Firstly, OP, you need to have a chat about your future lives together. Secondly, perhaps I could share my own story? I had all sorts of issues organising my ceremony… hardcore atheist extended family, non-conformist immediate family, and uber-Catholic in-laws. In the end, we compromised by having a Catholic ceremony with no mass. The wording of these ceremonies is often set in stone in Catholic and Lutherian ceremonies, and some places don’t allow you to have non-religious music or readings. That would probably depend on the priest though.
When I initially started discussing things like how to raise kids with DH, he did give me the silent treatment on one occasion, but I think that’s because we hadn’t really discussed it before, and he was surprised that we had such differing views when we agreed on lots of other things. Men do tend to go silent and flee from conflict like this… women often prefer to thrash things out, in my experience. The other thing that drives me NUTS about DH is that he keeps saying things like “why are you trying to cause a fight?” when I try to resolve issues. GRRRRRR!
A good premarital counsellor will probably help you to work through these issues. The church would be able to provide you with that… but if you feel you might be more comfortable with a secular premarital counsellor, then feel free (we had Catholic counselling, but I must say that they were very good, and I felt very comfortable as the non-Catholic partner).
I can understand why he wants to be married in a church, and that may be non-negotiable for him. DH’s only non-negotiable request was that we were married in a Catholic church… he was willing to compromise on everything else. I think it’s probably a good idea, if he does say it’s non-negotiable, to allow him only one or two non-negotiable things, and to allow yourself the same privilige. That allows couples to think about what is really important to them, less important to them, and not important to them. Otherwise, discussions tend to deteriorate, because people get cross and say “it’s ALL important!”. Yes, sure… it’s all important… but if people are forced to rank their preferences in order of importance then this can get negotiations moving.
Hope this is at least of some help!
“As a Christian, his desire should be for her to be saved as well. Otherwise, according to his (and my, obviously) beliefs, she is facing eternal damnation.”
Some Lutherians don’t actually believe in sola fide. It’s a more common belief in charismatic Christianity nowadays (also more common in the US). So that’s not something you can automatically assume. For example, growing up then I was taught that sola fide was heresy.
Also, 1 Corinthians 7:14… “For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.”
I simply don’t think you can make blanket assumptions like that… he might believe that, and he might not. Only he and OP could tell us that.