How many times have you heard people say, ‘Marriage is only a piece of paper?’ Is it? I disagree. Marriage, I believe, is a commitment.
Whether you get married in a church, a garden or a registry office doesn’t matter. The promise is the same. You are promising to love and give yourself to another person. It’s a commitment to that person, before God, and even if you’re not a believer, before friends, family and society. It’s both a commitment and a promise.
Yet we hear people say ‘Marriage? Who needs it? We get along fine without it.’ Do they? Statistics prove otherwise.
Years ago I remember doing a course – the name of which now escapes me. I really only remember one fact from that course and that is people who live together before marriage are actually more likely to split up and divorce after marriage than those who don’t live together. At the time I found it hard to believe and wondered why this was so.
Dr Harley of Marriage Builders suggests ‘Don’t live with each other before you marry. Eight-five percent of those who do end up divorced. He gives some reasons why this happens.
Marriage changes things. The act of making that commitment changes the relationship. Because when people marry they are making a firm commitment to each other.
Really listen to the words of the marriage service
‘for better, for worse,
for richer, for poorer,
in sickness and in health,
to love and to cherish,
till death us do part’
and it soon become obvious what a binding promise and commitment people are making to each other. For better or for worse in sickness and in health until doth us do part.
We’ve all heard the, ‘Try before you buy idea. Let’s see if we’re compatible.’ It’s been around for a while. But statistics show it doesn’t work. Look at these statistics if you don’t believe me.
Instead of making divorce easier or encouraging couples to live together, as the parents of someone I know did, we should be encouraging men and women to think more seriously about what they are committing to. We also need to encourage more pre marital classes and training, as my children and their respective partners did, that will help people have a realistic view of marriage, of the problems and joys ahead of them.
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