General Requirements

Spiritual Basis

It is my desire as a minister that couples have the best possible start in the most important earthly relationship that they will ever enter into. God created man and woman from the beginning, and He intended they be joined in marriage so that each might give to one another what the other lacked. Since God designed the marriage relationship, it makes sense that He knows best how to build an enduring and joy-filled marriage. A marriage that will be able to withstand the many factors that can and have resulted in failed marriages.

God’s Word contains basic principles, which should be applied when building a fulfilling marriage that will honor Him. The following General Requirements and Covenant are offered as my sincere attempt to comply with God’s principles for marriage.

In His Love,

Reverend Mark Klimovitz

Premarital Counseling

Is Premarital Counseling for you? The answer is YES. Getting married without Premarital Counseling is like starting out on an important journey without preparing. Half of all marriages end in divorce, and only half of those that endure are truly happy in the long run. Many engaged couples assume that they won’t be a part of that statistic. But, if you just wing it and count on your luck to make your marriage a success, your odds are only one in four. Just a little effort now can make your odds a whole lot better over the long run. You want to do everything you can to ensure that your dreams of a great marriage and a great life are realized.

A minimum of seven sessions of Premarital Counseling are required for couples who have never been married (see schedule below). More sessions may be required for couples where one or both have been divorced or when the couple is living together. Additional sessions may also be required if any areas of concern are identified during the Premarital Counseling sessions. Rev. Klimovitz will make a determination on a case by case basis. Rev. Klimovitz will provide the name(s) of the counselor for the couple to choose from and the wedding couple will pay for the counseling. The couple will also cover the costs of books, materials and assessments used during the counseling period. The wedding couple should be aware that Premarital Counseling will be costly, time consuming, but worth it.

Because marriage is such a serious proposition, Rev. Klimovitz reserves the right to recommend that the couple postpone the wedding if necessary. The couple is free to set a date, but the date should be set far enough in the future that they could easily postpone the wedding if issues arise during the counseling that lead Rev. Klimovitz to conclude there needs to be additional premarital counseling before the couple is married. After all Premarital Counseling is complete, Rev. Klimovitz will meet with the couple as needed to review the counseling and plan the wedding service.

What Is Marriage?

Marriage is the fundamental institution of all human society. It was established by God at creation, when God created the first human beings as “male and female” (Gen. 1:27) and then said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth” (Gen. 1:28).

Marriage begins with a commitment before God and other people to be husband and wife for life. In Malachi 2:14, marriage is viewed as a “covenant” commitment in which God stands as a “witness.” And Jesus says that a married couple constitutes a unity that “God has joined together” (Matt. 19:6). Therefore when a marriage occurs, a man and woman have a new status before God: he now considers them to be husband and wife together.

Some kind of public commitment is also necessary to a marriage, for a society must know to treat a couple as married and not as single. Sexual intercourse alone does not constitute a marriage, as was evident from the conversation between Jesus and the woman at the well in Samaria, where he said to her, “For you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband” (John 4:18). She was living with a man but that did not mean she was married to him, for there had been no public commitment recognized by God or by the community (Ex. 22:16–17).

Both Genesis 2:24 and Matthew 19:5 view the “one flesh” unity that occurs as an essential part of the marriage.

Marriage is a picture of the covenantal relationship between Christ and the church, with the husband representing the former and the wife representing the latter: “This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church” (Eph. 5:32).

Sexual Purity

The Bible views sexual intimacy in marriage as a blessing from God. God said to Adam and Eve, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth” (Gen. 1:28), which implies that God created them so that they would have sexual intercourse together and thereby bear children (cf. Gen. 1:31). Sex is seen within the context of marriage (“his wife,” Gen. 2:24) from the very beginning of creation. After the fall, sexual intimacy in marriage is still viewed positively (see Prov. 5:15–19; Song of Solomon; 1 Cor. 7:2–5).

Sexual intercourse between unmarried persons is also consistently viewed as morally wrong throughout Scripture, from the laws of Moses (Ex. 22:16–17; Deut. 22:13–21) to the teachings of Jesus, who implicitly rebuked the woman at the well for living with someone to whom she was not married (John 4:16–18; cf. also Gen. 38:24; Matt. 15:19 [porneia or “sexual immorality” is distinguished from adultery, and the 1st-century understanding of the word would certainly include any sexual intercourse outside of marriage]; John 8:41; Acts 15:20; 1 Cor. 6:18; 7:2, 9; 1 Thess. 4:3; 2 Cor. 11:2).

Couples must remain celibate and not live together at any time prior to the wedding ceremony. Rev. Klimovitz will not perform the ceremony if the couple is living at the same address. If you are currently living together but move to separate addresses and remain celibate, Rev. Klimovitz will consent to perform your wedding ceremony (James 3:1).

Church Attendance

Couples will cultivate a support system by faithfully attending worship services and joining a small group so they can grow in their relationship with Christ and with other Christians.

Divorce & Remarriage

Divorced persons may be considered for marriage by Rev. Klimovitz if they meet one of these Biblical criteria:

  1. The divorce occurred because of sexual unfaithfulness by former spouse (Matt. 19:3-9)

  2. Divorce occurred prior to conversion (2 Cor. 5:17)

  3. The former spouse is deceased (Rom. 7:2; 1 Cor. 7:39)

  4. Desertion by an unbelieving former spouse (1 Cor. 7:15)

  5. An unbelieving former spouse initiated the divorce (1 Cor. 7:12-15)

  6. Former believing spouse initiated the divorce and has remarried

  7. Remarriage to a former spouse who has not been married to another person since your divorce of that spouse (Deut. 24:1-4)

  8. Extenuating circumstances that are reviewed and acknowledged by Rev. Klimovitz.

Rev. Klimovitz will not marry a couple if either person has been officially, legally divorced for less than one year prior to their engagement.

Counseling Material Resources

  • Preparing for Marriage, Updated Version; Dennis Rainey, David Boehi, Brent Nelson (Regal Books / 2010) ISBN: 0830746404 ISBN-13: 9780830746408

  • Sacred Marriage: What if God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy; Gary L. Thomas  (Zondervan / 2002) ISBN: 0310242827 ISBN-13: 9780310242826

  • Love and Respect for a Lifetime; Dr. Emerson Eggerichs (Thomas Nelson) ISBN: 1404175113

Honorariums

  • Rev. Mark Klimovitz:  At FBC $250.00      Away from FBC $350.00

All honorariums shall be paid at the rehearsal. All checks should be made out to the person not the church.

Church Use Fees

If the wedding takes place at Friendship Baptist Church, the following fees apply and a Building Use Application must be obtained from the Church Office (410) 442.5506.

  • Member use fee: Free
  • Non-member use fee: TBD

Wedding Bulletin

Friendship Baptist Church will gladly assist in producing the wedding bulletin by copying and folding it after it is published in its final form by the wedding couple.

Marriage License

In Maryland, a marriage license must be obtained in the county in which the couple will be married. Friendship Baptist Church is located in Howard County.

Photography & Video

It is the responsibility of the couple to secure a photographer and/or someone to video the wedding ceremony. Because the wedding ceremony is a worship service, no flash photography will be allowed during the wedding ceremony.

Counseling Schedule

Session

Topics

#1 – Rev. Mark Klimovitz

Time Commitment: 90 Minutes

  • Review Premarital Counseling Requirements

  • Review & Agree To Premarital Counseling Covenant

  • Discuss Membership In Church

  • Discuss Baptism

  • Discuss Premarital Counseling Content, Resources & Expectations 

 


 

"Preparing For Marriage"

  • Complete Fully Prior To Session #4
  • Approximately 2 hours per chapter. 1 Hour Individually to complete and 1 hour to discuss together

Sacred Marriage

  • Complete Reading By Session #7 & Review Key Concepts

“Love and Respect for a Lifetime”

  • Complete Reading By Session #7 & Review Key Concepts

Conduct Premarital Counseling Interview

#2 – Counselor

Time Commitment: 60 Minutes

TBD

 

#3 – Counselor

Time Commitment: 60 Minutes

TBD

 

#4 – Rev. Mark Klimovitz

Time Commitment: 90 Minutes

Review & Discuss Counseling Sessions #1 & #2

Review & Discuss “Preparing For Marriage

Discuss Believer’s Baptism If Necessary

#5 – Counselor

Time Commitment: 60 Minutes

TBD

 

#6 – Counselor

Time Commitment: 60 Minutes

TBD

 

#7 – Rev. Mark Klimovitz

Time Commitment: 90 Minutes

Review & Discuss Counseling Sessions #3 & #4

Review & Discuss “Sacred Marriage

Review & Discuss “Love & Respect

 

Premarital Covenants

Pastor’s Covenant

To promote God’s plan for marriage, I covenant to:

  1. Follow God’s plan for marriage as found in Scripture, and implement these General Requirements for the couple I marry.

  2. Teach and counsel that sexual intimacy is a God-given blessing for a married man and woman only, and that any sexual intimacy outside of marriage is a sin and will cause subsequent relationship difficulties. (1 Cor. 6:18-20, Heb. 13:4)

  3. Teach and counsel this couple, if necessary, that reconciliation with God, each other, and anyone else, should be the first priority in restoring sexual purity within this relationship. (2 Cor. 5:18; 1 John 1:9)

  4. Cultivate a support system by encouraging this couple to faithfully attend worship services at Friendship Baptist Church or _____________________________________, and by helping them find a small group where they can grow in their relationship with Christ, and with other Christians. (Hebrews 10:25)

Signed:

 

Date:

 

 

Couple’s Covenant

To prepare ourselves for a marriage according to God’s plan, we covenant to:

  1. Submit to God’s plan for marriage as found in Scripture, and to adhere to these General Requirements for marriage.

  2. To honor God and each other and remain celibate and not to live together at any time prior to the wedding ceremony. (1 Cor. 6:18-20, Heb. 13:4)

  3. If necessary, to seek reconciliation with God, each other, and anyone else, to restore sexual purity within this relationship. (2 Cor. 5:18; 1 John 1:9)

  4. Cultivate a support system by faithfully attending worship services at Friendship Baptist Church or _____________________________________________, and by joining a small group where we can grow in our relationship with Christ, and with other Christians. (Hebrews 10:25)

 

Signed:

 

Date:

 

 

Signed:

 

Date:

 

[Jesus said], “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and 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. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”  (Matthew 19:4-6)

 

Lottie Moon Christmas Offering

Goal: $7,000

Operation Christmas Child Boxes

Goal: 1,000 Boxes Packed

  November 2017  
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