I am thankful that you are considering me as the minister to perform your wedding. I also rejoice in both your decision to be married and your future together as husband and wife.
The institution of marriage is beautiful and sacred, therefore very serious. As a minister I take my part in the ceremony with gravity and soberness. We all must give an account to our Lord for the things we do in this life. (1Cor. 3:12-15; 2Cor. 5:9,10; Rev. 20:11-15) As a minister I am privileged to be able to marry couples. But it is neither a necessity that I personally marry people or is it my occupation. Many people ask a minister to marry them for the same reason they want to be married in a church, tradition and God's blessings. Traditions are fine if it is according to God's will. And of course we all want the blessings of God, but they come with the stipulations of obedience to His word. In our society there are options for a legal marriage, such as ministers, a Justice of the Peace or a judge. One of these alternatives might be better suited to your desires. Again, being responsible to God for what I say and do, this includes who and how I marry people. I must uphold the standard given in the scripture. I realize there are those who will interpret the bible differently and therefore might marry when I would not. But I am comfortable with the knowledge of the judgment I will face.
In this day and age marriages are difficult to hold together. The scriptures have the answers to all of life's greatest questions. The standard that God has given to us on the home and marriage in the bible is for the best. God wants the best for you, me and all of society. So based upon God's word, I have set up some basic requirements that are prerequisites to my performing a marriage ceremony. Please do not take it personal if I cannot perform your wedding. I have had to refuse to marry close family members whom I love dearly. I hope I can both perform your ceremony and do a good job. Please do not ask me to compromise my convictions, I neither want to embarrass any or be embarrassed.
Gen. 2:24; Mt. 5:31,32; Mk. 10:2-12; Lk. 16:18; Rom. 7:1-3; 1Cor. 7:1-40; 2Cor. 6:14; Eph. 5:21-33; Col. 3:17-21; 1 Pet. 3:1-7
1. I will only marry couples of opposite genders.
2. I can NOT marry when one or both have gone through a divorce and the ex-spouse is still living.
3. I can NOT marry a couple when one is a Christian and the other is not. But that is easily remedied.
4. I can NOT marry a couple that are of different church denominations.
5. I require at least 3 counseling sessions, of at least 30 minutes in length, with the couple before the wedding.
6. The vows are traditional marriage vows that I administer. The vows emphasize the roles of husband and wife, of love, submission and responsibilities. Additional or more personal vows can be added.
The following are suggestions:
1. Before the first counseling session please write down the following (separately): Why each wants to get married. Why you want a church wedding. What you each expect out of marriage. What you think your partner expects from this marriage.
2. Known and been dating each other for at least six months.
3. Both attend church services till the wedding.
4. Please consider planning the ceremony for Friday evening, this is so as it will be easier to get up on Sunday and go to church.