Monday, March 10, 2014

Where to marry

A reader asks Billy Graham how to decide which church to get married in. They want to appease
their families, but are not sure how...
DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: My fiance and I deeply love each other, but we can’t decide where to get married. His family belongs to one denomination and my family belongs to another, and, of course, they each want us to get married in their church. How can we keep everybody happy? – R.O.
Without more detailed information, I would suggest them designing the ceremony that would made them happy. It's is their big day after all, not the parents. Personally I don't understand the need for a church at all. But RO is probably religious, so whatever floats their boat.
DEAR R.O.: Frankly, it may not be possible to satisfy everyone, although I commend you for trying. One possibility might be to find a church that’s willing to let you use its facilities, and then include the pastors of both churches in the service.
Selecting a neutral venue isn't a bad idea. That's what my wife and I did when we married. I'm and atheist and she is Wiccan, so we rented a hall, hired a officiant that would perform a secular ceremony, and designed a ceremony that was uniquely 'us'.
Your real goal, however, should be to look beyond your wedding day and decide where you will become active church members. (It may not be in either of the churches your parents attend, of course.)
Um... Shouldn't where they will live, and building their life together be higher um the list than where to worship? My local churches currently have signs out reading the "God is everywhere, so pray anywhere."  If that's the case, then selecting a church shouldn't even be a pressing matter. My advice would be to not pick a church at all. But that's just me...
Perhaps this hasn’t been an issue with you; like many people your age, you may have drifted away from church and no longer see it as important. But God gave marriage to us, and when you say your vows on your wedding day, you’ll be making them not only to each other but to him.
Wait, so if the groom is also saying his vows to God, does that make it half gay marriage and half hetero? And wouldn't that make God married to everyone that got married? Talk about polygamy! Seriously though, God didn't 'give us' marriage. Marriage is a very old institution. While the details have changed through the years, it predates recorded history, which means that marriage predates Christianity and the Bible by a long stretch. Consider the fact that the Sumerians already had laws regarding Marriage over 5,000 years ago, and the earliest books of the Bible were penned about 3,500 years ago. So no... marriage was not created by God or Christianity. Other religions and cultures were already taking part in this institution well before Christianity was ever dreamt up.
Why do I emphasize this? The reason is because God wants your marriage to have a solid foundation — and that foundation is Jesus Christ. As I’ve often said, a good marriage actually needs three people: the husband, the wife and God. Begin your marriage the right way, by committing your lives and your marriage to Christ.

Then, as a couple, learn to walk with God every day — reading the Bible together, praying together and discovering the joy of fellowship with others through your church. Marriage is more than warm feelings; it involves a commitment to each other — and to God. Make it your goal to “live a life worthy of the Lord” (Colossians 1:10).
If you ask me, the foundation every good marriage is love, commitment, understanding and honesty.  Also, if Jesus is supposed to be such a great marital foundation, why is it that statistics show that believers actually get divorced more often than non-believers do on average? Pretty odd that the religious are more likely to get divorced than someone like me, if Jesus is supposed to hold such
marriages together.

Marriage can be a religious thing, but it doesn't have to be. The church did not create it, nor does it hold a monopoly on it. I got married without God. Our ceremony was secular but was very nice indeed. And most importantly, I stood there in front of the woman I love, surrounded by those I care about, and entered into a commitment that I am very proud to be one half of. Religion is not needed for a happy, loving and lasting marriage, so stop pretending it is.

-Brain Hulk

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