Updated Policy Of Marriage By Fellowship Bible Church
The stand-alone policy on marriage and divorce has been modified by the council of elders. The congregation will vote on whether or not to endorse this policy. You may view the most recent version of the document, or you can pick up a physical copy at the Information Desk in the lobby.
The prospect of adding another policy to our file folders, handbooks, or webpages does not appear to be a very appealing job, especially when the policy is not one of the organization's founding documents, such as a constitution or doctrinal declaration.
Apart from "the big two," one of the most valuable church papers I've come across has been a marriage policy, which has proven to be one of the most useful I've come across. It is a document that serves as a guide for the elders of the church, setting forth the aims and boundaries for the practice of marriage in the life of the church.
When it comes to a relational undertaking like marriage, having a policy in place may seem unnecessarily regimented. However, the following are three reasons why I have found this sort of strategy to be beneficial.
Many people who are getting married are unsure of what to anticipate, and they want assistance in setting their expectations in an acceptable manner. Others have unreasonable expectations and should be made aware that they will not be able to tailor the wedding preparations and ceremony to their own tastes. A policy aids in the establishment of expectations from the outset.
This is especially crucial in our consumer-driven world, which encourages us to assume that we have the ability to define the conditions and limitations for every activity or event in which we participate or are interested in participating. When it comes to marriage preparation or pre-marital counseling, a beneficial marriage policy will outline the expectations for both parties. At our church, we often meet with a couple 4-6 times before they are married, during which time we discuss both the biblical descriptions of marriage and the practical reality of what a Christian marriage should try to be in its everyday life.
The effort required to do this will be excellent, hard work, and it is critical to establish realistic expectations from the outset. It's also crucial to establish expectations for the wedding ceremony itself before the big day. Is it possible for a minister from another congregation to officiate at the service?
Will it be possible to bring in outside musicians to perform? Is it possible for me to create my own vows? More importantly, how do all of these particulars fit into the overall picture of the commitment that is being entered into? Simple instructions that provide the foundation for the event will provide clarity as to what should be expected.
The option of whether to enable non-church attendees in their community to use church resources and personnel, or whether to devote these resources strictly to their membership, will be an essential one for every church eldership to consider. This choice is based on a combination of religious and pragmatic grounds. Some churches, from a theological standpoint, see the institution of marriage as a manifestation of God's common grace to the world, and they are delighted to be a part of that institution of common grace.
Their belief is that, even though the Bible forbids marriage between two Christians, the Bible's silence on the subject of marriage between two non-Christians gives them freedom and even the opportunity to counsel these non-Christians as well as invest in their future and officiate at their civil ceremony. In doing so, we want to accomplish two goals: to provide a clear gospel testimony while also assisting individuals in the community, even if they do not eventually become Christians.
In our lives, we are confronted with and develop into the fundamental Biblical and practical dimensions of marital relationships. Having a written marriage policy for churches can help to "set the table" for the dialogues that will take place in marital therapy and continue well into our later years of marriage.
The Church makes certain that the couple is aware of and conforms to the Christian doctrines that govern marriage. There are several of these, including the dogma of "for better or worse," which states that the couple must accept the repercussions of their decision regardless of whether the outcome is positive or negative.
The existence of a policy and the seriousness with which marital preparation is taken reflects the great importance that the church places on marriage. Despite living in an age where many people regard marriage with a casual attitude or as a transitory contract, we acknowledge that marriage is something that should not be treated lightly.