(Closed) A long debatable question, church, premarriage, etc. Sorry!

posted 9 years ago in Emotional
Post # 3
405 posts
Helper bee

Well, I can feel you on one thing… Fiance & I have been together for nearly 8 years and we’re only getting married this September. I think that people telling you that you’re "wrong" because you’ve *been* with your Fiance is silly (just my $.02). I do understand where they are coming from and why they belive that but "different’ strokes for different folks". I also don’t understand (like you) why it’s any of their business. Just my .02 again but I think it’s better to know soemeone intimately before marriage. What if you don’t mesh that way?

It’s gonna be hard but my opinion is to not let them bother you. I think your wedding is still "Valid" no matter where you go (God is everywhere!).

Post # 4
672 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2009

I’m sorry to hear you’re having a hard time with your friends πŸ™

Personally…I consider my Fiance and I to be religious people.  We talk about our spirituality a lot, go to (and are marrying in )a Lutheran church in our neighborhood, and also both have always had an interest in reading a wide variety of religious texts.  All things considered, we’re Christians.  We have sex and don’t feel like it’s sinful.  We had been dating for almost a year when we finally decided to go all the way and we had definitely known well before then that we wanted to spend our lives together.  I don’t feel bad about having sex, because for me, marriage is a personal commitment, not a ceremony etc etc.  Our wedding date, I think, is just the day we’re celebrating with our family and friends but in my mind, we’ve been "married" for a long time. 

I just think everyone’s church and religious life is so different.  Most of my friends AREN’T religious so I’m sort of in the opposite situation as you are – I sometimes worry they won’t be very comfortable sitting in church even though it’s an INCREDIBLY welcoming and liberal church.  For us, God isn’t a set of cut and dried rules, it’s about living our lives in a mindful, compassionate, just and considerate way.  I was raised in a very conservative Catholic church and never felt welcome or loved in it – and to me, that’s the most important message of the Bible and if a church isn’t accomplishing it, it’s not for me.  Sometimes I feel a little bad, like you mentioned, wondering if I"m just "justifying" my actions but really, whatever.  I believe it’s nobody else’s place to judge one’s faith.  

That’s all I’ve got to say for now πŸ™‚


Post # 5
3526 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I just realized there’s no way for me to voice my opinion on this w/o offending.

SO I will just offer up some :::hugs::: and words of encouragement. πŸ™‚

Post # 6
6009 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

We’re Catholic and had a really interesting conversation with our priest about this during our Pre-Cana class.  According to Catholic theology, the sacrament of marriage is actually carried out by the people marrying, not the priest.  Monsignor had a view I had never heard of before.  He said that his belief is that since the sacrament of marriage only requires the couple getting married, the actual spiritual marriage probably happens long before the church wedding and "official" ceremony.  He believes that many couples participate in the sacrament in a private moment when you commit yourselves to each other and to God, maybe when you get engaged, or even before that happens, when you both resolve to marry that person and live a life as a couple in God.  I know many Catholics will disagree with Monsignor’s beliefs, but I thought it was kind of a beautiful way to look at the whole relationship of the couple instead of just the "official" moment in the church.

For the record, my Fi and I started sleeping together before we were even dating, and I have never felt like it’s a sin.  I believe the Bible was never meant to be this static, unchangeable text, but something that grows to encompass the changing standards and practices of civilization.  I really disagree with people who read the Bible literally word for word and then only put into practice certain parts of that.  I mean, we don’t still stone people to death for adultery, right?  We have changed our interpretations of the right punishment based on the evolution of our culture.  So why can’t the beliefs on sex evolve as well?

Post # 7
960 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

I have a big problem when people say "your marriage isn’t valid because of a, b, and c." First, why do you care? Second, I’m not forcing YOU to live this way. I just find it really interesting when so-called religous people start judging how others live their lives. I’m not religous, but I was baptized Catholic and had it shoved down my throat for 18 years, so I know a little bit about the whole religion thing. Because of that, I was always under the impression that "only God can judge" and all that.

At some point, I would get tired of the judgemental friends. The best thing to do, if you’re really having a hard time with it, would be to sit down and have an honest and open coversation with them. It’s the whole agree to disagree thing, because you’re not going to change their mind and they wont change yours. Most importantly, though, don’t let it put a damper on your day. You can’t go into your wedding day thinking "Oh no, some of my guests don’t think my marriage is real." Ugh, I could probably write a book about how I feel about this topic. Just know that if they truly are your friends, they will be there for you and love you no matter what kind of wedding you have. Good luck πŸ™‚

Post # 8
773 posts
Busy bee

I come from a pretty religious family, and my understanding is that the bible does pretty clearly state that you should abstain from sex until marriage.  Now there are a whole array of interpretations of that, and one of my favorites is that this was probably less of a moral rule and more of a health/sanitation rule- don’t sleep around- you’ll catch Save-The-Date Cards.  It’s pretty good advice.  The bible also clearly states an overall message of forgiveness.  God isn’t going to hate you because you sinned, and I don’t think anywhere in the bible does it say "if you have sex prior to marriage you cannot ever marry."


I definitely think that using a religious institution like marriage as a means to have sex with some guy you’ve known for 6 months is a pretty big sin.  I’ve felt like I was in love with lots of guys after 6 months and obviously it didn’t work out with all of them.  Marriage should be a profession of love and eternal commitment between two people who are genuinely committed to each other.  

Post # 9
2640 posts
Sugar bee

I’m sorry you feel bombarded.  I think your firends have good intentions, but are probably not helping, huh?  I don’t know your friends but sometimes in trying to be good disciples and spread God’s word, people do get judgemental and a bit holier than thou.  Not good.  And not effective.

I am someone who feels premarital sex isn’t right.  But I wouldn’t tell someone that their marriage doesn’t count if they do have it.  Hey, you’re trying to do the right thing eventually right? 

I don’t feel marriage is simply a piece of paper.  You are taking vows in front of your loved ones (congregation), an officiant (pastor hopefully), and God (hopefully).  That’s big news.  I don’t believe that simply feeling committed to each other makes you committed. (And therefore it makes it OK to have premarital sex.)  

You said that you know the bible says premarital sex is wrong. And that you consider yourself religious.  I think the other stuff you’ve said to justify it is, well just that.  You trying to justify something that is wrong.  It’s hard to do stop something that’s sinful when so many people are going around telling you it’s not a big deal.  But God doesn’t change his rules, just because society has.  It’s also hard to appreciate certain rules that  you might think "don’t hurt anyone else".  Or "hey, we’re getting married in a couple of months anyway."  I wasn’t perfect either.  I thought it was good enough to be "better than most people I know".  But that was wrong.  And I am deepr in my faith than I was back then.  So I understand the difficulty, especially when you mix two people in love, with some youth.

If you want to think about it a bit more, this is a great lecture. http://www.chastity.com/seminars/index.php?id=5   There’s different lectues for different age groups.  But it is called Romance Without Regret.  God Bless.

Post # 10
429 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2008

I see marriage as more than just paperwork… our society today is so focused on personal lives, being individuals or private in our relationships, that we forget that marriages are an essential building block of society. Yes, of course, individuals are important, but marriages, and by extension, families, have been the basis of culture and civilization for thousands of years.

Therefore, it’s important that marriages are made publically, not necessarily for the approval of society or parents or family or even the church, but for recognition. As much as I don’t agree with gay marriage (NOT getting into that here), you can see in the desire of the gay community to have the ability to be legally wed that it is really more than just the paperwork. You also marry publically for the support of your family and friends (hopefully). Even if you elope, there are still legally required witnesses, and you announce it to family and friends when you return.

As to premarital sex… yes, I am a Christian, and I am one of those stick-in-the-muds that believes that sex is for after marriage only. I don’t think that anybody’s relationship is more sinful than mine if they have premarital sex (because sin is sin and my yelling at my husband or being childish or rude to him is just as bad), but I do believe that it is a sin. I don’t go so far as some friends I’ve had who say that kissing before marriage is a sin (yeah, she had some issues), but I do believe that sex outside of marriage, no matter how committed you are, is wrong, because the Bible is very clear on that. God created sex and marriage together to be an example of His love for His people, and I don’t think the two should be seperated — it degrades both. If you look at the way God loved His people throughout history, there were formal commitments to begin the relationship… circumcision with the Jews, then baptism with the Christians. Sorry if I’m getting a little too history-heavy, here. πŸ™‚ But I think marriage works the same way — formal commitment, then consummation of the relationship. As to the old saw about "What if you’re not sexually compatible and you don’t find out until after you’re married?", my answer is that if you talk about it beforehand (not to get too in-depth, but for example to decide what kinds of "alternate" forms of intercourse you’d both be comfortable with, or to decide on a desired frequency of intercourse), and you both know nothing beyond the theory behind it, then you can learn together! It’s worked for me and my husband.

And as to what the OP’s friends say about better to know a guy a few months, get married then do it rather than a few years, do it, then married… there is, sad to say, quite a bit of brain-washing and scare tactics out there in the Christian abstinence movement. My husband and I were some of the "dangerous" ones because we dated for 3 years before we got married, and how could we even dream of abstaining that long? My same "no premarital kissing" friend went from the beginning of her relationship with her husband to married and pregnant on the wedding night in under a year, in order to "avoid temptation." I think that’s bull, honestly. If you’re mature enough to get married, and it’s your conviction to not do it until then, then you can keep it in your pants long enough to actually establish a good relationship and wait for whatever factors are holding you back to be out of your way. I think that making that sort of commitment without at least a year’s worth of pretty serious thought about it under your belt (or a LOT of counseling to make sure you realize that the honeymoon phase of your relationship wears off after about a year or two…) is pretty foolhardy.

So, I hope that that didn’t come off as too offensive or anything. I realize that not everyone has the same convictions as I do, but the OP asked for opinions and I just wanted to give some insight into the mindset of someone who did wait. And yes, ejs4y8, your wedding day totally counts. Like I said, I believe that that commitment is totally important and I applaud people who make it, whether or not I think they did things in the proper order. πŸ™‚

Post # 11
303 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2010

Oh, I feel your pain. My parents are way-out-there wacky Christians who consider cursing, drinking any alcohol AT ALL (even wine in the church), and, naturally, anything further than sweet little kisses a sin. My Fiance and I have had to go to ridiculous extremes to keep it from my parents that we have slept together, and will continue to sleep together. As far as they know, I am a virgin.

My Fiance and I have discussed what makes a marriage a marriage recently because he refers to me as his wife (obviously to only me, he doesn’t call me his wife to other people) because he is absolutely committed to me, loves me despite/because of everything I am and do, and puts me as his first priority. I agree.

The wedding ceremony makes us "official," but our marriage really began at some indefinable point in the past when we started making decisions with each other in mind and placing each other at the forefront of our lives.

It’s kind of like the question "when did you fall in love?" Was there a definable point when you "fell," or was it a slow sliding process? I feel the same way about marriage. The marriage is the committment. The wedding is the celebration. That doesn’t mean every serious relationship is a marriage because I don’t think you put the person you’re with as the number ONE priority until you’re ready to be married.

So where does sex fall into that? I think it’s really an intensely personal question that religion (and really society more than religion…think of the Victorian period) can’t answer. I have a MAJOR problem with any religion or anyone who tries to lay a black and white rule out like that- as if sex can sully a relationship built on love, trust, and committment. Sex can only "ruin" what you allow it to ruin. Sex can be beautiful, but it can also be incredibly damaging.

When you mix sex with love, it’s very potent. Some people need the emotional preparation that being engaged allows. Some people are ready for the sexual side of the relationship sooner than others. It’s not a matter of right or wrong- what’s right for one person could be terribly wrong for you.

Good luck!

Post # 12
596 posts
Busy bee

I know Tanya123 is in the minority opinion in this post, but I think she was very truthful and honest and I agree with her views.

To be fair, I’ve also encountered a lot of judgmental friends who judge those that DO wait.  They claim it’s naive to not "test drive" before you buy and then they ridicule those who wait as stupid and silly Christians. 

Post # 13
159 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

I wish your friends weren’t saying things like that — your marriage will still "count" and will still be very beautiful in the eyes of God .  c’mon, people!

 That said, my Fiance and I dated a year and a half before we got engaged.  We’ll be together nearly 2 and a half before we get married.  That’s a long time to want to have sex with someone, but we want to honor God’s call to purity.  It’s tough.  Even I sometimes halfway convince myself it is stupid, especially when I realize most everyone I know disagrees with our viewpoint.  Then, I’m reminded either through the Bible or just hearing other friends talk that it is worthwhile.  Yet, complete purity is a difficult thing to achieve, and we screw up in some ways.

 I’m so ready to be married.  I sure as heck didn’t want to rush into getting married without being sure though, and neither did he, so we took our time. Rushing into getting married just to have sex is pretty risky and not advisable, In My Humble Opinion.

This belief — abstinence before marriage —  flies in the face of what almost everyone in society is shouting today — that sex is a personal decision and there are little or no limitations on what a person wants.  God does put limitations on us though — we have to follow His Word (fortunately he is merciful cause we’re bound to screw up time and time again).  I think that although we can try to define marriage in a number of ways (and I honestly have no idea what God’s opinion is exactly…heck, it seems like some people in the Old Testament just went into tents, were "together" and were suddenly married in God’s eye.  New Testament seems to provide more guidance, seems like marriage more of a sacrament in it), but I am pretty sure we need to (like with baptism) outwardly vow before God and others to be man and wife.  

 what a tough topic that is sure to get people all riled up.  ha!

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