Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Are weddings worth it?

I can remember talking to pastors and finding it a complete surprise to hear them say they hate doing weddings but like doing funerals. I wondered because in my mind weddings are a happy occasion and funerals are sad. Now with a few funerals under my belt and a couple of weddings I now fully understand why.

In some ways I think performing weddings are more trouble then they are worth. First of all you have those newsstand garbage rags telling the brides not to put up with anything from the minister because it is her wedding and some brides take that to heart. They tend to be rather surprised when you tell them if you don't approve they don't get to use the church. Now we don't have to much trouble with that because we are upfront with prospective couples concerning our service guidelines. Now it is the second issue that makes it even worse.

If you are a pastor reading this feel free to chime in, but are you like me praying that as they fill out their personal info you will find two separate addresses? I know I do. It is never easy to deal with couples living together, but it is even worse if you are like us and allow non-members to be married at our church. First of all, you do not have a relationship of trust already established and that makes it much harder to convey the Law without them getting defensive and mad at you. It is for this reason, I tend to wait until the second or third time that we meet to spend time with this topic because then it is easier to see that I bring it up out of concern and not just to be another random "you evil wicked people person" who is easily dismissed. Another reason is that it is because I use the ZoeScore premarital test, and I can show them all the research on how living together damages their relationship on top of sharing the Law. I find these results help them to personalize the Law and see how breaking the Law has hurt them, thus making it easier to confront them with the Law with the goal of repentance. This brings me to the next problem, couples who are not members of the church are just looking for a place to get married and have no desire to listen to a dumb pastor tell them how to live a godly marriage. Thus begging the question, are weddings really worth it?

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