Starting Point of Marriage

People have different opinions about the starting point of marriage.  Some argue that the wedding ceremony is man-made so it should not be regarded as a defining moment.  All that is needed is a marriage certificate and living together is the beginning of marriage.  That is what they claim.  In that case, the next question is why a marriage certificate is necessary.  A marriage certificate is a mere format made by the government to administer family records.  Therefore, the only important thing is to live together and when they do that and share a bed, some claim that is the beginning of marriage.

However, these days so many people live together and share beds.  Now, we wonder whether that is marriage.  To avoid the question, some say that there has to be love to make marriage.  However, people’s emotions change constantly and they also cool down easily.  In that case, when they fall out of love, should we assume that the marriage is over?  Similarly, these days it is confusing and difficult to know when and where marriage starts.  Whenever we stray from God’s way, we experience confusion.

On the other hand, we believe that marriage starts from the wedding ceremony.  In the ceremony there is a concept of dedication and commitment of two people before God.  Therefore, we believe that living together without a marriage ceremony or only after obtaining a marriage certificate is not right.  We believe that marriage starts from the holy commitment of love and caring for each other before God through the marriage ceremony.

If we understand this, we should not focus on how to make the bride and groom to look their best, how to decorate the place for the wedding, or how many wedding guests are coming, etc.  Unfortunately,  that is often the case.  The most important thing for wedding is the grace of God who is present there and having the holy commitment toward each other for life under God.

When a couple have such a mindset, premarital sex is not an issue any more.  Lusting for each other to satisfy one’s own need is not important.  The essential part is the vow to care and protect each other before God.

We see some young couples who come to the US for study and obtain a marriage certificate to start their marriage because they think that they are not in a situation to have a wedding ceremony.  Wedding can be very simple with only a few guests.  However, the presence of God who blesses the matrimony is crucial for their new beginning.  Therefore, I strongly believe that couples should not skip this part before their union.

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