In a society that reduces value for marriage by the day, you may have wondered – what's the point? Why can't I just shack up with my girlfriend? Why can't we get married later? Why even get married at all when the divorce rate is so high? These are GREAT questions to ask.
For starters, we know that marriage was created by God for man and woman. It was meant to symbolize the covenant that Christ (groom) has to his church (the Bride). Marriage is not simply the 'next step in a relationship,' it is a covenant between two people that is both spiritually and legally. Even if you pushed the spiritual facets aside, the legal component illustrates that humanity has had a value for marriage for a long time. When laws were instated concerning marriage, they were not simply because the church was in power.
Much more importantly, there are really two fundamental reasons to get maried apart from the spiritual aspects: Commitment and safety, both of with interplay with one another. Commitment is a fundamental longing of the heart. There's a reason we cry as kids when our parents leave for a trip. There's a reason we react strongly to breakups. There's a reason we're afraid to reveal our true selves to the world and even the people around us. If we risk rejection, then we are alone. Chester Kylstra said that abandonment is the root of all roots.
Marriage was designed to satisfy that fundamental fear. In the process of providing guaranteed commitment, we experience the gratification of emotional and psychology safety. We are at our best when we are safe. The interplay of commitment and safety are what make marriage so beautiful.
The problem is that over the years, with the divorce rates steadily (and at times rapidly) increasing, people have reasoned, "Well if there's a good chance this thing ends in divorce then why get married in the first place?" A totally understandable argument. After all, can't you just be committed to someone without actually tying the knot and blowing all that money on an expensive wedding? Of course you can. Plus, then it's cleaner on the other side if you break up, right? Totally fine. The question is this...
Do you really want to handle the most important relationship by playing scared?
If commitment is the goal, covenant is penultimate. While long-term relationships will always provide a degree of commitment and safety, neither will be to the same extent as a covenant. Call me old-fashioned or whatever else you may, I think marriage is for today and I don't think there's anything else that comes even close. What do you think? Would love to hear your thoughts.
Cheering you on,
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