"Why do you want to get married?" The minister, leading our premarital counseling, asked that question to Lori and me 26 years ago. I think we looked dreamily into one another's eyes and said, "Because we love each other." The counselor just smiled. He then encouraged us that in 20 years, if we followed Christ, that our love would be so much deeper and stronger that we would barely recognize the love of 20 years prior.
Why then did we want to get married? Our counselor said that we should get married if we want to wake up beside one another every day for the next 50 plus years.
I know there are deeper theological reasons to get married. After all, at the end of the day, marriage is not first and foremost about us but about Christ and his church (Ephesians 5). Yet growing out of the gospel are various reasons for marriage that are a part of God's design. One of those reasons is that it is not good that the man should be alone (Genesis 2:18). And so God created a helper fit for him (18).
The band, Three Dog Night reminded their audience in 1969, that one is the loneliness number. Unless God has given a special gift of singleness, it is his design that we get married and not be alone. And for those that he has called to singleness and those that are widowed (for example) they need friendships. Many people are lonely. For those people who are home bound we (all Christians) have a special obligation to visit them as a remedy to their loneliness. For others that are single it is important that they maintain godly friendships.
Marriage, as God has designed it, is one of the great means of eliminating loneliness.
I don't sleep well on those occasions when Lori and I are not together at night. The hotel bed or even my own bed without her is not the same. I toss and turn. I miss her beside me.
I reach for Lori numerous times throughout the night. I need to know that she is there. I am thankful when I wake in the morning that I have someone to wake up to.
26 years ago I did not really understand all of the reasons to get married. The testimony of our counselor has proven, in our case, to be accurate. Even though marriage is challenging, we love one another more deeply than we could have ever imagined those years ago in that counselor's office. One of the things that we both appreciate about marriage is waking up beside one another.
After all, though marriage is many things, it is having someone that we love to wake up to.