A Dallas church is challenging cohabitating couples to stop living together – and it’s offering a free wedding and wedding reception to those who follow through with marriage.
The offer includes free dresses, tuxedos, wedding rings, cake and a wedding reception. It also includes 10 weeks of counseling and the first month’s rent for living separately.
“If you commit today, we will have you married in the next 90 days,” pastor Bryan L. Carter of Concord Church in Dallas told the congregation Sunday.
The goal, he added, was to give cohabitating couples “a pathway in the honoring of God in your relationship.”
“Church is not just about calling up where we're short, but the church is also a place where you can find hope and healing and restoration and redemption for wherever you might be in your life,” he said to applause.
It is the fourth time Concord Church has given the offer – or “challenge” – to members. About 60 couples have accepted it and been married.“This is your time now,” he said.
Preaching from Hebrews 13:4, Carter listed five myths of living together before marriage:
Photo courtesy: Concord Church
In a recent opinion piece at Business Insider, Shana Lebowitz proclaimed, “Divorce isn’t a failure…In fact, it could mean your marriage was a success!” According to the relationship experts cited by Lebowitz, the goal of marriage isn’t that two people become one flesh, or create a family, or even share lifelong love. No, the purpose of marriage, these so-called experts claim, is that we grow as individuals. Even marriages that end in divorce can accomplish that goal!
When Sarah and I got married, if I remember correctly, I think we stuck around the wedding reception maybe for a grand total of about 45 minutes. Not to put too fine a point on it, we had other places to be. The anticipation of a wedding is more than just a passing element of the joy and mystery of marriage. It’s why people laugh and throw rice at couples as they run for the getaway car. It’s why we celebrate in the first place. The beauty of promises made is matched only by the beauty of promises fulfilled.