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Why Get Married?

Why Get Married?

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“Chupah” by chassidic artist Zalman Kleinman
“Chupah” by chassidic artist Zalman Kleinman

Question:

In today’s world, is marriage still relevant? Unlike a hundred years ago, a couple today can live together without getting married. What are they missing? (This is not a theoretical question for me . . . )

Answer:

Marriage is more relevant today than ever before in history. Marriage used to be a given. Now it is a choice. All the old arguments for marriage have fallen away, and we are left with only one true reason to get married. We can finally get married for the right reason.

What were once good reasons to get married are largely irrelevant today. Here are four classic reasons to get married:

So we can live together. As you pointed out in your question, this reason no longer applies to the many couples who live happily together without getting married.

So we can have children. Again, it is possible to have children and be wonderful parents without getting married.

To make a solid commitment. That’s a charming one. We are getting married to make it harder to walk away from each other. How romantic.

To make our relationship official. You could achieve that by placing an announcement in the newspaper saying, “We are now official.” You don’t need a caterer to serve gazpacho soup in a ballroom just to make it official.

So what are we left with? If not to live together, to start a family, to make a commitment or to make it official, why get married?

There’s only one reason.

Marriage makes a relationship divine. Getting married means that something bigger than both of you is bringing you together. A wedding achieves something that simply can’t happen otherwise: G‑d is introduced into the relationship.

Until they are married, a couple’s commitment to each other is a human commitment, with all the limitations of being human. We can’t see the future, we can’t know what may change and what may eventuate, and we make mistakes. The chupah elevates the commitment beyond human limitations. The blessings made under the chupah invoke G‑d’s name upon the couple, and bring G‑d into the union as a partner. You are married not just because you chose to be, but because G‑d has said so.

Without a chupah, you can have love, commitment and family—but it isn’t holy. Only by standing under a chupah and marrying according to tradition does your union become sacred. Only after the wedding is your love blessed with the divine imprint of eternity.

Aron Moss is rabbi of the Nefesh Community in Sydney, Australia, and is a frequent contributor to Chabad.org.
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Anonymous Berhampur March 25, 2017

Why should a person get married? Reply

Anonymous Israel December 7, 2016

Holy and Sacred So that begs the question, what's the point of making a relationship "holy" and "sacred"? Reply

CK usa September 17, 2016

maarriage At one time marriage was a social contract where each person brought something to the marriage that helped the other person survive. This is no longer needed. I think there are benefits to intimacy and marriage if someone is a sibling. As an only child I have felt no need for another's input. Reply

Anonymous September 15, 2016

I thought this was spot on. It makes sense. But during the dating period isn't G-d present as well? Reply

Anonymous san antonio April 16, 2015

This doesn't do it for me So.. Why get married? As someone in this terrible institution I realize there are no benefits as a man to be married.. Not 1. Unless losing yourself, losing your goals and dreams, answering to another person and losing your finances is what u desire. Can't wait to correct my mistake. Reply

Chuck Knig Massacusetts. January 1, 2015

All of that still does not one solid reason for marrying. Not one. Reply

YEVGENIY FURMAN Springfield Township September 8, 2014

Say I do not believe in God and do not buy that act of marriage makes the relationship sacred. Are you saying that I getting married is redundant if all I am looking for is a "human" ( in the most dedicated romantic sense possible)?

I also have issues with "To make a solid commitment" paragraph. Romantic or not, the act of getting married ( and full realization that getting out of this arrangement is hard) will force one to think twice about getting in the relationship. Through the history, the act of marriage has been a cold blooded ( seeking financial stability, protection, etc etc) decision rather than based on pure love. Only in the recent history both men and women are so independent as to be able to make marriage decision purely on feelings of love. Reply

Oksana Dashwood March 29, 2014

Married and can tell you there's no point I have been married for 12 years, mostly happily. We were in love and married for religious and societal pressures reasons. And I can tell you from years of personal experience, study and contemplation that no one needs marriage to be happy. If anything, commitment breeds complacency and destroys romance. We are now divorcing to live together as an unmarried couple in love. All the while I spent wondering what's so special about marriage, brought me to the conclusion that there's absolutely nothing about this outdated patriarchal institution of coverture that I wish to support. Can't wait to get it out of my life. Reply

Anonymous Boise, ID December 11, 2013

Holy Union Before I read the last paragraph, I would have told you that I would never marry, again. I always thought of marriage for the purpose of raising children and mine are fully grown. Reply

Babydoll portsmouth, va December 10, 2013

Marriage is a gift from God. He arranged the first marriage in the
garden of Eden and said: That is why a man will leave his father and his mother and he will stick to his wife, and they will become one flesh. When you live together without being married, you do not have God's blessing. Reply

B. R. Dungca Barrigada,, Guam via chabadoregon.com August 6, 2012

Why Get Married? In today's society where the majority of my daughter's friends are living together, and some of them are still together and others have moved on to another partner, I almost believe that this has become a normal part of life. Even though my parents were married for 48 years before my mom passed away and my husband and I are still married after 28 years, deep down in my soul, I still feel strongly that there must be a higher spiritual being bringing two people close to one another, giving meaning to their lives and their children's lives. So, as much as I see and read about people living together, no one could possibly be at peace or feel a sense of higher spiritual value unless they are married in the eyes of the Lord. Everything prior to marriage is based solely on human factors (weaknesses/strengths/etc. We should be looking at a person's soul. We should be able to make Love to a person and not to a body. Being married is definitely worth it! In the eyes of a Holy Being, it is! Reply

Shlomo GTO, Mexico July 3, 2012

Marraige, Jewish and Hashem I think choosing the right female for "marraige" is a very difficult thing to do, although a person could probably discipline themselves to love maybe anyone. Personally. now, I believe that if I decide that Hashem wants me to be with this person, that I also love them and that they love me, whether it's finalized by the chuppah and ketubah, once I am intimate with them, that is the marriage and sacred in my view. Never to be treated lightly or irreverently. There is no document or other person that can actually "marry you", it's all in the kavannah or deep intention of the two people involved (with Hashem over all their actions). The rest is icing on the cake. Reply

Gloria Urban Toledo, OH/USA July 3, 2012

I love this I love bringing the Divine into a relationship. How precious to know, a Three-fold-cord cannot be broken. Reply

izzy nmb July 2, 2012

Thank you very nicely put - so true so simple - which is exactly why all the "intellectuals" hate it Reply

Amy Greensboro, NC via jewishraleigh.org July 1, 2012

Did you read the article? Simply marriage is divine, holy. Argue if you must, but it does not change what marriage is. Reply

Anonymous July 1, 2012

very geshmak! I realy enjoyed your article, thank you! Reply

Anonymous Vizag, India April 25, 2012

about marriage Don't marry any one.Live happily for ever.
No one will disturb u. U do what u like.
Live happily with your thoughts and reach your goal.

With out marriage a man can live happily.
Reply

Lis NYC January 10, 2012

Um... Why is everyone freaking out that religion was mentioned? This is a Jewish site... I'm not Jewish, but I don't expect deity to be skipped over on a religious site. Reply

Katy edmonton, canada December 20, 2011

Marriage My boyfriend/fiance and I have been together for almost 10 years now and we have a 4 year old son together. We are not married but our relationship works and we are happy together. We have the odd fights just like other couples..married couples..but we never go to bed angry. It was something we were both taught as little kids..and that is why our relationship works. Marriage is sacred to my family and they have been pushing us to get married..but the divorce rate in both of our families are high...do we really want that for us? We have lots friends that have gotten married and half of them are unhappy about their marrige and 25% ended up divorcing. I have nothing against marriage but I'm glad that it's not a mandatory thing to do. Reply

Irene Cape Town, South Africa September 27, 2011

Why get married I was married for 12 years, divorced for 28 years but have lived with my new partner for 15 years. Now we are getting married you might ask why- we both love each other for what we are, not for what we might be getting out of this union. We both know each other inside out. Its a pleasure for both of us to make each other happy. We've never said bad words about each other, we've never fought. We often say to each other how lucky we were to have found each other. We take nothing for granted and are thankful for everything. Reply

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