Since Scripture clearly states believers should not be unequally yoked, we will not perform marriages of believers with non-believers. Scripture takes a strong stand in regard to the permanence of marriage and against divorce and remarriage. In order to remain above reproach and to hold forth the highest standard in this important matter, we will not perform any marriage involving divorced persons who do not meet with the limited exceptions of Scripture.
We see the exceptions of Scripture to include:
- Sexual unfaithfulness of spouse (Matthew 5:32, 19:9)
- A believer who has been divorced by an unbelieving spouse and has made every attempt to make restoration. (1 Corinthians 7:15)
- Former spouse has remarried (Deuteronomy 24:3-4)
In support of these beliefs about marriage, we have established the following standards for those who desire to be married at RBC.
Basic Standards for Being Married by a Reston Bible Church Officiant
1. At least six months advance notification
We advise you to come into our marriage preparation process as soon as you are thinking seriously of being married or well before your desired wedding date, most importantly to allow time for pre-marital counseling.
2. A dating relationship for a minimum of six months before engagement
There is no shortcut to building intimacy, trust and communication. While some people have skills and maturity that enable them to build an intimate relationship faster than others, in light of the permanent nature of a marriage relationship we recommend one-year dating/engagement relationship prior to marriage.
3. Sexual purity
While many of those who come to us are believers who honor God through abstaining from sexual intimacy, there are a number who do not fall into this category. A cohabiting couple, or an unbeliever and a believer cannot be married at RBC
Therefore, there will be a time in your process when you or your fiancée will be given the opportunity to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and choose God’s directives concerning the abstinence from premarital sex, and/or the appearances of such (2 Cor. 6:3). Couples who may be living together, or enjoying one another on a physically intimate level, are asked to make a covenant to abstain from sex and to move apart until their marriage day. Reston Bible Church will not schedule a wedding date until the future bride and groom can genuinely confess Jesus Christ as Lord, and have made a covenant to abstain from sexual intimacy and live apart until their wedding day.
4. Premarital Counseling
Because proper preparation is helpful to the success of a marriage, we require that both parties attend premarital counseling sessions recommended by an RBC pastor. Premarital counseling focuses on helping couples evaluate and strengthen their relationships according to sound biblical truths. Biblical roles for marriage, communication, intimacy, sexuality, and other topics are addressed in an understandable and practical style.
5. If divorced or widowed, at least one year of legal divorce or widowhood
In the case of divorce, we believe that a new relationship should not be pursued until the potential for a biblical reconciliation has been exhausted and sufficient time for personal recovery has passed. The premarital mentoring process, therefore, will not begin until at least one year has elapsed from widowhood or the time the divorce was made legally final. Each request for marriage involving a divorced individual will be considered individually by an RBC pastor.
NOTE: Due to the individual nature of interpersonal relationships and levels of maturity, there may be some exceptions to these guidelines if approved by the pastor you are working with in you marriage process.
Marriage Preparation Process
We have outlined the basic steps involved in having a wedding at Reston Bible Church below. This process is not intended to be a rigid system. It is intended to be a set of guidelines that have been carefully formulated to provide for you the best possible preparation, for your wedding day, and for your marriage.
Step 1: Complete the Premarital Counseling Questionnaire.
If the guidelines in the policies are met and you wish to proceed, fill out the Premarital Counseling Questionnaire. These profiles are not intended to be a test that you pass or fail; rather they are intended to provide an opportunity for both of you to openly discuss key areas of growth in your relationship as you meet with your pastor for pre-marital counseling.
Step 2: Contact a pastor.
Email or hand deliver the completed questionnaire to Casey Gragg (email@example.com). You will be contacted to schedule an initial appointment.
The church property is not available for weddings. Our building was not designed for these services, and we would encourage you to find a more suitable location for your actual ceremony.Download Premarital Questionnaire