What is Marriage?
A crusty traditional institution
A sacrament of the church
An economic unit for the raising of children
A safe haven in a cruel, dark world
A sharing loving relationship between two people
A school of learning in relationship
A monogamous chapter in serial relationships
A place to have safe sex
All of these ideas were shared in the movie IRA and ABBY, a romantic comedy about a free spirited young woman and psychologists, analysts, therapists, parents and singles all exploring that question.
I have no expertise on defining marriage – none whatsoever. I have officiated a large number of weddings in my youth and exuberance. I took the position that it was a sacred destination and a good thing. In the early 1990s I stopped counting weddings at #200. In 1998, I stopped officiating weddings unless it was for a friend and I referred the folks on to others.
Truthfully, I think I was a part of so many weddings because I was female, ordained, and I wrote services that were personally about the couple and their wishes and dreams. We have no Justice of the Peace system here and our State made a radical move and now anyone can perform a wedding ceremony who is not a felon.
As a religious professional, I am required to have a prayer in the ceremony and I am required to do Pre-Marriage Counseling. You and your partner do not show up for three sessions and I do not perform the service or sign the paperwork – that’s the deal.
I have had one couple send first one and then the other to the sessions because they could not fit it into their schedule. The most recent couples don’t pay any attention they talk about the party and the invitations, etc. Of course, they all talk about the cost of THE DRESS, but I will write about that in another post.
Working with couples who wish to get married is no fun anymore. Most do not care what you say and are running on old steam engine ideas and thinking in terms of thousands of dollars. It is just an elaborate theater production. Most forget to pay the minister most of the time; I understand that churches are now asking for payment in advance, because in my State of Affairs clergy are not allowed to charge for their services.
The average wedding two years ago here cost about $7,000. Currently many of the venues in town want a guarantee of $20,000 in food to use their locations! I just looked up Georgia on Google and an average wedding is running about $30,000 – Georgia has always been the bell of the ball.
So what is this thing called marriage really all about? Is it still a useful institution? Is it really just an institution for the economic security and nurturance of children? Is it just an elaborate party in which one attempts to outdo the other?
I truly value what you have to think about this topic – I am listening…
If you liked this article feel free to subscribe and enjoy more of the postings on this blog!
If you stumble or post this article to twitter we might get more comments about marriage for the survey…thanks!