- 3 years ago
- Wedding: December 2014
(I’m sorry this is so long!)
So our officiant (my pastor) and his wife came over tonight for our second pre-marital counseling session. Or so we thought.
Let’s start with a tad backstory:
FI and I bought and moved into our house April 1, 2013. I started looking for a church in the area and found one I liked by the third weekend of the month. (FI does not attend church with me). I started going there regularly and joined their young adult group. I was involved in many activities and local mission work. To offically become a member of the church, you have to attend a “membership matters meeting” which is 8 hours long on a Saturday where you learn about the church and their beliefs (so you know exactly what you’re getting in to) and can ask any questions, etc. I decided to attend that in November 2013. After you attend MMM, the staff talk about everything and then decide whether you can become a member or not. I asked if anyone had ever been denied, and they said in the 40 years it had been open, no one had ever been denied membership to the church.
Guess who was the first person ever denied church membership? ME! They said it was because I live with a man that I am not married to. They don’t care that we have our own bedrooms and don’t sleep in the same room or any of that. Even though they have been to our house and SEEN it.
That was kind of a low blow and I felt really judged and embarassed. Anyways, I kept going to the church and toughed it through awkwardness each Sunday for a few months (my SS teacher and the Pastor were on the Member committee, so it was really straining for me).
I finally started to feel pretty normal about being there again, and FI and I got engaged. After a while, we asked one of the Pastors (not the one on the committee) to officiate, and he happily agreed. We started our premarital counseling about a month ago and the topic of that session was spirituality. They (the pastor and his wife, my SS teacher) were mainly concentrated on getting FI to talk about his spirituality. He is not a Christian, but he knows that it is important to me, so he has begun small conversations with me and is not yet a Christian, but he is trying to figure things out and what he believes and has LOTS of questions and debating factors. They seemed to kinda grill him and I could tell he was very uncomfortable.
Well, they kept asking me at church “when can we schedule our next session?” so we finally had it tonight (we have very busy schedules with work and all). They come over and spoke all friendly about random stuff, but as soon as they sat down I could tell something was off about their faces. They told us that they have decided that they think that because FI is not a christian, we are making a mistake and tried to steer us away from marriage. They told us our marriage will not last and we will end in divorce, and they don’t want to be a part of that and will not marry people “that aren’t serious about what marriage is.”
We were both shocked. We were not expecting this conversation AT ALL. We were caught completely off guard. Um, first of all… do NOT tell us that we are not serious about this marriage. They said this because it has to be 100%/100% christian, and I know he isnt there yet… but he’s at least asking questions! The seed has been planted. We know that 50% of marriages end in divorce, but ALL sorts of religious couples get divorced… and it felt us feeling kind of astonished that they would say that so bluntly.
Neither of us feel like what they have said is true. We have talked about many scenarios and problems and we know that we are in for the long haul. We do not give up and are 100% committed. But what they said hurt.
After they left, FI and I kept talking about it, and he has decided that since it is important to me that he works more on figuring out his spirituality and our future kids (I firmly believe that the man is the head of the household, and if he doesnt willingly attend church, they kids wont continue to do so once grown either) that he will start going to church with me and find someone to talk to, but he does not want to return to my church. I agreed, and we will be on the hunt for a new church now. A new fresh start.
Needless to say, I am now revoking their attendance to the wedding, whether etiquette says its okay or not. We do not want unsupportive people at our wedding.
And now we have to find an officiant in just over three months, and we don’t have much money to pay for one (we didn’t budget it because ours was free) and we are only spending $2,000 for the whole wedding, so we can’t afford $500 for an officiant. UGH. I am so stressed now.