More and more people seem to live together for years while never having a wedding.  Or if they do have a wedding it’s just a quick run to the court house with the reason, “It’s just a formality.”

Your wedding is not just a formality.  It is so much more.

A family member of mine lived together with their significant other quite some time before ever getting married, yet in every way they acted married.  On Thanksgiving they would attend one family’s celebration together and on Christmas it was the other family.  They joined their finances and joined their lives.

But something was always off.  And not just because the Scriptures speak against this.

It was always uncomfortable in many ways.  Was this just a passing romance?  Would we would have to all act towards them as if they were married even though they weren’t?  How were we to treat her?  This is my “live-in-law”?

It wasn’t until their wedding that things changed.  And then I understand why:  A wedding lets everyone know that the rules have changed.

It solidifies a commitment not just for the couple but for those around them.  They are no longer just a passing romance or an item, but a committed part of each other’s lives.   There ceremony of covenant is deeply spiritual and is important for the couple but also to everyone around them.

And covenant.

That’s another value of your wedding. It bonds you to another human in a very spiritual way.

Perhaps I saw the power of this more fully when someone I know has been living with their significant other.  She is a Christian and a widow.  She knows better but chooses otherwise.  Initially I wondered if God would extend a little leeway in this case as she was a widow, but know I see more fully God’s wisdom.

She has never been able to make a major life decision in her life because she doesn’t know whether he is fully a part or not.  She hasn’t felt comfortable to move or to stay.  She is always in a terrible limbo because there’s been no commitment.

Add to that now he is riddled with cancer.  She is taking care of him night and day as he descends closer to death.  But there’s no commitment still.  He will day and she will more than likely receive no inheritance, care or rewards of her being the only to help him.  His own children don’t help because they don’t have to, she’s there.

There’s a lack of covenant.

And then I see kids growing up in households where there is no marriage or covenant.  It’s not a secure place for them.   Covenant provides a sense of security for all.

And then there’s the wedding ceremony.

One doesn’t need to go bankrupt with their wedding, but a wedding is a point in life worth celebrating well.  The Bible talks about the great wedding between Christ and his bride.  I’m hoping there to be a great moment with lots of feasting, dancing and celebration.  In fact the very first miracle Jesus did was help a poor couple celebrate their wedding properly.

Our earthly weddings help others understand the joy that will take place in heaven when the Bride of Christ meets her groom.  I don’t know about you but I don’t want the wedding to be “just a formality” but a grand celebration.

Your wedding matters.  Getting married matters.  It’s so much richer, deeper and more important than we understand.