This along with 1 Timothy provide 24 standards for being a leader in the Church. “Above reproach” does not mean without sin, but it means there is a clear pattern in his life focused in serving and obeying God and has a reputation for doing so. Leaders should live a life worthy of imitation. Unfortunately, the pursuit of righteousness doesn’t get headlines anymore. This leaves our society with a lot of questions for people on what is right and what is wrong. The Church has the answer and this is our opportunity to share it.
In this culture is was normal for men to have a legal wife but carry relationships with several women unapologetically. Divorce was very very common. So when Paul writes that the leader in the church was to be a one woman man, this was as rare a case as it is now. The world would tell us that monogamy is unnatural. Indeed it runs against our sinful nature. Loving your spouse unconditionally requires you to lay down your lives sacrificially. We are to love our spouse as Christ loves the Church…he died for them, even while we were sinners. We are to love our spouses even when they are sinners. That’s not a message our culture wants to hear.
Pastors have the 3rd highest divorce rate of all occupations. The powers of evil make it a high priority to attack marriages, as marriage itself is an institution from God.
Verse 6 – a leader/elder must not have children under their authority who are being disobedient or rebellious. This verse does not mean the children must be saved. The salvation of anyone is up to God, not their parent.
We cannot find any verse requiring a church wedding for a Christian couple in the scriptures. .
Hi Valarie, thank you for your comment. I do not think there is any requirement in the Bible for a “church wedding.” In fact the Bible doesn’t define the wedding process at all, but it does identify that it happened and it was important, and that God approved – Jesus attended them afterall. So in my opinion, and I am certainly no authority on the subject, the Bible teaches that marriage is good, it is what God intends, it is a bond ordained by God, but the process itself is somewhat left up to the culture of that time. Today there are government regulations and requirements for paperwork, etc. to be identified by the government as being married. But marriage predates government organization of this type, so God has some other method of defining the marriage ceremony. In the end, I do not think it matters in God’s eyes where the wedding takes place, but what the states of the hearts of those 2 getting married, and do they indeed recognize that marriage is part of God’s plan and they submit to that. Hope that helps!