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Spiritual Growth Agendas

The Wedding Ceremony
God's View of Marriage


Here’s the idea: We ran a full "Mock Wedding" Service, using the Youth Group kids in the Bridal Party, guests, etc, even a wedding dance after. After we went through the service, we interviewed the key participants and what each might be thinking about what this marriage thing means to them. At the end of the service we ran a discussion on marriage and a wrap up on what it is in God's eyes.

Below is the questionnaire used for "The Wedding."

THE MARRIAGE CEREMONY

Use the “order of service” below or something similar to help conduct your mock wedding.

MARRIAGE OF (GROOM) & (BRIDE)

BRIDESMAIDS ENTER – BRIDE ENTERS

WELCOME & DECLARATION OF PURPOSE-YOUTH PASTOR

THE QUESTION

(Groom), will you take (Bride) as your wife in Christian marriage? Will you love her, comfort her, honor and keep her, in sickness and in health, and be faithful to her as long as you both shall live?

(Groom) answers “I will”)

(Bride), will you take (Groom) as your husband in Christian marriage? Will you love him, comfort him, honor and keep him, in sickness and in health, and be faithful to him as long as you both shall live?

(Bride) answers “I will”)

THE GIVING OF THE BRIDE

Who gives this woman to be married to this man?

CONGREGATIONAL SONG

“THE LORDS PRAYER”

SCRIPTURE READING
1 Corinthians 13

BRIEF MESSAGE – YOUTH PASTOR

PRAYER FOR THEIR VOWS

THE VOWS – (GROOM)


“I call upon these persons here present to witness that I (Groom), take you, (Bride), to be my lawful wedded wife, in accordance with God’s holy will, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish as long as we both shall live, to this end I pledge you my word.”

(BRIDE)

“I call upon these persons here present to witness that I, (Bride), take you, (Groom), to be my lawful wedded husband, in accordance with God’s holy will, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish as long as we both shall live, to this end I pledge you my word.”

THE GIVING OF THE RINGS – (GROOM)

“I give you this ring in God’s name as a symbol of my love and as a sign of my promise.”

(BRIDE)

“I give you this ring in God’s name as a symbol of my love and as a sign of my promise.”

THE DECLARATION OF MARRIAGE – YOUTH PASTOR

(Groom) and (Bride), you have declared before God and this gathering of your friends, that you will live together in Christian marriage; you have made sacred promises to each other and you have symbolized it by joining hands and by exchanging rings. I therefore pronounce you to be husband and wife, in the name of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

What God has joined together, man must not separate.

THE BLESSING – YOUTH PASTOR

May the Lord bless you and protect you.
May the Lord smile on you and show you his favor.
May the Lord befriend you and prosper you.

CLOSING PRAYER & PRESENTATION OF
MR. & MRS. (GROOM) AND (BRIDE)


* You could include a wedding program listing the bridesmaids, groomsmen, officiating minister, etc. – all the things you’d find on a wedding program.

After the mock wedding, pass out this marriage questionnaire and have students answer the questions before breaking into their small groups.

THE MARRIAGE QUESTIONNAIRE

  1. What age, with your Parents’ consent, are you legally able to get married?
    a) 14 b) 16 c) 18 d) 20


  2. What age without your Parents’ consent, are you legally able to get married?
    a) 16 b) 18 c) 20 d) 21


  3. Of those couples that got married in 1975, what percentage are still together?
    a) 50% b) 60% c) 70% d) 80%


  4. Divorce is more common for those who have been
    married ……
    a) 1 to 10 years b) 11 to 20 years c) 21 to 30 years


  5. The percentage of “Living Together” relationships that end within 5 years is ….
    a) 22% b) 34% c) 49% d) 58%


  6. What do you think of this statement by Brad Pitt (who was married to Jennifer Aniston), “I’m not sure it really is in our nature to be with someone the rest of our lives, just because you made this pact” (in marriage). How do you think Jennifer feels about Brad saying that, now that they are divorced and he is with Angelina Jolie?


  7. Our government is currently proposing passing a law that will allow homosexual unions to be recognized as marriages (which will offer exactly the same legal rights as marriages between heterosexual couples). What do you think - - should the Government pass this law? (yes or no — circle one)

Answers for Questions 1 to 5:
  1. (b) 16 in most states

  2. (b) 18 in most states (Nebraska is 19 and Mississippi is 21!)

  3. (c) 70%

  4. (a) 1 to 10 years

  5. (c) 49%

*Answers to questions 6 and 7 are discussed in our small groups.

Divide into Small Groups:
Let's go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.

CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.

Discussion Questions:

  1. AROUND THE CIRCLE: As we get started, I want each of us to give our name and then tell me the goofiest/weirdest thing you’ve ever seen happen at a wedding you’ve attended. (For instance, groom passing out, bride tripping, etc.)


  2. ASK EVERYONE: How many of you want to be married when you get older?


  3. ASK A FEW: OK, we all just witnessed a “mock” wedding, but all the parts of this are the same as a real wedding. What do you think was the most meaningful part, and why?


  4. ASK A FEW: What did you write down for an answer to the question concerning Brad Pitt’s quote on marriage?


  5. ASK A FEW: What did you write down for an answer to the question concerning homosexual unions being granted full marriage rights? Why?


  6. ASK A FEW: The current divorce rate in America is hovering around 50%. What does that tell you about people’s true thoughts of marriage?


  7. Read the following passage:

      Matthew 19:1-8
      1When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went into the region of Judea to the other side of the Jordan. 2Large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.

      3Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?"

      4"Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,'[a] 5and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'[b]? 6So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."

      7"Why then," they asked, "did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?"

      8Jesus replied, "Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning.

  8. ASK A FEW: Based on just this passage alone, do you think marriage was something Jesus took seriously, even though He was not married?


  9. ASK A FEW: What do you think Jesus meant when He said, “for this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one”?


  10. ASK SOMEONE: Jesus told the Pharisees the reason Moses allowed people to get a divorce. What was it? (leaders-verse 8)


  11. ASK A FEW: So, what does Jesus mean when He talks about hearts that are hard? How do “hard hearts” affect marriages?


  12. ASK A FEW: What do you think Jesus thinks of divorce?

Wrap Up:
Tonight we had a chance to attend a wedding. We got a chance to hear the wedding vows, see rings exchanged, and commitments made, all in the context of marriage. Hopefully you saw tonight that God takes marriage VERY seriously, and therefore, so should we.

Maybe you are here tonight and you are thinking to yourself, “I would love to have a marriage that is blessed by God.” That’s awesome! So let me tell you having a great marriage begins NOW! That’s right.

You need to make sure you live your life, right now, in such a way that pleases God so He will trust you with an awesome mate. That means, loving ALL people with His love, keeping yourself sexually pure, and praying and asking Him to prepare that special someone for you.

These are some of the steps you can take to make sure your wedding, and marriage, is real…and not mock.

Close in Prayer.

*Also, see our Spiritual Growth Agendas page for topical agendas on Purity and our Event page for “Commitment to Purity.”

Idea by Stewart Patrick, Gisborne, New Zealand

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