Look What the Lord Has Done!
Congratulations on your engagement! This is certainly an exciting and busy time. As you plan for your wedding and life together we understand that there are enormous decisions and tasks ahead. It is a privilege for us to be a part of what God is doing in your lives. The following information will offer you helpful guidelines and we look forward to journey with you.
Marriage is God's idea, and one of its primary purposes is to provide you with a deep sense of companionship with your spouse. Our greatest desire as a church is that you fully experience this loving companionship and intimacy in your marriage. For this reason, we are committed to helping you get off to a good start. The following requirements may seem somewhat restrictive by today's worldly standards, but remember that marriage is for real and for a lifetime and therefore deserving all your attention, time and energy. Good things cost, and this certainly is one of the most valuable 'investments" you will ever make in life.
Blessings at A 'Price'
When a couple asks for a "church wedding" they want God's blessings upon their marriage as they start a new life together. God is eager to bless you, yet to truly experience blessings for your marriage you need to honor Him by observing His time proven principles and commands. God's intention for marriage is that it becomes the most intimate, enriching and enjoyable of all relationships. Because we desire to be obedient to scripture, at the Chapel we will only conduct weddings that are consistent with Biblical standards. Here are two important areas in which God clearly states His standard:
In 2 Corinthians 6:14-15, God says, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers: For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?" [NIV]
The import of this passage is clear - it is against God's will for a born-again Christian to marry someone who isn't. A marriage that goes against God's clearly stated command can not have His blessing. Such a marriage, more often than not, will lead to complications: Conflicts of interests and of priorities become inevitable; In addition, contradictory convictions will most likely hinder spiritual intimacy.
God expects us to preserve sexual intimacy for marriage. In placing a fence around sex, God’s intention is not to smother pleasure, but to give us His best; He in actual fact protects us from HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections, hence enabling us to enjoy the delights of sexual intimacy within the bonds of marriage.
In designing sexual pleasure, God never intended it to be abused or degraded, but rather to be enjoyed within the confines of a life-long commitment by the name of marriage.
So in case you have been involved in pre-marital sex, and perhaps as a result you are in the family way, please don’t hide it. Two wrongs do not make a right; God loves you as you are, and through Christ Jesus He offers you forgiveness, and a new beginning. If you are prepared to genuinely repent and confess your sins, we will stand with both of you as you seek this new beginning. Do share honestly with the pastor who will interview you. If you have been divorced, or have been involved in a "come we stay" relationship, you will have to divulge that to the pastor too.
Some Additional Requirements
In keeping with our commitment to help you lay a godly foundation for your marriage, we encourage both of you to carefully consider the following:
- A Commitment to Chapel: Either of you must have attended the Chapel regularly for a period of not less than six months. Alternatively, a letter of attendance/transfer from the Pastor of your previous church will suffice.
- A six month notice of your intention to get married: When you give us the notice, you will be assigned a pastor who will interview, counsel, and guide you through the necessary steps. The six months will give the pastor (or your mentor couple) sufficient time to get to know you, and for you to attend premarital counseling. In the words of one couple:
"Going through premarital counseling early, gave us time to deal with serious issues soberly, before we got caught up in last minute activities leading up to the wedding day.”
Participation in premarital counseling classes (10 sessions).
These have proven to be invaluable to countless couples who discovered and worked through issues they previously had not considered. The lessons help establish sound values for your marriage. The class also gets you into a support group of People at the same point in life, working towards the same goal. Together, you can share ideas, receive support, and deal with the common challenges of preparing for marriage. For these reasons, the Chapel has made premarital counseling a prerequisite for our involvement in your wedding.
A team of pastors, elders and leaders who have long experience of these issues conducts the class. They are eager to share their experience with you. A fee is charged for the course and you need to submit an application form.
A HIV/AIDS test result.Honesty and transparency are essential pillars for marriage, and it is in this spirit that we require you to submit the results of an HIV test. It may not sound very romantic, but how terribly devastating it would be if you found out that either of you were HIV positive after you are wed. In cases where the test is positive, we also lovingly offer counseling.
A non-lavish wedding.At Chapel, we don’t approve of extravagant and expensive weddings. It is not good to go into debt or spend excessive amounts of money just to outdo other weddings. With creativity, it is possible to have a beautiful and yet inexpensive wedding. The pastor assigned to you will help you with some suggestions.
Wedding Banns:A formal notice of your wedding must be submitted to Chapel's office at least six weeks in advance.
Venue: We conduct weddings at the Chapel sanctuary, other churches, gardens, public halls, etc. Whatever venue you choose, be sure to consider permit requirements, the availability of the minister, and if there are extra costs involved.
Rehearsals: These need to be scheduled 2-3 days prior to the wedding at the actual venue.
Please do not hesitate to contact us for any further inquiries you may have. We are here to
minister to your needs, to help bring you closer to Jesus and establish a good foundation for your life