Living together/church wedding

posted 3 years ago in Christian
Post # 3
Member
6525 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

@LiteraryNerd:  Every church wants a soon to be married couple to live at home and not togethwr, especially catholic churches. We are in the year 2013 where it is pretty common to live together before marriage. I don’t know how religious you are, but would it bother you to just tell a little white lie that you or you FI are staying with a friend, I don’t see that as a big deal. I mean is the pastor going to be doing housecalls lol and checking in to make sure your FI is not there? My FI and I played it off that I have an apartment but he is staying at home with his parents until after the wedding. 

 

Post # 4
Member
4698 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I suspect “expect” is being used in a pretty harsh way… however I’m not a Christian but my past experience with pastors has been that they’re usually pretty loathe to alienate a member of their flock. He’d probably have just as much anxiety and trepidation about refusing you as you would about asking.

If I were you I would probably not mention it out of the blue, it’s kind of not their business in that respect, but I’d be honest and matter-of-fact if asked. No need to offer up any extra information. No need to sleep elsewhere unless specifically asked to, at which point you can mention the other room… but you don’t need to be the one to bring it up. If it’s that important to him, he’ll say something without you having to. If he doesn’t, you know it’s not actually that big of a deal. 

If he really turns you down over it, it’s not YOUR problem or your deficiency or anything wrong with you, it’s his problem, it just means he’s not right for your wedding. If he judges the decisons that you and your fiance decided were right for your life, please know that says a lot more about him than it does about you.

Post # 5
Member
428 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

My church “expected” us to live apart to.  When we told them we did live together, they were like “oh, okay.”  They really didn’t care, even though it seemed like they would.

Post # 6
Member
11002 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

@LiteraryNerd:  

If that line is in the brochure, it may be something to which you and your FI will need to agree before the pastor will marry you. My DH is a pastor, and he raises this issue with every couple who asks him to perform their wedding. He will tell them that his expectation is that, if they have been sexually active outside of marriage, they will agree to stop being so until after the wedding. He also tells them that this obviously is on the honor system and that no one will be policing their activity. However, he says if this is something they are unwilling to agree to, they may want to find another pastor and another church for their wedding.

Unfortunately, many, many people have come to believe that “times have changed” regarding pre-marital sex for Christians. However, God and His Word have not changed regarding this matter. Please understand that it is not “you” who will be being judged regarding this. It is the behavior that is being judged. God loves you and your FI. He wants to bring about his good plans in each of your lives. However, a Bible-believing church, and a Bible-believing pastor MUST adhere to God’s standards and not the world’s expectations regarding what is and is not acceptable conduct for a Christian. I hope that makes sense.

Post # 7
Member
1071 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2014 - Greenbrier Country Club

I know it’s frustrating when you don’t get your way, but why would you expect the church to be ok with co-habbitation?

I would talk to the pastor about why he feels a couple shouldn’t live together, and explain your situation to him. 

EDIT: Christianity is offensive because it tells you not to do things that you want to do and tells you to do things you don’t want to do.

Post # 8
Member
109 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

I got excommunicated from a pretty conservative presbyterian church when we moved in together, totally killed my view of all churches for a while but finally realized it really just comes down to which church you’re at.  We are probably going to get married in my FI’s church (catholic) – they don’t love the idea of living together premaritally, but they are far more gracious about it than I would’ve expected and in my experience, every catholic priest I’ve met has been very kind and understanding and do what they do out of love and compassion for people.  They probably will ask you to at least stay in seperate rooms (I KNOW there was a great chick flick about this exact same situation a few years ago but I can’t remember what it was called) but the best thing you can do is be totally honest – you won’t get as much out of your premarital counselling if you’re hiding anything from them just bc it creates an uncomfortable disconnect.  I really doubt you’re going to get beaten over the head unless it’s an extremely rigid church.

Post # 9
Member
11002 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

@ErinBlue:  I’m sure that what your former church did by excommunicating you and your SO was very upsetting to you both and probably also very confusing to you. Did anyone take the time to sit down with you and explain WHY they did this? I certainly hope someone lovingly did this.

I obviously am unable to speak for that particular church leadership. However, my presumption is that the church leadership did what they did on the basis of I Corinthians 5:11 — a strongly worded scripture verse that gives Christians very specific direction as to how they should handle a situation in which a person claims to be a follower of Jesus Christ but whose actions are not consistent with his or her Christian testimony.

This is an important Biblical principle, because the church — and by this I do not mean a particular individual church but, rather, THE church of Jesus Christ, in general — all believers in Him who claim to love, serve, and follow Him, has been clearly instructed not to tolerate sin in the lives of believers.

I should note that this does NOT mean that every time someone struggles with sin, or actually sins, that he or she should be excommunicated. No, not at all. If it did, there would — or SHOULD in that case — be empty pews in every Christian church, because every Christian has struggled with and does struggle with temptation and sin, and just about everyone I know, including myself, sins, even if that sin is a sin of the heart instead of the body.  However, those who love God and desire to follow, serve, and obey Him will not choose to continually live in a state of willfull, purposeful, rebellion and disobedience against God and His Word.  Instead, they may, in moments of weakness, fall into temptation and sin, but they will acknowledge to themselves (and, if appropriate, to others) that they have sinned, and they will be sorry that they have sinned, and they will ask God forgiveness.  God’s Word says in I John 1:9 that “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”  (NIV)  This attitude of the heart, and these actions would not merit excommunication or disfellowship according to scripture.  However, if someone refuses to acknowledge that pre-marital sex (or any other sin mentioned in Scripture) is a sin, and that person willfully chooses to live and remain in a state where he or she is continually rebelling against God and His Word,  Scripture provides very direct guidance that Christians should not even eat with such a person.

What may seem  to be loving and caring is not  always truly loving and caring, and what seems  to be unloving  or uncaring is not always unloving or uncaring.  In the case of Christian leaders — on the basis of I Corinthians 5:11 —  doing the very difficult thing of excommunicating someone whose walk with God does not align with his or her Christian testimony, that actually IS the most loving  thing that the church leaders could do.  Even though it may seem  cruel and heartless, it is loving because such action may result in the person who is sinning choosing to turn from his or her sin and repent and be restored to fellowship with other believers and, most important, restored to fellowship with Christ. For Christians, the most important thing in life is not to be happy in our earthly lives or to have or our way while we’re here.  The most important thing is that we surrender our lives to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, be willing to die to our own selfish, ungodly desires and wants, and to be willing to submit to, follow, obey, and live for Him so that we can be with Him for eternity. 

I will conclude this by saying that if a person is NOT yet a Christian (according to God’s definition), then a church should not  take this type of action against him or her.  A person who does not claim to be a follower of Jesus Christ and who does not yet have a relationship with Him, cannot be expected to walk with Him, to want to obey His commands, or to be willing to live for Him, because he or she is not yet a believer and does not yet have the power of the Holy Spirit living and working in him or her to enable him or her to obey God and to stand strong for Him.

Post # 10
Member
2355 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@LiteraryNerd:  I don’t know about your particular church, but I can tell you that both of my sisters had church weddings after living together. My brother had one after getting his wife pregnant. The pastors were most concerned with knowing that both they and their partners had accepted Christ.

ETA: all three were Baptist churches, so on the conservative side of the spectrum.

 

 

 

Post # 11
Member
855 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2008

@Daizy914:  Are you seriously suggesting that someone INTENTIONALLY lie to the church just to get what they want? Is that what has happened to morality in this day and age?

BTW, OP, my husband and I didn’t have sex before marriage and we learned that it didn’t kill us one bit. In fact, it was a small price to pay for someone who gave their son to die for our sins. So in essence, what you’re saying is that even though you acknowledge that God gave His son to die for you, you’re not willing to sacrifice a little physical gratification for Him. 

Put that into perspective.

 

Post # 12
Member
1670 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

We’re living together right now and are starting premarital counseling with the pastor in a few weeks. He is aware that we live together. I don’t think he will bring it up with us.

Post # 15
Member
109 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

@Brielle:  Thank you – I do have a very in-depth understanding of the philosophy behind it, but because of the way it was handled (a lot of details too personal to put online, but everything took a very cultish twist) I will never set foot in that specific church ever again.  Not out of bitterness but because I don’t believe that their specific approach is a productive or healthy way to handle things, and I’ve seen what the long term effects of their mentality can do to people.  I agree wholeheartedly with many of the christian teachings and traditions, but also believe that while the Bible is given to man by God, it has been written and translated over and over by (flawed) man, and was written to a specific culture in a specific time – this doesn’t mean that it isn’t helpful or important, but to me, it’s a guidebook, not a law book, that needs to be read and handled carefully, with perspective and a few grains of salt.  I agree that it’s silly for someone to be a member of a religious group that they don’t fully agree with, it’s not healthy or productive for the individual or the group.  I tried to terminate my membership several times before all of this happened because I knew my views didn’t line up with theirs/probably never would, and was told I either had to die, transfer or be excommunicated if I wanted to get out. 

@LiteraryNerd:  Yeah, I feel like love, kindness and compassion should be MUCH more of an element in the way most churches behave, not just talk.  I’m so sorry they had to go through that:(

Post # 16
Member
729 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

Not “every” church expects people to live apart, or has trouble with people who live together before marriage. Our church (United Church of Canada) takes no issue with this at all – there may be individual, specific churches/ministers who do, but as far as the UCC organization on the whole, it’s not an issue. (Neither is gay marriage, the right to abort, or having women in the pulpit…more reasons why I love my church!)

OP, you should clarify your situation with this pastor before moving ahead. It would be better for everyone if you had a pastor/minister/etc marry you who was really and truly on board with who you and your FI are as people, rather than someone who was judging you.

For those who have had negative, judgmental experiences within the church, I’m sad about that and my heart goes out to you. Churches are designed, run, and maintained by humans; God’s love is everywhere, and does not exist just inside the box of the church. If there is still a search inside you, search until you find the community that works for YOU and your relationship with God.

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