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Parents To Attend Wedding

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Parents To Attend Wedding

Postby gilmer » Sat Nov 12, 2016 3:30 am

My question is fairly simple: can JW parents of a JW baptized child attend the wedding of that child to a non JW?  The issue is this, I am not a JW but my fiance grew up as one.  She and I would love her parents to attend, but at the moment they are unsure if they will be able too.  I've looked online for similar situations, but have yet to find some suitable information.  Her parents are also doing research on the matter.  Can you please reference me any previous watchtower or scriptures to in regard to this so that I can present them with it?  Thanks in advance...
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Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 7:27 pm

Parents To Attend Wedding

Postby Horry » Sat Nov 12, 2016 6:06 am

My question is fairly simple: can JW parents of a JW baptized child attend the wedding of that child to a non JW?  The issue is this, I am not a JW but my fiance grew up as one.  She and I would love her parents to attend, but at the moment they are unsure if they will be able too.  I've looked online for similar situations, but have yet to find some suitable information.  Her parents are also doing research on the matter.  Can you please reference me any previous watchtower or scriptures to in regard to this so that I can present them with it?  Thanks in advance...
Posts: 37
Joined: Tue Jan 14, 2014 12:54 pm

Parents To Attend Wedding

Postby chason58 » Sun Nov 13, 2016 2:21 am

Hello Jose,

Here are a couple of references from our publications.  In essence it it up to the conscience of the JW, If you are having a civil ceremony there is very little problem. If you are having a church wedding there is more involved. A JW would not participate in any religious ceremony that might happen.  This could cause some embarrassed on either the JWs or others if people are not well informed

*** w07 11/15 p. 31 s From Readers ***

Is it proper for one of Jehovah’s Witnesses to attend the wedding of a non-Witness relative or acquaintance?

Weddings are joyous occasions, and it is understandable that a Christian would like to share in that joy. Of course, minors invited to attend should defer to their parents or guardians, who have the final say on the matter.(Ephesians 6:1-3) But what if a man who is not one of Jehovah’s Witnesses asks his Christian wife to accompany him to a church wedding? Her conscience might allow her to go merely as an observer determined not to share in any religious acts associated with the occasion.

Basically, then, whether to be present at a certain wedding or not is a matter for personal decision. However, each Christian should be aware of his accountability to Jehovah and ought to consider a number of Scriptural principles when making a decision about attending the wedding of a non-Witness.

Foremost on a Christian’s mind should be a desire to have God’s approval. Jesus said: “God is a Spirit, and those worshiping him must worship with spirit and truth.”(John 4:24) Thus, Jehovah’s Witnesses do not engage in interfaith activities, such as prayers, rituals, or ceremonies that are in conflict with Bible truth.—2 Corinthians 6:14-17.

A Christian recognizes that his or her decision could also affect others. If you decide to attend, will your relatives be offended if you do not fully participate in the wedding festivities? The potential effect on fellow believers also needs to be taken into account.(Romans 14:13) Even if you or other members of your household conclude that attending a non-Witness wedding does not pose a problem, could your spiritual brothers and sisters be adversely affected? Could it injure the conscience of some?

Wedding ceremonies involving non-Witness relatives can present challenging situations. What if you are asked to be a member of the bridal party? Or what if your mate is not a Witness and wants to participate fully? If the wedding is a civil ceremony conducted by a judge or a secular officer, attending it may involve little more than witnessing a legal proceeding.

However, a wedding ceremony held in a religious building or performed by a clergyman raises additional concerns. In order to follow your Bible-trained conscience and avoid compromising your religious convictions or doing something that might prove embarrassing to the wedding party, you may decide to refrain from attending.(Proverbs 22:3) You could spare your family and yourself much stress by explaining your Bible-based convictions beforehand, indicating to what extent you are willing to participate or perhaps suggesting an alternative course of action.

After carefully weighing all the factors, some Christians may decide that it would not be improper to attend a non-Witness wedding as a quiet observer. But if a Christian reasons that by being present, he might be tempted to compromise godly principles, he may conclude that the risk outweighs the possible benefits. If he decides not to attend the wedding but to go as an invited guest to the festivities held thereafter, he should be determined to “do all things for God’s glory.”(1 Corinthians 10:31) In making such decisions, “each one will carry his own load” of responsibility.(Galatians 6:5) Whatever you decide, therefore, remember that preserving a good conscience before Jehovah God is vital.

*** w03 9/1 p. 29 s From Readers ***

In many parts of the world, it is customary to give wedding gifts. What Scriptural principles should we consider when giving or receiving such gifts?

The Bible approves of gift-giving when it is done with the right motive and on the right occasion. In the matter of giving, the Bible encourages true Christians to imitate their generous Provider, Jehovah.(James 1:17) The apostle Paul urged fellow Christians: “Do not forget the doing of good and the sharing of things with others, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” Thus, Christians are encouraged to be generous.—Hebrews 13:16; Luke 6:38.

What about using a gift registry, a common practice in the United States? In England, it is referred to as a wedding list. Typically, a couple with an upcoming wedding registers at a store by reviewing the store’s merchandise and making a list of items that they would like to receive as gifts. Relatives and friends of the couple are directed to the appropriate store to purchase an item from the couple’s registry list. From a practical standpoint, a gift-registry list frees the giver from spending hours browsing for a gift, while the recipients are spared the inconvenience of returning unwanted gifts to the store.

Whether a couple who are getting married wish to use a gift registry is a matter for personal decision. However, a Christian would want to be careful to avoid any practices that might violate Bible principles. For instance, what if an engaged couple were to make up a list containing very costly items? In such a case, those on a limited budget may be unable to provide a gift, or they may feel that it would be better to decline the invitation to attend the wedding so as to spare themselves the embarrassment of bringing an inexpensive present. One Christian woman wrote: “It is becoming overwhelming. I have tried to be generous, but lately all the happiness that I used to find in giving is lost.” How sad it would be if a wedding were to become a source of discouragement!

Certainly, givers should not be made to feel that in order for their gift to be acceptable, it must be purchased at a certain store or fall within a particular price range. After all, Jesus Christ indicated that what is most precious in God’s sight is a giver’s heart attitude, not the material value of the gift.(Luke 21:1-4) Similarly, regarding gifts of mercy to the needy, the apostle Paul wrote: “Let each one do just as he has resolved in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”—2 Corinthians 9:7.

Biblically speaking, there is nothing wrong with identifying oneself as the giver of a gift, perhaps by including a note with a present. However, in some places, it is the custom to identify the giver to all those who are present. This custom can lead to problems. Those giving a present may want to remain anonymous in order to avoid attracting undue attention to themselves. Such individuals act according to the principle found at Matthew 6:3, where Jesus states: “But you, when making gifts of mercy, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing.” Others may feel that gift-giving is a personal matter that should remain private between the giver and the recipient. Moreover, identifying the givers could lead to comparisons of gifts, “stirring up competition.”(Galatians 5:26) Christians surely would want to avoid making anyone feel uncomfortable or embarrassed by publicly announcing the names of the givers.—1 Peter 3:8.

Yes, by acting in harmony with principles found in God’s Word, gift-giving will remain a source of happiness.—Acts 20:35.

*** w02 5/15 p. 28 s From Readers ***

Would it be advisable for a true Christian to attend a funeral or a wedding in a church?

Our taking part in any form of false religion is displeasing to Jehovah and must be avoided.(2 Corinthians 6:14-17; Revelation 18:4) A church funeral is a religious service that likely involves a sermon advocating such unscriptural ideas as the immortality of the soul and a heavenly reward for all good people. It may also include such practices as making the sign of the cross and joining in prayer with the priest or minister. Prayers and other religious exercises contrary to Bible teaching may also be a part of a religious wedding ceremony held in a church or elsewhere. Being in a group where everyone else is engaging in a false religious act, a Christian may find it difficult to resist the pressure to join in. How unwise to expose oneself to such pressure!

What if a Christian feels obligated to attend a funeral or a wedding held in a church? An unbelieving husband, for example, may urge his Christian wife to be with him on such an occasion. Could she join him as a quiet observer? Out of regard for her husband’s wishes, the wife may decide to go with him, being determined not to share in any religious ceremonies. On the other hand, she may decide not to go, reasoning that the emotional pressure of the circumstances could prove to be too much for her, perhaps causing her to compromise godly principles. The decision would be hers to make. She definitely would want to be settled in her heart, having a clean conscience.—1 Timothy 1:19.

In any case, it would be to her advantage to explain to her husband that she could not conscientiously share in any religious ceremonies or join in the singing of hymns or bow her head when prayer is offered. On the basis of her explanation, he may conclude that his wife’s presence could give rise to a situation that might be unpleasant to him. He may choose to go alone out of love for his wife, respect for her beliefs, or a desire to avoid any embarrassment. But if he insists that she go with him, she might go as a mere observer.

Not to be overlooked is the effect our attending a service in a religious building might have on fellow believers. Could it injure the conscience of some? Might their resistance to avoid engaging in idolatry be weakened? “Make sure of the more important things,” admonishes the apostle Paul, “so that you may be flawless and not be stumbling others up to the day of Christ.”—Philippians 1:10.

If the occasion involves a close fleshly relative, there may be additional family pressures. In any case, a Christian must carefully weigh all the factors involved. Under certain circumstances he or she may conclude that no difficulties would arise from attending a church funeral or wedding as an observer. However, the circumstances may be such that by attending, the likely injury to one’s own conscience or to that of others would outweigh the possible benefits of being present. Whatever the situation, the Christian should make sure that the decision will not interfere with his preserving a good conscience before God and men.

*** w61 5/15 p. 320 s From Readers ***

? We are an engaged couple that expect to get married soon and we would like to know if it would be proper for Witnesses to have one of the popular wedding marches played and to throw rice after the bridal party.—J. B., United States.


As for throwing rice, The Encyclopædia Britannica, 1959 edition, Volume 4, page 122, states: “The throwing of rice, a very ancient custom but later than the wheat, is symbolical of the wish that the bridal may be fruitful.” Since this is of pagan origin and, in effect, an invoking of magic, a performing of a rite in the hope of beneficial results, it should be avoided by Christians. As regards other wedding arrangements, moderation is indicated; and it would always seem best to err on the conservative side, exercising more restraint than needed rather than less than what is necessary.—See The Watchtower, June 15, 1952.

I hope those quotations for you and your future in-laws will help you have a happy and pleasant day  
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