So let’s say I want to make a batch of sugar cookies. I like sugar cookies and this seems to be a good, simple recipe: Easy Sugar Cookies Recipe
So, I take the flour, soda, powder, butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla (yum) and dump it all onto a pan, throw it into a preheated oven and bake for 8-10 minutes and voila! A lovely batch of sugar cookies, right?
Of course not. I skipped a basic, simple, but very important step in the process. Mixing the ingredients together.
This is also true when two people live together and leave marriage out of the process.
As a “couple” they will undergo the same trials and struggles — the heat of the oven if you will — yet without the bonds of marriage, they will not come through those trials better off. While a properly mixed batter goes into the oven as uncooked sugar cookies, the heat solidifies them, sets the mixing of ingredients that took place, and produces something that is sweet and delightful. Unmixed ingredients becomes cooked ingredients… not cookies. Those ingredients also are no longer useful to make cookies. You cannot scrape them off after the fact, mix them and expect positive results.
I won’t get into what the different ingredients might represent in the relationship analogy. Certainly God must be one of the them to have a truly successful marriage. Love, commitment, trust, devotion, selflessness all come to mind as well. And while marriage — the public contract between a man and a woman to join their lives together may on the surface seem a technical and unnecessary step, the truth is that it is very necessary. Just like the mixing of the cookie ingredients.
It reflects a mindset geared to commitment to each other and to God. To go into the union with an attitude that that union is unbreakable and paramount. That it’s bigger than the sum of the parts involved.
In the failed cookie example, all the right ingredients were there. They were all cooked the right amount of time. So why weren’t they cookies? Because they were not properly prepared.
Admittedly some ingredients can be properly mixed, but the batch still fails because either there was too much heat, not enough heat or the timing wasn’t right. But unmixed, the batch will never, ever be successful.
While we’re on the analogy, it could also be said that a worldly view that substitutes fake flour, margarine, and imitation vanilla might produce results that look like sugar cookies and even be “edible”, but will never be as good as the real thing.
And that’s the way the cookie crumbles. 🙂