So you want to get married. Why? The title of this little tidbit should tell the whole story! But does it tell your real story? Before taking such a major step in life, an individual needs to ask themselves some very penetrating questions.
       In the Christian theology, while recognizing the mindset of earthly inhabitants at the time that Jesus taught, let us look at what Scripture records as his words:
[Matthew 19:3-12]  Some Pharisees approached him, and tested him, saying, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause whatever?"  He said in reply, "Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female' and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'?  So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, no human being must separate."  They said to him, "Then why did Moses command that the man give the woman a bill of divorce and dismiss (her)?"  He said to them, "Because of the hardness of your hearts Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.  I say to you, whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful) and marries another commits adultery."  (His) disciples said to him, "If that is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry."  He answered, "Not all can accept (this) word, but only those to whom that is granted.  Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so; some, because they were made so by others; some, because they have renounced marriage for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Whoever can accept this ought to accept it."
       The words of Jesus invoked a radical change in the formation of a household in contrast with what had existed for centuries before the coming of the Messiah. In the earlier days, a man’s wealth included the quantity of wives he had (which had been acquired by force or barter.) If "consensual," the woman (or tiny child) had nothing to say about it … it was a prearranged agreement between the men of the two households. Over time it became more common for the future husband to pay a dowry for the bride. Today, hopefully, we fall in love as soul mates and make a covenant to each other in the sight of God to become as one. That’s what it’s all about!
       Usually there was a "favorite" wife chosen to be in charge of household maintenance but all wives were available to be USED by the male head of the household. King David had many wives and children but love and devotion were not mentioned in that setting. However, it is interesting to note that it was different in his recorded relationship with Jonathan: "When he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul … Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul."(1 Samuel 18:1-3) And later, upon hearing of Jonathan’s death, David lamented: "… your love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women." (2 Samuel 1:26)
       Multiple wives and concubines were commonplace in those days and still prevail in some areas of the world today. Have you ever heard of a female having multiple husbands and consorts? Jesus encountered one at Jacob’s Well at Sychar in Samaria:

[(John 4:16-19]  Jesus said to her, "Go, call your husband, and come back." The woman answered and said to him, "I do not have a husband." Jesus answered her, "You are right in saying, 'I have x no husband.'  For you have had five husbands, and the one whom you have now is not your husband.  What you have said is true." The woman said to Him, "Sir, I can see that you are a prophet.
       The early Mormon faith permitted multiple wives but now it is a different story. Jesus was teaching that marriage should be for union of love between two to become as one. It is reported that ancient records have been found that show sanctioned marriages between people of the same gender.
       Word in the above quotation from Scripture … For better of for worse … In sickness and in health … For richer or for poorer …Until death we do part. In other words, two will function as one and lives will be affected and changed from that day forward. That should be the solemn intention of both parties when a marriage is enacted … legal or otherwise. (See article entitled "Speaking of Legality".)
       It’s OK for couples to have some meaningful gesture occur in the ceremony that joins them together; however, the spiritual rituals and vows are the center point of the event.  The purpose and intention need be in their hearts. God doesn’t listen to idle chatter … God reads directly from the soul!
       In the coming together to become one … is it strictly a physical union or is it for a much higher purpose of two non-gender spirits joining together as soul mates in a physical setting? Is it a marriage of convenience or a marriage of love? If we say the union is for convenience, then the motif is strictly for materialistic things. If we say it is for love, is it fair and proper that the union be denied the legal (materialistic) benefits of a legal marriage? If "Caesar" denies those rights to a loving couple, it is unfair but it does not detract from the immense spiritual rights of God’s children.
TO LOVE AND TO CHERISH
by Richard [February 1997]