Many of you may argue that the marriage certificate is only a piece of paper, it doesn’t really matter, but also bear in mind that a passport, a driver’s license, a deed to your house, or an arrest warrant are all just pieces of paper; however, these papers have great meaning and significance. Marriage, from a religious stand point, is valued as a sacrament because a couple is keeping each others' virtues intact by committing themselves to each other and by committing to God that they will keep His’ word. Marriage, from a non-religious stand point, is the act of showing devotion and commitment of two individuals to each other and a promise between them to stay together for a lifetime. As for divorce, one or both didn't take the above seriously enough. II. DEFINITIONS
Marriage (also called matrimony or wedlock) is a social union or legal contract between people called spouses that establish rights and obligations between the spouses, their children and their in-laws. People marry for many reasons, including: legal, social, libidinal, emotional, financial, spiritual, and religious. Marriages can be performed in a secular civil ceremony or in a religious setting. The act of marriage usually creates normative or legal obligations between the individuals involved. Some cultures allow the dissolution of marriage through divorce or annulment. – Wikipedia.com Marriage is the process by which two people who love each other make their relationship public, official, and permanent. It is the joining of two people in a bond that putatively lasts until death, but in practice is increasingly cut short by divorce. – PsychologyToday.com Marriage is the social institution under which a man and woman establish their decision to live as husband and wife by legal commitments and religious ceremonies. – Dictionary.com Marriage socially recognized and approved union between individuals, who commit to one another with the expectation of a stable and lasting intimate relationship. It begins with a ceremony known as a wedding, which formally unites the marriage partners. A marital relationship usually involves some kind of contract, either written or specified by tradition, which defines the partners’ rights and obligations to each other, to any children they may have, and to their relatives. In most contemporary industrialized societies, marriage is certified by the government. –Microsoft Encarta Marriage is the union of two different surnames, in friendship and in love, in order to continue the posterity of the former sages, and to furnish those who shall preside at the sacrifices to heaven and earth, at those in the ancestral temple, and at those at the altars to the spirits of the land and grain. – Confucius Marriage is a relation of one or more men to one or more women which is recognized by custom or law and involves certain rights and duties both in the case of the parties entering the union and in the case of the children born in it. – Edward Westermarck (History of Human Marriage) III. ETYMOLOGY
The word "marriage" is derived from Middle English “mariage”, which first appears in 1250–1300 CE. This in turn is derived from Old French “marier” (to marry) and ultimately Latin “marītāre” meaning to provide with a husband or wife and marītāri meaning to get married. The related word "matrimony" derives from the Old French word matremoine which appears around 1300 CE and ultimately derives from Latin mātrimōnium which combines the two concepts mater meaning "mother" and the suffix –monium signifying "action, state, or condition."
IV. ADVANTAGES OF MARRIAGE
According to the eminent University of Chicago sociologist, Linda Waite: “Married people live longer, are healthier, have fewer heart attacks and other diseases, have fewer problems with alcohol, behave in less risky ways, have more sex -- and more satisfying sex -- and become much more wealthy than single people. There was one exception to this...