¶618.104.22.168 Nurturing Healthy Marriages
The Free Methodist Church urges its people to enter the covenant of marriage prayerfully. In
accordance with the apostle’s command (II Corinthians 6:14), we expect them to marry only
believers. Ministers are required to use diligent care when being requested to solemnize a
marriage. While our ministers may officiate at the marriage of two unbelievers, those who unite believers to unbelievers go contrary to the explicit teachings of the Scriptures. Before entering into marriage, our people should counsel with their Christian leaders. Young people
contemplating marriage should seek parental consent. Our ministers shall not officiate at the
marriage of any person under age, unless parents or guardians are present or have given written consent, and unless two witnesses are present who know the couple. There are wedding guidelines available from the director of leadership development’s office that you need to follow with respect to requests to officiate at marriages.
We desire that our churches provide instruction in sex education and preparation for marriage. Pastors shall see that all candidates for marriage have received premarital guidance, using materials consistent with denominational teaching. We further encourage local churches to provide resources such as seminars and retreats to strengthen marriages and build Christian homes.