I am a student-pastor in one of the Bible colleges in the North-Rift. I am 21 years old while my girlfriend is 19, and studies in a nearby university. Though my girlfriend would like to get married to me, she says that she will leave me if I insist on us having a wedding; she says that she abhors weddings. Where I go to church, a couple must have a wedding to be considered married.
Help me Brother Philip.
Let me congratulate you for your love for God and desire to please him in your relationship. Over the years, I have seen many marry and get married, and as much as having a church wedding is an honoured act, it is not necessarily the only factor that makes marriage work. Please, get me right though, I am not trivialising the place of a wedding in a believer’s marriage. In its instruction, the Bible is clear - marriage should be honoured by all, and the marriage bed kept pure. However, you need to see marriage in its broader perspective.
First, sharing the same values on key issues in marriage is key to a successful relationship. I would suggest that you begin here. What are the values you and your girlfriend share? I am talking about values such as fidelity, being God-fearing, open and unhindered communication, a heart for forgiveness and many other virtues. This is the bedrock on which a great marriage sits.
Second, every marriage has a culture, which is made up of practices that matter to the couple. For example, going to church is a great thing, however, many couples have had long fights on where to go to church, therefore, working on an agreement on where to attend church way before marriage helps avoid the stress such a decision would have on the marriage if it was made when the two are already married. Other practices may include the naming of children and which cultural practices to adopt as a couple, and the effects such would have on the relationship.
That said, you seem to have a strong stand on weddings. You are disturbed by the fact that your girlfriend is unwilling to have one. I suggest that you become more understanding by getting to find out what it is about a wedding she does not like.
My view is that there must be an experience that has prompted her to take such a strong stand. Is it about the money involved in holding one? Is she intimidated by the logistics that involve executing one? Is it that one or both of her parents are against weddings? Do not force compliance.
In addition, not many couples have their weddings in a church; nowadays, people prefer garden weddings and beach weddings. You could even have a ceremony at the Attorney General’s chambers, or at a relative’s home. Honouring God, to me, is more important. Genesis 2:22-24 sets the pace when God unites the first man and woman. I know many couples who have had their weddings at the AG’s chambers or had a traditional wedding then gone to church after years together to get the blessing of the pastor. What is key here is to talk and see how God can be involved and be honoured in your marriage.
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