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Is a church wedding necessary?

Although marriage is compulsory if a Christian man and woman want to cohabitate and begin a life together, a church wedding is not necessary. The couple should, however, say their vows in the presence of God and, if possible, before a congregation of family and friends, who witness the couple’s commitment to each other. 

In the eyes of God marriage is a sacred institution. The Christian marriage in particular is an earthly picture that symbolizes the heavenly union of Christ and his bride. The vows to love, cherish and be faithful for better or worse, in sickness and health unto death are serious promises that a couple make to each other before God and before a congregation of people. As Christians who choose to live in accordance with God’s will, those biblical principles governing marriage should be highly respected. 

God himself united Adam and Eve in holy matrimony, saying, “Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). “Cleaving” suggests the idea of being permanently glued or joined together. In the sight of God it means wholehearted commitment, exclusivity, and unswerving loyalty to one’s marital partner. Jesus adds in Matthew 19:6, “So that they are no more two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” Because marriage is a covenant made before God, it is not meant to be broken. 

When there are problems in a Christian marriage it is the obligation of both parties to remember their vows and prayerfully ask the Lord for guidance to find a way to set matters right. Along with prayer, commitment is the ultimate determining factor in the success or failure of any marriage. As long as the couple is committed to the marriage covenant, each will find unselfish reasons to love and cherish the other, even when disappointment, imperfections and lost expectations prevail. 

Is a church wedding compulsory for Christians? No it is not. However, taking vows before God and, if possible, before a congregation of people is. 

To get advice on marriage listen to, “How Vital Are My Vows of Marriage?”