Marriage is the oldest ritual in existence. It has evolved over a millennium, but the core tradition is the same. It is a sacred event that symbolizes a choice made between two individuals to devote themselves to each other. Some would say that it is forever, and one would hope that it would be. Statistically and realistically, this is not the case though. Does this mean we shouldn’t marry? That is an excellent question and one that should be answered by each couple.
Some would say, including me at times, that a piece of paper shouldn’t be what dictates who I love. As true as it is that the marriage license doesn’t dictate who you love, I think that it takes away from the purpose of getting married. That’s the real question that should be asked. Why am I getting married? There are advantages to getting married that go beyond the question of love. Social and work benefits, taxes, financial security, a continuation of lineage, and health decisions are all advantages to getting married. In ancient times, many civilizations didn’t even have a word for marriage. All you had to do was move in with one another and you were considered a couple.
However, consider this. “Legalizing” marriage does provide benefits, but perhaps the real benefit to marriage is a declaration of love. Marriage is showing the world that you have entered a commitment or contract with another person that is based in love. It is a very public way of expressing your profound love for another human being. It indicates your deep trust and faith that your love stands as a shield against the world, its devices, and any who would attempt to breach your relationship.