Ten years ago, my wife and I didn't want to bother with an elaborate wedding, so we just had a civil ceremony. But several months ago, we both committed our lives to Jesus, and now we're wondering if we ought to have a church ceremony also. What would you advise?


As far as the laws of your state are concerned, you’re already legally married, of course, so a second ceremony isn’t going to make you “more married” than you already are — at least as far as most people are concerned.

But I would encourage you to speak to your pastor about restating your vows to each other in a church ceremony. You weren’t thinking about God when you took your vows 10 years ago — but now you know Him, and you know that He loves you and wants to be at the center of your marriage. By re-taking your vows, you’d be admitting your need of Him in your marriage, and recommitting yourselves to His plan for your lives.

Never forget: God gave marriage to us, and when we build our marriages on Him, He’ll help us overcome the hard places that most marriages face. He’ll also teach us the meaning of true love — love that is self-giving instead of self-centered. The Bible says, “If anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him” (1 John 2:5). Remember, too, the Bible’s command: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25).

Recommitting yourselves to each other and to God could also give you an opportunity to point others to Christ — particularly friends you may invite to the ceremony who’ve known you over the years. May God bless you as you seek to walk with Christ every day through your marriage.