At Increasing Our Faith Church believe that it is our responsibility before God to help people form Christian marriages, not just to perform Christian weddings. It is that understanding that shapes our wedding policy.
Because God has ordained marriage and defined it as the covenant relationship between a man, a woman, and Himself, Increasing Our Faith Church will only recognize marriages between a biological man and a biological woman. Further, the pastors and staff, whether paid or unpaid, of Increasing Our Faith Church shall only participate in weddings and solemnize marriages between one man and one woman. Finally, the facilities and property of Increasing Our Faith Church shall only be used to host weddings between one man and one woman.
Those who do not intend to form a marriage, and build a home where Jesus Christ is Lord, would be better served by secular officials such as judges or other representatives of the state who have the legal authority to perform weddings.
As part of this understanding and purpose, we require those we are marrying to make a commitment to refrain from sex until after marriage. The Bible makes it clear that sex outside of marriage is a sin. It would be hypocritical for us, and dishonoring to God, to ask God in the wedding ceremony to bless your marriage if you are violating His clearly revealed will in this area. It would also be detrimental to the long term spiritual health of your marriage to go into it, living in disobedience to God. In light of this, in question #6 (on the Wedding Application) we will be asking you to make a commitment to abstain from sex until after marriage if you want to pursue having your wedding at Increasing Our Faith Church.
Also, as part of our understanding of marriage and it’s sacredness in the eyes of God, we would want to understand the circumstances of any previous marriage. We believe that remarriage after divorce is allowed Biblically in three circumstances:
1. If your spouse was sexually unfaithful; 2. If your spouse was not a Christian and they initiated the divorce; and 3. If you were not a Christian at the time of your divorce, or if your former spouse has remarried.
Even if one or more of these three circumstances apply to your divorce, we would want to know that you have made every effort to be reconciled to your former spouse before we would agree to be involved in your wedding. Thus, in question #1 (on the Wedding Application), if you have been divorced, please tell us indetail the circumstances that lead to the divorce, and the effort that you extended to save your marriage.
We want to work with those individuals who genuinely want to develop a Christian marriage. We believe God has ordained that the church play an active role in this process. Therefore, as a general rule, the pastoral staff of Increasing Our Faith Ministries will only officiate at the weddings of those people who are members or regular attenders of the church. (We define those who are regular attenders as people who we have a record of attending 2 – 4 times per month for at least six months.) Until there is that evidence of regular participation in the life of the church, the pastoral staff generally will not commit to be involved in a wedding. Also, the church facility will generally not be available for weddings of people who would use the church merely for their personal convenience but are not actively involved in Increasing Our Faith Church or who have no intention of making this their church home.
PROCEDURE:If you are interested in pursuing premarital preparation, and a wedding at Increasing Our Faith Church, contact the church office (512-734-7621) to request a Wedding Application form. This is the form that our pastoral staff will review in order to determine if we can officiate at the wedding and/ or if the wedding can be held at Increasing Our Faith Church. It will include questions regarding the details of your previous marital history and your spiritual background and your willingness to do premarital preparation and build a Christian marriage. These details will be kept confidential, and decisions will be determined on a case by case basis.
PREMARITAL PREPARATION:If it is determined that the pastoral staff will perform the wedding, we do require you to be involved in a premarital preparation program. Research has shown that premarital preparation has been very effective in helping couples establish a solid foundation for their marriage. This is our goal in choosing to be involved in your wedding, to help you build a God centered marriage that will last. The cost of this program ranges from $30-$75, based on the materials that will be used; this will be determined and communicated by the officiating pastor. We will then put you in touch with our Wedding Liaison, who will assist you with the details of your wedding.
Information concerning any associated fees or costs will be discussed in person or over the phone.