The divorce rate is sky-high. Weddings are expensive. And to fight tooth and nail about the remote is not your idea of fun. Yet, people have been marrying for centuries – and it is a practice that won’t die out soon. Why not? Because marriage is still a good idea.

Like most women, I am a sucker for a nice wedding. The romance that fills the air together with the smell of perfume and fresh flowers, the white dress, the cute flower girls and the moment when the groom gets to see his young bride walking down the aisle, are all priceless. And for the people who witness the occasion it is a good opportunity to shed a few sentimental tears.

But there are a few sceptical ones between us who present some arguments why marriage is no longer relevant. One of these is that formal paperwork often spoils a good relationship. Why would you want to get married when you could get everything you need by just living together, without the complexity that accompanies a marriage contract?

We give you a couple good reasons:

Marriage is still a good idea, because…

  1. You have your best friend with you – all the time! If you choose the right partner, you wouldn’t pick someone who is not one of your favourite people. After all, you chose your spouse because you like him/her very much, and isn’t it good to always have your best friend with you?
  2. Every child deserves to have a formal family structure. There is plenty of research to support his fact. Children who grow up with parents who are married are, amongst others, more likely to receive tertiary education, less likely to be physically or sexually abused, less prone to alcohol abuse and juvenile delinquency, and are less likely to get divorced themselves one day.
  3. Your love is something to celebrate! In a sceptical society, to find someone who can finish your sentences and make you feel warm and fuzzy is wonderful – something that should never be taken for granted, but rather something that should be celebrated.
  4. It is nice to come home to someone who is happy to see you. Life out there is definitely not for the faint-hearted. When you had a rough day at the office, your boss humiliated you, you spilt your coffee over your desk and you are starting to get the flu, it isn’t fun walking into an empty house. It is much better to fall into the arms of someone who would tell you that everything will be okay.
  5. You can learn more about yourself by sharing experiences with your spouse. People shape each other and we need others to make us better. Your partner was formed in a certain way before he/she met you, but as you grow together in your relationship, you are cultivated through the relationship – which can contribute to your relationship, says Daniel Passini, author of the blog Living by Christ.
  6. Research shows that marriage makes you happy. Scientists looked at findings from two studies conducted in the United Kingdom to find a link between the extent of people’s happiness and whether they are married or not. They found that being married is much more beneficial to a person’s overall wellbeing.
  7. You need someone through thick and thin. Imagine receiving the best news ever but not having anyone to celebrate with. Imagine receiving really bad news, which you have to carry alone. It is just so much better to celebrate the good times with a partner and be able to depend on the same person in less happy times.
  8. Marriage can make you live longer. Researchers at Harvard University found that married people are much more likely to detect prostate, lung, colon and other cancers earlier and get treatment than their unmarried counterparts. The study also shows that married people are less likely to die from cancer than single people. (com)
  9. Marriage involves spiritual, physical and mental unity. Intimacy is the opposite of loneliness and deep within every person is a yearning for intimacy, writes Gary Chapman on his website, Marriage was designed to fulfil that deep desire for intimacy, he believes. It is the coming together of two souls in the deepest way possible, when two lives become one, intellectually, emotionally, socially, spiritually and physically.
  10. Marriage keeps you safe. Psychologists and researchers at Ohio State University believe that married people take less risks and are less likely to abuse drugs than people who are not married (even those couples who live together), according to the website
  11. It forces us to take responsibility for our choices. When you get married, you make a deliberate choice to choose your spouse every day. If you aren’t married, it is easy to turn your back on the choice you have made and walk away from it. The better way, however, is to take responsibility for your choice and to make it work.
  12. Marriage is an idea from God and it brings blessing on your life. God has been the designer of marriage since the beginning and it has never changed. His plan is for husband and wife to reflect God’s nature wherever they go, that they will work together in unity, be a testimony of God’s great love for people and that they will raise their children to serve Him. (com)

These are only 12 of the many benefits of marriage. When considering number 12, it is clear why marriage is so incredibly beneficial – it is how God wants us to live in love. Yes, the marriage contract may complicate things a bit, but who ever said that love should be simple?

As Dave Willis puts it: “Great marriages don’t happen by luck or by accident. They are the result of a consistent investment of time, thoughtfulness, forgiveness, affection, prayer, mutual respect and rock-solid commitment between a husband and wife.”

Additional source: “Why marriage matters: 26 conclusions from the social sciences,” Bradford Wilcox, Institute for American Values.