Home > Andrew's Blogs, Marriage > Pastoral Advice for Those Who Want to Get Married

Pastoral Advice for Those Who Want to Get Married

It bugs me (and has since I became a pastor) that engaged couples come to me after the reception hall is booked, the rings are purchased, the reception bubbles have been ordered, the bride’s maid’s dresses have been picked, and the menu has been selected.  It bugs me when I’m the last thing on the list, and they come and expect me to wave my magic wand and pronounce that they are married before God and man.

I know that the idea of entering marriage is exciting and wonderful, and it should be, but let’s make sure we do things right.  So in order to get ahead of the engagement curve,  here’s some pastoral counsel for all involved.

  1. Parents.  Its your responsibility to make sure things go well with your kids as they enter this phase of life.  You have to take the lead  early on and develop your kid’s view of marriage and the process of entering matrimony.
  2. Dads.  You have a special responsibility to help your sons and daughters end up with a spouse who is a follower of Jesus.  Don’t leave that up to me!  Don’t make me the bad guy!  You should have this all worked out before they come see me.  This is true for both girls and boys but the manner in which it is done is different for each.  For your daughter – you are the gate keeper.  For  your son – you set the direction for his life like an archer shooting an arrow.  In both cases, you must start when they are two.
  3. Get counsel before you get engaged.  Young men and women – trust your Mother and Father when it comes to the girl or boy you get close to.  Be sure to look to others who are wise and godly and ask them what they think before you cross the line of engagement.  It’s so hard for young couples to pull the emergency break on marriage plans especially when money has been spent, and announcements (verbal or printed) have been made.
  4. Speak to the Pastor early on . . . very early.  Let’s be honest here – some Pastors are as dumb as a box of rocks and will marry any couple who come through their doors, but not all Pastors are that way.  We at GLBC have a very high view of marriage and it is our goal to help couples enter a life long commitment with a firm foundation.  We will invest in your lives and in some cases we will counsel you to wait or not move forward.
  5. Don’t have sex,  don’t live together, and admit to it and repent of it if you have / are.  These are wrong before God and not helpful in any way.   The idea that living together is a helpful test for marriage is a load of horse manure.  It only causes all kinds of trouble for the future.
  6. Don’t expect me to marry an unbeliever to a believer.  Two unbelievers – yes.  Two believers – yes.  This is where things get a bit tricky – I’m not the Holy Spirit, but # 7 helps this along quite well.
  7. Get married in the context of your local church.  Be involved in a local church and have that Pastor marry you.  This is the place where genuine faith is lived out and allows the congregation to be involved in your life, your spiritual development, your pre-marriage, and your marriage.  The church is the context where marriages start strong and persevere through thick and thin.
  8. Expect premarital counseling.
  9. Don’t rush to be married.  Single is not bad.
  10. Same sex marriage is out of the question.  Won’t even consider it (just in case anybody wondered).

Some Other Resources

  1. Sheri F
    April 14, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    Awesome Andrew!! Straight shooting and so applicable as we raise 3 daughters.

  2. April 15, 2009 at 8:42 am

    Great counsel. Of course, parents/pastors only have so much control.

  3. mikewittmer
    April 15, 2009 at 10:32 am

    This is wise counsel. I hope that more of our families will follow it!

  4. Hanna
    April 15, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    My name is Hanna, im from Brazil (so sorry for my bad english) , i was finding about Rembrandt and this blog appeared, im surprised cause thats a very nice blog and well I’m a christian, next year im going to get married so… you know!
    I found good things here..

    I’m just saying hi, May God Bless you all!!


  5. Hanna
    April 15, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    Ah.. i forgot to say hehe
    i hope u dont mind cause im showing some friends! ok?!


  6. April 15, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    Print as many as you like. Hope all goes well with your marriage plans.

  7. April 16, 2009 at 10:13 am

    Great words Andrew! as a fellow pastor (16yrs youth ministry, now 3 years church planting) I’d like to add – before a couple has the rings picked out, the bulletin’s made, the dress and tux tried on and all the other details of the big day planned- Have a PLAN to deal with sin. When one person hurts the other thoughtlessly, or not. When cutting words show up. When the quirky reasons why you were attracted to this person becomes irritations that you now are trying to change in the other person – have a plan of how to go to the cross of Christ together to die to self, confess, repent, and serve the other; have a plan of how to say I’m sorry, and I forgive you so that you both are broken and dieing and now renewed in new life in Christ… make it a plan! Don’t just expect it will happen.

  1. April 14, 2009 at 3:24 pm

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