There are many believers who asked regarding the difference between Christian and civil weddings. These wedding ceremonies are legal in the eyes of the government laws granted the one who officiates has a valid license from the government. This is where Christian conviction comes into play. It’s also interesting to know that there are Christian judges who officiate a wedding in a Christian ceremony.
[Disclaimer: In this article, I speak ONLY for myself. This does not reflect my church organization’s view.]
As believers, you should not just go through a civil wedding nor a Christian wedding ceremony simply because it’s “less expensive.” Rather you should invest if you can to testify about the goodness and faithfulness of the Lord in your lives, as much as possible to close friends, immediate relatives, and family members who will attend your wedding. Usually, a wedding in the ancient Near East are well attended especially if the groom’s family is well-off.
There is a difference in the ceremony between a civil wedding and a Christian wedding. This is not to say that one should not go through a civil wedding, because anybody can. After all, the choice is theirs to make.
Again, this is a matter of Christian conviction.
In a Christian wedding, there is usually a pre-marriage seminar led by a pastor. This is where the study of the Scripture is done to serve as an authority and a guide regarding the meaning and purpose of marriage including their God-given roles and responsibility as a husband and a wife.
There are many things that are talk-over during the meeting like the importance of maintaining unity, leaving independently, financial stewardship, and marital faithfulness. This is where the couple will know how to raise their next godly generation. In connection, they need to understand purity and holiness in the eyes of the Lord while waiting for that glorious day.
On that exciting day, the Christian minister will explain the meaning of the rings being a vow and a commitment more than mere emotional euphoria, that whatever God has put together no man can and should separate. There is also an opportunity for the groom and bride to exchange their meaningful vows to one another with the Lord as their primary witness in front of the visitors according to the vision that God has instilled in their hearts. At the same time, the parents are also honored and commended in front of the visitors.
And what’s even important are the prayers and pronouncement of divine blessings uttered by the Christian pastors on the couple, with the agreement of their parents, god-parents, and witnesses asking the Lord to guide and bless their marriage vow.
I don’t think any non-Christian judge will do the things mentioned above during a civil wedding because this is usually done in the absence of any biblical tone to avoid religious prejudice.
A wedding preparation should not be done hastily. In fact, a wedding ceremony can be so simple and informal with the attendance of a duly licensed pastor, the couple of legal-age, and a handful of witnesses inside a small office room with only two rings as symbols.
On the other hand, a wedding ceremony could also be done formally in an excellent place with a good number of guests who will witness God’s faithfulness and goodness on the lives of the couple as they listen to their wonderful testimony.
It is true that being economical is practical and logical nowadays, but is this what the Lord really wants you to do or what your savings account could only afford? Who dictates your decision? Is it the Lord or your money?
As a Christian, do not allow your pocket to have the final say but let your faith in the Lord move believing how He is able to provide for all your wedding expenses no matter how simple or expensive the wedding ceremony will be. Again, it’s not about having an expensive or inexpensive wedding but letting Lord’s will prevail.
The Lord will surely guide every single Christian couple who will make a decision to step out in faith in getting married. And may they not entertain separation, annulment, or divorce along the way despite their personality differences and serious challenges.
A marriage to be Christ-centered must be a missional marriage, not a self-centered marriage.
Abraham named that place The LORD Will Provide. It is still said today, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.” – Genesis 22:14, God’s Word
Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. – Genesis 2:24
But first, be concerned about his kingdom and what has his approval. Then all these things will be provided for you. “So don’t ever worry about tomorrow. After all, tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” – Matthew 6:33-34, God’s Word
Many plans are in the human heart, but the advice of the LORD will endure. – Proverbs 19:21, God’s Word
“For the man who does not love his wife but divorces her, says the LORD, the God of Israel, covers his garment with violence, says the LORD of hosts. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless.” – Malachi 2:16