Just a piece of paper-yeah,
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"Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh."
If I've heard it once, I've heard it a thousand times from opponents of marriage-its just a piece of paper. To that I say, "Yeah, right!" I've never believed that those who say, "it is just a piece of paper," believe what they are saying. If it is "just a piece of paper," what are they afraid of?
For many, marriage vows are unimportant. A study cited in a recent edition of Time Magazine indicates that cohabitation before marriage is on the rise, up from 10% in 1960 to 50% 1998. (From FreshIllustrations http://www.freshministry.org/illustrations.html)
Why would 50% of Americans choose living together without the benefit of marriage vows? Maybe its because of the cultural climate. Some people don't seem to take their marriage vows that seriously anymore.
Recently, network television made a mockery of marriage when they asked the question, "Who wants to marry a millionaire?" and turned a sacred institution into a for profit game show. Though I didn't see the show, I did see a news report about it. Things didn't turn out so well for the couple, but really, wouldn't we have been surprised if it did?
A couple of years ago, I read a news report about a groom that stabbed his wife to death just hours after exchanging their marriage vows. What was the argument about that led to murder? Apparently, Louis Deleg, the groom was jealous of an acquaintance of his bride, so he stabbed his bride, Tina Entwistle to death. Those at the wedding reception tried to intervene, but to no avail. (From FreshIllustrations http://www.freshministry.org/illustrations.html)
God's purpose for marriage is in startling contrast to the majority view of our culture. He intended for the marriage relationship to be an intimate, permanent union. God created woman with marriage in mind. Our text says, "And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.  Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh". (Genesis 2:23-24).
In the creation narrative, God looked out over His creation and said the same thing about every thing he created, "it is good." He did not say something wasn't good until He turned His attention to Adam. Look at Genesis 2:18 "Then the Lord God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him."
God's design is for a man and woman to enter into a permanent, intimate
relationship with one another. A relationship like Eddie and Mary enjoy.
Let me read you a letter that Eddie wrote to Ann Landers: