We have some friends who have lived together for nearly 30 years and have never gotten married. They have two beautiful children, who are grown now, and have always maintained a home and life together just like a married couple. If you ask them why they never married the usual reply is “It’s just a piece of paper.” So, I thought is it just a piece of paper or are there good reasons to get married.I started making a list and at the top of the list are our traditional reasons of God ordains marriage, family and children. Society accepts the union of a couple more readily if they are married, because you always get the question, “Is this your wife or husband?” and although society is getting more liberal, we still tend to frown on living situations that are different than traditional. Besides, I have never heard a name or title for the significant other that doesn’t sound stiff or snobbish, “lover”, “friend”, “other half”, even “boyfriend”or “girlfriend” loose their charm after a few years. So how do you introduce this person you have lived with for years?Financial institutions approve loans more quickly if there is the double income of a married couple to stand as collateral. Because, let’s face it if there is no “paper” to bind a couple together very few couples would weather the storms of life together, and many choose to walk away from debt. When having a husband or wife does not guarantee that they will stay, but it does make the financial obligations fall to both parties.All acceptable reasons to get married, but still I thought there has to be good reasons that affect a couple monetarily. Then I thougt about getting old and getting Social Security benefits. My mother gets a small amount each month because she worked and paid in Social Security, but she also receives an extra amount because she is the widow of my Dad who paid in Social Security for many more years than she did and at a higher rate because his income was more than hers. You would not qualify for spousal benefits from Social Security if you never had a spouse.Also, the State of North Carolina does not recognize “Common Law Marriage”, so if your significant other died without leaving a Last Will and Testament, by the intestate distribution law spelled out by our North Carolina General Statutes, you would not inherit anything from your significant other. The Statutes list in specific order who shall inherit from the deceased and they are all either related by blood or marriage. So perhaps there are a few good reasons to get married, but I am sure if we wanted to debate the pros and cons, there are reasons not to get married. Hebrews 13:5 “Marriage is honourable”.