Post # 1
So the FI and I are getting married at the church where I was baptized and my parents and grandparents were married…. and the pastors have changed over the years, and my extended family (we moved about 15 years ago) no longer goes to the church. So we’re being married by the pastor at that church, who we don’t know, and we have to complete 3 premarital counseling sessions. I’m kinda nervous, because we’re Southern Baptist (the church is as well), yet we both don’t attend a church currently (I was, but he won’t go with me). And we live together. I’m just worried that we’ll sit down with the pastor and either be embarassed or be told that we can’t be married there. Am I being irrational? The FI says I don’t need to worry about it, but I’m anxious. Any advice?
Post # 3
Well I certainly wouldn’t let your concern override in your thoughts. I would just be straight forward with the Pastor and see his take/stance.
Is it an absolute for ya’ll to be married at the church by that pastor? I’m sure that if he’s just a no go that you and your FI can seek other options 😉
Post # 4
I feel for you and I sort of know what you’re going through. I’m Episcopalian, and our parish priest, who I was very close to, left last year. We have in interim rector right now. I’ve gotten to know him, we will be doing our counseling with him, and I think it’s going to be just fine. Our new permanent rector could be arriving right around the time of our wedding though, so that might throw a wrench into things!
I live with my FI, too, and our priest didn’t bat an eye. Episcopalians tend to be pretty liberal, but if religions started not marrying people who lived together first, there wouldn’t be many weddings!! You’ll be just fine.
Post # 5
you should be fine – my father is a baptist minister and i have helped him put together many of wedding packets for the couples he councils and basically all the premarital counselling entails is you sitting down with your FH and the minister and going thru the main topics of concern for marriage.
like discussing children, finances, workloads, “intimacy”, etc. things of that nature.
he also helps you with looking for passages for your wedding and making sure that your heart is in the right place going into the marriage.
if there are glaring problems he might point those out and get yall to work thru them, but i have never heard of a baptist minister refusing to marry a couple (as long as it was within the rules of the church).
hey and if push comes to shove, my dad is ordained in VA, so gimme a call if you run into problems! lol i am sure he will marry yall 🙂
Post # 6
We will prob do pre-marital counseling with our pastor however we also just signed up for permarital class offered by our county I’m a little nervous about the different opinions and the group setting. But I think pre-marital counseling is a good idea. Hope it goes well!
Post # 7
We got married in the same church as my parent’s but like you really didn’t know any of the pasters there. We had also never met the guy who did our counseling there until we showed up that morning. It is a very old, conservative Presbyterian church and they didn’t bat an eye at the fact that neither DH or I attend church services or that we live together. I wouldn’t worry about it too much – I’m sure you’ll be fine!
Post # 8
Thank you all so much for the advice/encouragement! I’m just nervous about sitting down with a complete stranger and spilling my guts, lol. I just tend to worry about things that shouldn’t worry me at all! I’ve always wanted to be married at this church, ever since I can remember. Thanks @spaganya, I’ll keep it in mind in case we run into any issues! We have our first session on September 10. Which reminds me, I need to buy the book he wants us to read!
Post # 9
Not to make you more worried, but does the pastor already know that you live together? My now husband and I ran into this problem with the church my parents go to (and we had started attending). It’s a very similar denomination and basically the church refused to marry us because we were living together unless we had the ceremony within 3 weeks (and then they were still reluctant). We said no.
Post # 10
The pastor doesn’t know we live together already…. I didn’t feel I needed to volunteer that information seeing that we live out of state from the church.
Post # 11
I am not southern baptist, but have been in different shoes here. I started premarital counseling with my husbands best friend who was ordained and my ex was super excited about him marrying us. We admitted that we were intimate and the pastor gave us directions to spend the next 3 months 100% apart. It was a disastor! We started lying and stealing moments together, which made being intimate the biggest desire. We ended up getting married by someone else and it was terrible…
My FI and I live together now and have started going to my home church. We had saught counseling with the current pastor and got along with him very well. His term ended a month before we got engaged. So we started counseling with a brand new pastor. It has been a good experience thus far. It has given us a relationship with a pastor that we might otherwise have never gotten to know. He encouraged us to follow the word of God, but also understood our situation. He even suggested sleeping in seperate bedrooms. We continued to be honest with him and he has respected our honestly (loving the sinner and not loving the sin). It has really been uplifting and helped my relationship with God much more than the previous situation.
Good luck. I hope that you can be honest without harsh consequences. You are honoring God in making a marriage commitment, even with the “sin” of premarital sex… which I obviously am guilty of myself.
Post # 12
We are in a very similar situation. We are getting married in the church my parents used to attend and that my FI’s family used to attend. His parents were married there. But we’ve only met our officiating pastor once so far.
I think that as long as you genuinely participate in the counseling, everything will be fine. Sure, some denominations can be more strict and critical than others, but the pre-marital counseling is there to help you, not to attack you.
I am not sure what advice to offer aside from approaching the sessions maturely and respectfully and honestly. The pastor will work with you to make your fears go away. 🙂
Post # 13
We had our first session Friday… and it was so relaxed! I had knots in my stomach for no reason at all. I mean, the pastor sat there in his arm chair and threw his leg over the arm! It was more about us, our relationship, family history, and how we resolve conflict than anything. Not too religious, which was good. I think we picked a good one! 🙂
Post # 14
We’re actually on our 2nd pastor so far, and I didn’t know either of them. The first, however, was a pastor that had been mentoring my fiance for years and the 2 times we met with him I was very uncomfortable. He seemed to be more protective of my fiance and trying to find all my flaws, which brings us (long story short) to the new pastor. Didn’t know him at all either but the first time I we met with him I was completely at ease. I don’t mind spilling things to someone I don’t know at all…it is more who you can click with and be comfortable around. Sounds like you found your fit!
Post # 15
We go to our first session with our new pastor next week. My FI and I already live together, and we have two little girls, and I also have a son from a previos relationship so I am super nervous! We attened church but not every wednesday and sunday like most of the other members of the church I am just praying that all goes well. We had wanted to have a garden wedding, but my FI mom is really religious and made a big stink about it. She thinks that if we dont get married in a church then our marraige”wont count” with God And she really used the term “wont count”! can you believe that
Post # 16
The pastor we are using knows my fiance REALLY well (was his campus minister in college) and doesn’t know me at ALL. I hate new social situations to begin with, so I was SUPER SUPER nervous about starting premarital counseling. We had our first session last night, and I’m still kind of nervous (he’s a very “get down to business” personality), but since he knows my fiance so well I think it’s all going to be ok 🙂