Christian marriage is the spiritual union created by God in the book of Genesis in which a man and woman become “one flesh” in the image of the union of Christ and His church. As a result, Christian marriage begins with a Christian wedding ceremony during which the couple enters into a sacred contract with each other and with the Lord in addition to becoming legally married.
As a Christian church, we are committed to helping couples build Christ-centered marriages that will stand the test of time and leave a Godly legacy to future generations. Ordained by God, a true Christian marriage is created by Him and the vows made before Him are not to be broken.
“But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘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. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” (Mark 10:6-9 NIV)
Expectations of Those Who Desire to be Married at the Santa Barbara Vineyard
1. Commitment to Jesus Christ
We expect that both you and your fiancée will have made a serious decision to submit your lives and your marriage to Jesus Christ before participating in a Christian wedding ceremony at Vineyard Church of Santa Barbara. We expect that all who desire to be married at the New Wine Vineyard Church of Santa Barbara will be in agreement with the basic truths discussed in our What We Believe Statement.
2. Member of the Vineyard
To be committed to Christ involves being committed to His church. All who desire to be married at the Vineyard will be expected to demonstrate their willingness to pursue ongoing growth in their relationship with Jesus Christ by attending regular weekly worship services at the Vineyard and being an offical member of the church prior to their marriage. We believe that a Christian wedding is an invitation to the community of faith to help the newlywed couple by supporting them with their presence, prayers and encouragement.
“And all the believers met together constantly.....They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity - all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people.” (Acts 2:44-47, NLT)
To be committed to Christ means being committed to living a Christian lifestyle guided by the principles taught in the Bible. For this reason, all who desire to be married at the Vineyard will be expected to agree to a commitment to sexual purity (abstinence) before their marriage, and a willingness to live in a separate residence from their future spouse prior to marriage.
“God wants you to be holy, so you should keep clear of all sexual sin. Then each of you will control your body and live in holiness and honor - not in lustful passion as the pagans do, in their ignorance of God and his ways.” (I Thessalonians 4: 3-5, NLT)
If you are already involved in sexual activity or living arrangements which are inappropriate for a Christian, the good news is that it is never too late to make changes and to begin doing things God’s way - even if you have been married before and/or already have children! We will be glad to help you discuss options that honor God and increase the chances for the lifelong success of your marriage.
4. Same Sex Marriage
The covenant of marriage was fashioned by God and was designed for the union of one man and one woman through a sacred covenant.
We respect the dignity and personhood of all humankind, but at the same time, we cannot alter the traditional definition of marriage, established by God, from the beginning of time.