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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Just a Piece of Paper? - Marriage Matters

By TIFFANY DAWN NICHOLSON (TDNphoto) from Chicago, usa (_DSC7698)
 [CC-BY-2.0 (]

, via Wikimedia Commons
“Marriage is just a piece of paper.”  It’s a popular phrase these days.  If, though, it were “just a piece of paper,” you’d get one. Marriage is presently in sharp decline, but I believe that marriage matters.

 Marriage matters because it is about trust and permanence.  It is about creating safety for children and a place where they can feel secure that those they love today will be here for them tomorrow.

Marriage matters because it encircles, in constancy, the physical giving of self which creates life, and shields that action from devaluation.  Marriage affirms that physical union is much more than physical, but also creates a permanent linking of hearts and souls that is not broken without creating permanent fissures.

Marriage matters because it is assurance that before you break your heart wide open to give it to another, you can trust in that person's intention to stay around to protect your wide open heart.

Marriage matters because once you engage in sexual activity you are not simply engaging in recreation or demonstration of affection, you are  becoming one with another person, forever changing the framework of your emotional and spiritual being, and inviting the creation of life. We all know that contraception is not foolproof.  If you are inviting the creation of life outside of the bonds of marriage, you are inviting a child to live life without a father. Marriage matters because children need fathers and society needs children to have them.  

Sure, marriage is not a guarantee of commitment to lifelong union for some, but electing not to marry guarantees it for no one.  Certainly, there are individual circumstances and people fall short of the ideal, but that is no reason to voluntarily scrap ideals all together. Marriage matters because you matter and children matter and society-at-large matters.

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  1. Thank you for this! I am a newly-ish wed (we just passed out 2 year anniversary) woman, and I recently got into a disagreement with a long-time friend over a Facebook post where she called marriage "just a piece of paper" with no place in her relationship with her bf. This woman was married previously and has a young son from that marriage, and her husband was apparently an unpleasant person and this divorce was very bad for her financially.
    I responded to her post calmly and said that, while I recognize the rights of others to choose marriage or not, marriage means a lot more to me than the paper certificate, and I pointed out some legal concerns that she might not have been aware of. She responded angrily that I was obviously not married, and when I corrected her, she told me that I should come back after 9 years (how long she was married) and tell her if I still feel the same way! As though everyone who is married becomes miserable! What a sad and unfortunate viewpoint...

    1. I'm sorry you were met with such an angry response. Good for you, for supporting marriage, even at the risk of attack. I'm sure that her viewpoint grew out of pain. Surely some people have negative experiences, but it is equally true that many people have very positive ones. At 23 years, I can say that my marriage is a very contented and happy place for us, and has been for most of our journey together.

      You know what though? At around 9 years or so, it may not have been. I can't remember. We have had rough spots and smooth spots, but my husband and I have always both believed that marriage is forever. It is my belief that when people approach it that way, happiness can be realized, even if it takes a while to find harmony.

      As I have repeatedly said, you have to be even more committed to marriage than you are to the person you are married to. Marriage is a vocation, and it is a vocation that brings deep and abiding joy.

      Thanks for stopping by, and for your valuable comments.



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