Ambassador was a part of the Cross Movement before going through the above story. I’ve always liked his music. This is a cool story of redemption and reconciliation. Check it out…
Brian Croft has some great questions at Practical Shepherding on pastors and weddings. He asks “What are the boundary lines to determine whether a pastor can/should conduct a wedding?” That’s a great question for a pastor to really think through. I think Brian asks some good questions and offers some good advice for us to apply. When it comes to the question of whether or not pastors should perform weddings, the most common explanations I have heard are as follows:
- They won’t perform a wedding for a believer and a non-believer
- They won’t perform a wedding for people living together
I have no reservations about the first statement, as Paul seems pretty clear in 2 Cor. 6:14 that unequally yoked relationships are not something Christians should participate in, so I’m assuming pastors shouldn’t perform those weddings. That being said, how that gets fleshed out and what makes a couple “unequally yoked” may not be quite how many assume.
For me, the most helpful explanation of good wedding principles was written by D.A. Carson – Counsel to a Young Church Planter on Marriage. Carson lays out some really wise (and biblically informed) thoughts on why taking the “traditional” stand against performing weddings for “sinners” seems to be based on some assumptions that need to be challenged. You really need to read Carson’s article if you are interested in whether pastors should perform weddings under certain circumstances.
What do you think? What kind of guidelines do you think pastors should take, and why?
In Family Shepherds: Calling and Equipping Men to Lead Their Homes, Voddie Baucham gives three reasons to prioritize your marriage above your children:
1. Our children will eventually leave home. Prepare your marriage for the empty nest:
To my knowledge, I’ve never talked to a person who divorced after twenty-five or thirty years who didn’t say something like this: “Once the kids were gone, we realized we really didn’t have much of a marriage.” Building a marriage on the foundation of the preeminence of children is like building a house on a rented removable slab. You may have days or even years when you feel completely secure, but the day is coming when the lease will be up and the foundation upon which your home stands will be taken away. A family shepherd must not allow his family to fall into this trap.
2. Our marriage forms the cornerstone of our children’s security:
Ironically, those who prioritize their children above their marriage are not only jeopardizing their marriage, they’re actually depriving their children of the very thing they desire to provide them. The greatest source of security our children have in this world is a God-honoring, Christ-centered marriage between their parents. Putting the children first is like a police officer putting away his badge and gun in order to make the public feel more at ease. A family shepherd must put his marriage before his children in order to provide them with the security they both need and desire.
3. Putting your marriage first will actually prepare your children for marriage:
Prioritizing your children above your marriage is both foolish and dangerous because it sets a precedent that contradicts one of the greatest lessons you’ll ever teach your children—how to be good husbands and wives. We must first and foremost model a commitment to marriage. Failure to do this will communicate ideas that are contrary to what we believe—starting with the narcissism it tends to create in our children—including the pitfalls that may follow them into their marriage. For example, if we prioritize our children above our marriage, we teach our children that marriage exists for children. If this is the case, how will our children react to the early months or years of their marriage when there are no children? How will they respond if, God forbid, they should struggle with infertility? If the heart of marriage is “living for the kids,” these scenarios could be difficult at best.
HT: Crossway Blog.