Why marriage?

I keep thinking about a family wedding I went to a while ago. Seeing people you haven’t seen for years, and listening to another marriage ceremony, does focus your mind – on where your life is going, how your marriage is going etc. It can be quite a sobering affair. I remember finding the marriage address particularly challenging. It was talking about how, in our disposable culture, marriage is very outdated, outmoded and probably seems totally ridiculous to many – and yet people still do it. Even those who don’t hold to the ideals that the institute of marriage was originally built on (this couple had been living together for years, had a child, she had two other children from a previous relationship). Why? What is it about marriage that draws people to it? As the vicar said, it is a leap of faith – it is into the unknown and there are no guarantees. What a risk! The giving of yourself, your possessions, your future dreams… And yet the possibility of sharing your life with someone who will always be there for you, always love you and always champion you is mind blowing! How many of us are still doing that for our spouses in the way that we should? It is certainly true that it is the people who are closest to you that can hurt you the most, and yet how precious a gift it is to have someone alongside you to share the heartaches and pain and also celebrate your successes. Deep down we all long for that – we were built for relationship – and I think that is why marriage is always going to be popular.