[to marry or not to marry, that is the question]
First of all, thanks to Bill, Hawkotaco, Jessica, pastor Scott, and Rick Guilfoil for sharing their opinion regarding the question I have asked yesterday. If you haven’t had the chance yet, you are always welcome to share your opinion in the comments either on that post or this one.
Secondly, I guess I was expecting that someone would come and say “Well, I wouldn’t marry them.” I think I just like discussing stuff and weighing all the possibilities and angles.
At the youth group, our opinions actually went opposite ways. Most of us were for the marriage ceremony, yet there were people who were saying “Well, I wouldn’t marry them because there’s no point.”
Interestingly enough, my pastor and I sat right in the middle between the two “opposite parties.” It felt like watching a ping-pong match – the arguments tossed from one side to another. My pastor was the one who married the “un-Churched” couple the other day and that triggered the entire discussion. He was quiet for the most part and I only spoke when the “parties” tried to prove something to each other coming from completely different angles.
I can somewhat understand where my friend who said she doesn’t see a point was coming from. 83% of the population of Ukraine claim they are Christians. Most of them are “Orthodox” Christians – which means that a lot of them are just performing the rituals. (Sidenote: I do believe there are wonderful brothers and sisters in Christ there, but I have trouble with overly-organized religion.) Oh, they believe that God exists and that the rituals are meant for something good – only considering the education system in an Orthodox Church, people are not taught about what it really means to be a Christian, a follower of Christ. (Note: I am not saying I or the Church of the Nazarene got it all together perfectly neat…)… Therefore, for a lot of people over here, a marriage in Church is just another tradition (here comes Tevye and sings “TRADITION!!!“)…
However, I interjected, if people want to get married in Church – even for the wrong reasons of it being just a tradition one should keep to have a good marriage – then they have the basic understanding of being blessed into the marriage. If they understand that bit, then, as Hawkotaco said, “Something said there can affect them and really set their marriage on the right track.” I see the point of marrying two people who might not be the most devout Christians in PLANTING A SEED. That’s our job, not making the seed actually grow (although we do nurture it). Our role in this is being an instrument of so-called Prevenient Grace.
Bill was the first one who mentioned counseling and asking the couple to attend Church during the preparations for the marriage and I also think it is very important. If they want to be married in Church, they might as well learn what the Church is all about.
I like the point that Rick brought up – if the couple get to know the pastor of the Church, it makes coming to Church less overwhelming and easier since they know someone there already.
And finally, who are we to judge? Like I said above, if the couple is willing to get married in Church, then they obviously feel that this is the way it’s supposed to be – and not only because it is “right” according to the standards of the community. I think it may also stop people from making a mistake of divorce – I heard that from a couple of my friends – even if they just believe that God exists somewhere in the plane of the eternity, the “I do” said before God matters more than just “I do” at a local Civil Registry Office.
Any other thoughts? Comments? Questions?