Twelve brides and grooms throw their hats and bouquets in the air in front of Tower Bridge in London, 21 August 2003 to celebrate the London landmark receiving a wedding license.
Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images
The institution of marriage has taken quite a beating in recent years.
It is perhaps no wonder that it has a tarnished image and that young people
have steered away from it in droves. What with constant reports of couples
engaged in bitter conflict while carrying a huge mortgage and a clutch of
unmanageable kids, onlookers could be pardoned for deciding they want no part
Yet, it appears, through interviews, that a majority of the younger generation
still look on a secure, close and committed relationship as being the ideal.
After all, it is natural that we prefer a caring, loyal, loving relationship
Why not a private agreement?
Moving in to live together is a loose arrangement which is prevalent
nowadays. It puts caution before commitment and openness before obligation.
Sometimes marriage is envisaged for later on; for others a ceremony means
nothing. A marriage certificate is only a piece of paper, they say.
But living together without being married can be just as rough as a bad
marriage. True, escape from the arrangement might seem easier, but simple it
is usually not. What about guilt, blame, heartache, memories, revenge, the
future or Children? Why, we hear daily about upset people from this
arrangement just as we do from unhappy marriages.
Relationships don’t just happen, they are
We want care, love, trust, loyalty and support, as we said earlier. If we, as
couples, can give these things to each other, then we will not be afraid of
full commitment. If we stop short of full commitment, we betray our lack of
trust, our lack of true, unconditional love, our temporary loyalty, our
selfish preservation of secret, individualistic options. Living together
without marriage is a poor substitute for the real thing. It is holding back
the very things that can make a relationship a really good one.
To quote the cost of a wedding as the reason not to marry is an excuse. It is
possible to have a satisfactory wedding without spending a fortune. It can be
Why not have the commitment
My question is; why not with marriage? If trust is there, prove it by publicly
saying so. Marriage is more than ‘getting a piece of paper.’ It is
saying before God and man that this woman, this man, is exclusively yours in
the closest of all partnerships. It also declares that you want other people
to witness the sealing of your contract, and that you are so fair dinkum about
it that you will solemnly vow it before God and your relatives and friends.
You are deliberately choosing the course ‘till death us do part’
and those relatives and friends can now support you wholeheartedly in your
We read how Jesus gave His blessing to a marriage that He attended in Israel.
Not surprising, since God invented marriage and blessed the very first one.
His blessing has been on countless marriages since that day and the happiness
that people have experienced can never be computed.
Having the blessing of God on the whole of your life is of utmost importance.
Without it, your life can stray anywhere. To gain God’s blessing means
to bring yourself and all your affairs under His rulership; to give the Lord
Jesus first place in your life. When we submit to the rule of the One who made
us, we can expect life to be different, and it is. Committing ourselves to
Christ as our Saviour and Lord is the most significant commitment of all.