Gateway's Philosophy on Marriage
1. Marriage is a sacred covenant established by God to teach two people to love each other with God’s kind of love, for better or for worse, for a lifetime. Marriage is not a 50/50 proposition, but a 100% commitment of one person to the love and betterment of the other.
2. Premarital preparation and early marriage support can make a significant difference in the long-term health and viability of a marriage.
3. An authentic relationship with God through Jesus Christ provides a firm spiritual foundation that gives an individual guidance and power to better relate to a spouse and to grow in love and commitment for a lifetime.
4. Gateway will marry two professing Christians or two people who are not professing Christians with similar spiritual desires, but we cannot, in good conscience, marry a couple where only one is a professing Christian. This is based on our understanding of II Corinthians 6:14 (two people heading in different spiritual directions) and our experience with the tension created from a couple not sharing a common spiritual foundation.
5. We believe that God’s ideal for our sexuality is for it to be expressed in the monogamous commitment of marriage. Premarital sex often masks issues and keeps couples from learning emotional intimacy, friendship and communication independent of sexual intimacy. If a couple is dependent on a sexual relationship to be happy and content together before marriage, the more important foundations for a lasting marriage are often underdeveloped. For these reasons, we ask couples to honor God’s expressed desire for their sexuality (Hebrews 13:4) and abstain from sex, whether from the beginning of the relationship or from this moment on, until their marriage. Our spiritual convictions (based on Hebrews 13:4) prevent us from being able to perform the ceremony if the couple does not agree to abstain from sex before marriage.
6. Gateway wants you to know that if, for any reason, we do not perform your wedding ceremony, our desire as a church is to offer you the tools and resources you need to have the healthy, lasting marriage God intends for you. Please look carefully over our fee schedule to explore options we are able to offer in the realm of pre-marital support and officiating pastors. You can find a PDF of the document at www.gatewaychurch.com/marriage.