Happily Ever After 
Wednesday, July 18, 2007, 12:39 PM - Extra Christy, Wedding, Radio
I enjoy pre-marital counseling. Listening to a couple in love talk about their relationship strengths and "growth areas" is always familiar yet new with each pair.

Like "happily ever after" in fairy tale accounts of weddings; I admit I have some stock lines I use: like asking if either of them is going to change their names. The big surprise is when I ask them why they are getting married...a question they don't expect from someone in the wedding business, and one surprisingly hard for some couples to answer.

Another surprise comes when I share the statistic that cohabitating couples are more likely to divorce than those that do not live together before marriage. (This is according to no less than the Center for Disease Control: First marriages that were preceded by cohabitation are more likely disrupted than those that were not preceded by cohabitation. Cohabitation, Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage in the United States 2002 p. 28) Folks are surprised, because they think that "playing house" is a good way to divorce proof a marriage. This points out there is something different between cohabitation and marriage.

Which bring us back to the question about why get married. Our marriage service in the Book of Common Worship says:

God created us male and female, and gave us marriage so that husband and wife may help and comfort each other, living faithfully together in plenty and in want, in joy and in sorrow, in sickness and in health, throughout all their days.

God gave us marriage for the full expression of the love between a man and a woman. In marriage a woman and a man belong to each other.

God gave us marriage for the well-being of human society, for the ordering of family life, and for the birth and nurture of children.

What is your answer? I am drawn to the part about "belonging to each other". It is good to have an answer to the question of "Why marriage?" whether your wedding day is in the future or the past.

Two Become One
But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
The man said,
"This is now bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called 'woman,'
for she was taken out of man."

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.- Genesis 2: 20-24 (NIV)

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