What is the Baptist view on engagement?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by psalty84, Aug 11, 2009.

  1. psalty84

    psalty84
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    Hello everyone,

    I am a 25 year old Christian who was raised confused about my denomination, though today I have the same values, morals, and main beliefs of Baptists without actually being a member of any Baptist church.

    I am currently in a predicament with my Baptist girl friend. We love each other very much, and we love the Lord God even more. We attend Sunday service together and have a Bible study every night. We are accountable for each other as much as we can be. We have a Godly relationship and place Him before all. We have known each other for a brief period of time and have been "dating" for a couple months now, while knowing her for 3 months. I believe we are at a point where we know God brought us together and God wants us to marry so we may serve Him to a greater purpose than we can currently serve Him.

    So finally my question is this:
    We have talked at length about engagement and marriage and are scared of being judged because we haven't known each other that long. In the eyes of the Baptist church how long should we "date" before we get engaged? After we are engaged how long should we wait to wed?

    The Bible doesn't say anything about periods of engagement or wedding. I do recall, however, that it used to be common practice, in the Old Testament, that people marrying and divorcing was a regular routine which makes it sound like a short process. Then after Christ's coming he made it clear NOT to divorce, except for extreme circumstances.

    Thank you for your attention to this question.
     
  2. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
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    There isn't a hard and fast rule. Lot of it depends on where you are emotionally and spiritually.

    Mrs PJ and I dated for 3 months, were engaged for 3 months and have been happily married ever since. Some of our friends are different. Some dated for a year, were engaged for a year. Others dated two years and were engaged for 6 months. There isn't a hard and fast rule. :)

    If you want to be "biblical" I guess you should be expecting a dowry or some goats or something. ;)
     
  3. saturneptune

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    I dont think there is a Baptist position on the length of engagement. Each couple under the leadership of the Lord know when the time is right to get married. We certainly do not need a Baptist guideline for that. I met my wife in March 77, got engaged in May 77 and was going to get married in December. My parents could only get here in August, so we moved it up. Thirty two years later, I would say listen to the Lord, the length of the engagement is not a critical factor. Some have been engaged for years to end up in divorce.
     
  4. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    Part of the answer to your question is how old both of you are. I'm mainly asking about maturity. If you are 20, 21 or so, a longer engagement might be appropriate. You need to make sure that your commitment springs from more than boiling testosterone.

    Older, more mature couples can probably get by with shorter engagement periods.
     
  5. Revmitchell

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    Wise words
     
  6. Dale-c

    Dale-c
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    This is a topic where as others have said, there is no hard and fast rule.
    Everything about the age you get married, the length you know each other etc will vary from couple to couple.

    For me, the dating period started in May of 2005, I was engaged in July of 2005 and I was married in November of 2005.

    I was 25 at the time so I was not as young as some. The one thing though with us was that we had been friends for a few years. It was kind of odd in that we both resisted any romantic relationship for a long time.
    The reason for the short engagement though was that we had gotten to know each other well before we even knew we liked each other.

    One bit of advice I will tell you though: since there is no rule you are free to marry after a short dating period and short engagement but your marriage is still a commitment. You have to be ready to commit for the long haul.
     
  7. sag38

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    Ms. SAG and I dated for three months. We had a ten month engagement (waited till I graduated from seminary. Boy, that was the longest 10 months of my life) We've been married 13+ years and God is still blessing. By the way, I was 30 when I got married and Ms. SAG was 26 so we were more mature and knew what we wanted out of life. I'm not sure how things would have been had we been at 19 or 20. As I look back I can't imagine being married that young and especially having children. No wonder so many end in divorce that start out married so young in today's world.
     
  8. psalty84

    psalty84
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    Thanks

    I would like to thank everyone for their comments regarding this matter. I am 25, she is 24. We both have been in lengthy relationships (1-2 years) without feeling compelled to marry within the relationship. I believe we are both mature enough to know what we want. We both agree that we have never been so happy in a Godly relationship than we are with each other. We keep each other accountable in Christ and bring out the most so we may serve Him better.

    I do give heed to the comment regarding testosterone because I know how it can influence/impact peoples' decisions. Which is why waiting another month will hopefully quell the slighest thought of us getting engaged with testosterone influence.

    My main concern was being judged by family and the church. After reading some Christian advice on marriage I have learned that everyone will have their opinion and not everyone will be happy once the news is out. So I'm going to stop worrying and place my faith in God that His will be done, and He will take care of us if His will for us is marriage.
     
  9. TCGreek

    TCGreek
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    "What is the Baptist view on engagement?"

    How about: "What is the best approach to my predicament?"
     
  10. preachinjesus

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    Thanks for asking. Just affirm you for a moment, you both seem very mature spiritually. That you are seeking out council is a big bonus. I'm thinking this is the start of a tremendous Kingdom ministering family. Way to go! :thumbs:

    lol...well you can't keep any of that from happening, this is church afterall. I remember growing up in the church and watching my friends getting engaged and married and hearing the church folk complaining about it all.

    "Oh that was fast...maybe they're expecting" or "What a long dating time...when will they ever get married" or "They've been engaged for ____ months and have ___ months to go, what are they waiting for" or "Goodness, in my time we never dated or carried on like this." or "They're engagement only lasted 3 months after dating for 2 years"

    oy vey...you can never make anyone happy. Do what God tells you! :godisgood:
     
  11. abcgrad94

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    First of all, congratulations on finding a wonderful gal!

    Let me give you a little sisterly advice, ok? Don't start your engagement (or marriage for that matter) worrying about what other people think. If you fall into that trap, you're going to spend your life trying to please other people instead of focusing on what GOD wants you to do. There's a great book that address this issue called When People Are Big and God is Small. (I think that's the title, anyway.) I struggled with this as a new bride and ended up a nervous wreck at my own wedding, even not doing exactly what I wanted in my wedding because of what OTHERS wanted. If I had it to do over, I'd have enjoyed the day my way and let the chips fall where they may.

    While it's nice that you want to be respectful of others, you are a man now getting ready to start your own home. If you start off by bowing down to family and friends, it's going to send a message to them and your sweetie that you aren't ready to LEAD your own home. If God has shown you his will, you can proceed with confidence and it won't matter what other people say or think or do. Seek council, yes, that's wise, but the final decision is yours and as long as you are in God's will, you'll have nothing to fear.
     
  12. BigBossman

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    While I am not married yet, but am hoping to get married before I become an old man (or die), the best advice I can offer is to make sure that she is the one you want to spend your entire life with.

    These days marriages tend to crumble. If you have any doubts or questions, it might be best to wait & stay engaged longer. I used to have a friend (I stress used to) who went out with his girlfriend for 6 years. They stayed engaged for about 6 months & then got married. Their marriage didn't even last for six months. He ended up cheating on her out right. Needless to say, I told him that he was wrong for that. He knew it, but didn't want to hear it from me. We haven't spoken since then.

    People these days take a wedding ceremony as more of a social function rather than a serious occasion. The primary reason people get invited to attend a wedding is to witness it, nothing else.

    I believe that Tom also made a good point as well. A lot of it depends on the maturity level of both your & her.

    Putting God first in any relationship, is the primary component of having a strong marriage that will last.
     
  13. rbell

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    Are you going through pre-marital counseling?
     

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