I'm a nearly 30 year old man. I want to pose a question which I feel embarrassed for doing an ungodly thing in my life. I have been in a relationship since the beginning of the year, and my girlfriend and I were having a physical relationship for more than a month. We are planning to get married. I thought that I wanted a church marriage, but I feel guilty about my past behavior. Is it OK for me to go ahead with church marriage or do something else Would the church deny me? Or am I literally right to opt for church marriage?
Marriage has existed from the time man was first created -- long before there were churches (Genesis 2:24). There is no requirement for people to get married in a church building or to have their marriage sanctioned by a preacher. People prefer having a preacher involved in their wedding because a marriage involves a covenant before God (Matthew 19:4-6), but God does not require a church to be involved in a wedding.
What you and your girlfriend did was sinful (I Corinthians 6:9-10). That is a far more critical issue than where you plan to hold your wedding. I'm assuming that the fornication has stopped; if not, it needs to stop immediately. Understanding that it is wrong, you need to change your ways. "For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter" (II Corinthians 7:10-11). And you need to confess to God that you sinned (I John 1:9).