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When is a marriage a marriage?

Uncle Halvor has some thoughts about the conjugal state

My Uncle Halvor was chuckling as he slid into his favorite booth at the No Place Cafe. In fact, I hadn’t seen him in such a good mood for a long time.
“What happened to you? You win the Powerball or something?” I knew he hadn’t gambled since he quit farming.”
I just had a nice, long visit with George Johnson. George and I go way back to grade school. When he got outta high school, he joined the Navy and I never saw him again.”
“So, what did George have to say for himself?”
“Ah, yah! He said he went down to Arizona after WWII. Got into the window blind business and made some pretty good money. He’s come back to Bleak Valley now with his wife, Erma, for a visit.”
“What kind of a life did he have in Arizona?” I wondered aloud.
“Nothing too unusual. He got married, had a couple of kids and then his wife died about l5 years ago.”
“I thought you said he was here with his wife.”
“Yah! You bet!” Halvor said, laughing. “It seems he met this woman at his Lutheran Church and she wasn’t married either. She had graduated from the University of Minnesota with her husband who worked for the DNR or something. They were in Louisiana, had five kids. Then he was transferred to Arizona where he met a ‘trophy wife’ and up and left Erma.”
“Alone with 5 kids! That must have been tough!”
“She managed by herself but was pretty gun-shy about letting another man back into her life. She got the kids college educated so they were grown and gone by the time she and George met. They hit it off real good, traveled all over, even drove their Minni-Winni to Alaska. George says he does all the cooking.”
“That sounds like a pretty good second marriage to me,” I ventured.
“Who said anything about marriage?” Halvor shot back.
“What is it then?”
“They have a ‘committed relationship.’ Have for l4 years now. She loses half of her Social Security if they get legally married. The government almost forces people not to get married the second time. They both got a lot of perks from their jobs which they would lose also, plus the kids don’t have to worry about who gets what when either dies. They’re great Lutheran church members and have to be about the happiest love doves I’ve ever seen. Really seem to be meant for each other! I don’t understand why you smart clergy guys are so against a simple church blessing for a couple like George and Erma, who live in a committed relationship! When you boil it all down, isn’t that what a marriage really is?”
Well … it’s something to ponder.
“Haven’t you read,” Jesus replied, “that at the beginning the Creator made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one. therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” (Matthew 19:4-6)