I am struck by the number of people that are living together and not married - both those who may be engaged for several years or those who just don't and won't get married. And I am shocked that it is still a "big deal" or seen as something so wrong.
First, in the Bible it doesn't say anywhere that a marriage is this big ceremony that it is today. Nor does it say you must go down to your local government office and get a piece of paper to be official. In fact, the Bible only takes about the agreement or the commitment when it comes to marriage. So if that is the case isn't committing to live with one another and to be only with that one person enough?
I don't know how to answer that...part of me says there is something about the actual wedding ceremony that allows this new step - this commitment - to be recognized by God. But the other part of me knows that many weddings happen in Churches and in front of God just for the pictures and there is no real meaning behind it. And plenty of couples committing to live together have a spiritual bond that involves the Godly.
What I do know is that it seems a bit crazy to me that our divorce rate is so high. That people are getting married more and more times. That when the going gets tough the commitment gets gone and this is not acceptable. I would rather marry a couple who has been together, living together, and has survived some pretty difficult times - for then I know the commitment is true.