South Dallas pastor Bryan Carter of Concord Church has a message for couples who’ve been living together but aren’t married: get married or move out.
Many couples at Carter’s church have taken on his challenge.
“It’s radical. It can be a little bit in your face if you’re not careful. But our hope is to call people to follow after Christ,” said Carter. “Our hope is that not only are we challenging your thought process about marriage and family, but also we want to give you tools.”
The agreement for those couples? You enter 10 weeks of counseling and a decision to marry. The church is set to take care of the rest.
“If you’re living together and you want to get married but financially it’s not a good season, we’ll take care of the tuxedo, dress, reception. We’ll help you get there,” Carter said.
This isn’t a new phenomenon for Carter. In fact, he’s been doing it since 2009 and some 200 couples have come forward. Following the pre-marial counseling, couples get a chance to walk down the aisle and take vows in a group wedding.
“We’re offering counseling. We’re offering a free wedding. We want to help you step into the best possible space you can in your marriage and family,” he said.
If marriage isn’t the answer, the church will help pay for a month’s rent if someone in the relationship will agree to move out. Why is he doing it? Well, his belief is tied to scripture.
“The scriptures teach us the value of marriage,” said Carter, “So for us if you’re living together we believe that there’s a better way.”