Lutherans/not being married


I am 60, I live with a man that I love deeply and him me. We are completely committed  to each other. If we got married I would loose my medical Ins. I need medical ins. Does the Lutheran church accept this, for I am catholic and planning on changing my church. I feel my hands are tied on this, and just want to go to church and feel like I don't stick out as a sinner, and cant take communion


Thank you for your question.  Sometimes life does present us with some usual and complex situations, doesn't it?  I understand your dilemma and your need to maintain your insurance.  

While marriage is the preferable situation most of the time, there are times that things are not as black and white as we would like.  I can also tell you that, as ELCA Lutherans, we don't make a habit of excluding people from Communion, or shunning them in any way, for situations such yours.  There are people in our congregation who live together, or who lived together before I married them. They are welcomed, active members of our faith community.  

Obviously, I think it is better that people are married.  Practically, I am aware that life is complex, messy, and that good, faithful people find themselves in lots of situations that they had not planned to be in.  That doesn't make them bad, it makes them human.  God accepts us in our incompleteness, our brokenness, even in our messiness. I feel that if you love one another, and are faithful to one another, and have promised yourselves to each other -- isn't that what a marriage is in the sight of God?  Not officially, of course, but in a deep way that matters, a way of the heart and the will.  There is a difference between a legal marriage and a faithful, monogamous, promised relationship. Find a grace-based congregation, that accepts people, that has an "open Table" at Communion, and honors the Jesus that accepted all types of people, even the "not perfect" people.  I would begin with an ELCA Lutheran Church as a start and see if it fits.

Blessings on your journey,
Martin Eldred


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Martin W. Eldred


I have been a Lutheran Christian for 55 years and a Lutheran pastor for almost 27. I can answer most general questions about Luther, Lutheran History, Lutheran Theology, and a Lutheran approach to Biblical Interpretation. I am ELCA, for those who know what that means, and I tend to be moderate theologically. I hope that I can converse with those that are either more conservative or liberal than I, and especially with those who are really just seeking.


Pastors are "generalists" and generally have a working knowledge on many subjects. We are also used to working with a variety of answers from a variety of people. I teach a great deal, especially in the area ofthe New Testament. I particulalry enjoy the Pauline literature.

I have been a member of the Society of Biblical Literature, an international gathering of biblical scholars and teachers, since the late 1980s.

I have written a few book reviews for the journal, "Lutheran Quarterly."

I have a B.A. from Pacific Lutheran University in Religion (Biblical Studies)and a Master of Divinity from Wartburg Theological Seminary, and I am currently completing a PhD in New Testament.

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