By Alan Bailey
Getting married is still fairly popular but not as popular as simply living together. We have husbands, wives and partners. And who should question it? After all, what people do in relationship is their business.
Well now, if the de facto position is defensible, why should it all be a taboo subject? Let’s take a quick look at two sides of the question.
Partners may say,
- We have an understanding between us and that’s all that matters.
- Marriage is only “a piece of paper.”
- Man-made rules have no weight as far as we are concerned.
- There are advantages financially—saving on wedding expenses—saving up for later consideration of marriage—sharing of accommodation.
But think of the following:
- A marriage ceremony is making public what has been a private commitment: and for good reason. They are telling those who witness the ceremony, and the world around them, that they are claimed, spoken for, each by the other, and are no longer open to anyone else’s advances.
- Marriage is not merely a human idea. The Bible shows it to be God’s invention. There are rules and conditions that apply. For example: Marriage should be honoured by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral (Hebrews 13:4). Redefining marriage is a perilous way to go.
- Legal marriage provides safeguards of accountability. Loved ones and friends are invited to stand by the couple in their vows and be a support for them. The vows bring to light the virtues of trust, faithfulness, thoughtfulness and ceaseless love. Serious vows taken seriously mean more than “a piece of paper.”
- Living together is a second class option. Either party can choose to walk out any time. One partner can be seduced and there are lesser restraints in place. Then come heart-burnings over rights to money, property and children.
Now I know that all these problems can and do come to marriages. But why not settle for the better option. Why not commit to each other wholeheartedly? If you really love the man or woman in your life, tying the knot is the most precious way to affirm your undying commitment to each other.
Let’s recognise that God knows best.•