay our marriage to better prepare, are we willing to do that?
- Are we being sexually pure with each other? If not, are we willing to abstain from even the appearance of wrong until we are married? If we have been living with each other, are we willing to move apart until our marriage?
- Are we pursuing a church wedding because of family pressures or childhood dreams; or are we pursuing a Christ-centered wedding that celebrates Christ’s work in us to date and anticipates how He’ll use us in the years to come?
- Do we see the pastor who marries us in the same light as we view our caterer? Do we see him as a watchful shepherd who cares for his sheep or a contractor who is hired for services rendered?
As unique as people are, there are special situations that require wisdom, prayer, and dialogue to sort them out. I’m always available to sit down with couples to help them plot a course for their particular situation, whether I perform their ceremony or not. As a shepherd, I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth (3 John 1:4). So I welcome your questions or concerns at any time as you anticipate your special day.
A watchful shepherd,
Download a PDF version by clicking on the following link: wedding policy