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A Defense of Marriage

Tags: marriage
Why Defend Marriage?
     At the time of this writing, the Supreme Court of the United States of America will be deciding whether to change the definition of marriage.  I believe an outcome in favor of changing the nature of this age old institution will cause great confusion and spell great ruin to our country.  This writing is an attempt to share why I believe marriage can only be defined as the union of one man and one woman.  There is a sense in my mind that the things shared here are self-evident and that it is only because of a mass campaign to distort truth that this subject would even become a serious debate in our country.

Marriage According to the First American Dictionary
     The first thing I'd like to share is the traditional meaning of marriage.  Noah Webster, who wrote our first dictionary, gave a straight forward definition of marriage:

  Marriage: The act of uniting a man and woman for life; wedlock; the legal union of a man and woman for life. Marriage is a contract both civil and religious, by which the parties engage to live together in mutual affection and fidelity, till death shall separate them.

Marriage According to Jesus
     There are those who say, "Which definition of marriage shall we take?  There are lots of definitions."  Why not take the definition of the author of marriage?  The definition that God gave is really not that complicated.  In fact, Jesus spoke some very clear words about marriage.  He was asked a question about divorce from the Pharisees, and he answered the question by giving the definition of marriage.  He started out His discourse on marriage with the question, "Have ye not read that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, 'For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?'" 

Marriage According to an Old Bible Dictionary and a Warning
     I have an old Union Bible dictionary from 1837.  I looked up marriage to see the definition they had.  After carefully opening the old brittle book this is what I found:

 Marriage (Matt. xxii.2) is a divine institution. (Gen. ii.21-25). It is also a civil contract, uniting one man and one woman together in the relation of husband and wife."

     The first reference given in this old book is a parable that Jesus gave. Jesus begins the parable by saying, "The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son."  Marriage is a picture of things heavenly.  After explaining five reasons for marriage the old Union Bible dictionary gives this warning a little further in the entry:

 "No sins are more frequently and pointedly condemned by the Bible, than such as violate or impair the sacredness of the marriage relation; and nothing is wanting to raise this to the highest, purest, and most sacred relation in which two human being can stand to each other, but obedience to the precepts of the Holy Scriptures on this subject."

Why Marriage?
     The second issue I'd like to share is the reason why marriage was instituted.  Noah Webster gives this reason within the definition of marriage by writing this:

"Marriage was instituted by God himself for the purpose of preventing the promiscuous intercourse of the sexes, for promoting domestic felicity, and for securing the maintenance and education of children."

     The reasons for marriage which are described above are self evident.  The first was to encourage a life long bond between the sexes as opposed to people jumping from relationship to relationship. It was naturally assumed that people would know that that men and woman were made for each other.   The second is happiness within the home.  When things are done in God's order there is a happiness that comes with it. The third reason is the welfare of the children .  Parents are to provide children with their physical and educational needs.

God's Reason For Marriage
   In Malachi 2:15 we learn the reason God has for marriage.  There we read that God made marriage that He might seek a godly seed. Because man was made for God's glory it would behoove us to honor the Creator's purpose for marriage.  We live in a day when many of the rulers and people of the land are against the Lord and against his anointed.  They say, "Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us."  They say, "We will not have this man to reign over us."

Pragmatic Reasons, Including the Consequence of Judgment
     There are many good reasons that the definition of marriage should not be changed from a pragmatic viewpoint. Of particular concern is that fact that promoting the union of people of the same gender will leave children without a father or mother.  This is a denial of the value that a man and woman bring into the family unit.  It has long been acknowledged that it is a hardship for a child to lack the role models of a father and a mother.  Why would there be an encouragement to deprive a child of the protection of a father and the nurturing of a mother? Another reason to not change the definition is that it would be a huge experiment with no previous knowledge of the long term consequences.  Even the ancient Greeks and Romans, who practiced all kinds of licentiousness, knew better than to play with the meaning of the age old institute of marriage.  While I believe that the government should have a vested interest in keeping the traditional definition of marriage because it makes sense to not play an experiment of this magnitude on the population, the more important reason is that we should not dare to contradict God's design in this most fundamental institution.  To distort the meaning of marriage is to invite judgment much like the makers of the Titanic which said, "Not even God can sink this ship." The manner in which God judges is not always immediate in all of its scope.  In a poem entitled "Retribution" Henry Wadsworth Longfellow describes the way God often judges:

Though the mills of God grind slowly;
Yet they grind exceeding small;
Though with patience He stands waiting,
With exactness grinds He all.

A New Idea - Reinventing the Wheel
     Do you remember seeing illustrations of how carts might have had square wheels, but as man got smarter he learned that a round wheel was more efficient?  I doubt man ever had square wheels, but it seems like redefining marriage would be like trying to reinvent a wheel to be square instead of round.  Here in New York, there was an effort years ago to redefine marriage in our state.  It was first rejected by the New York Court of Appeals before becoming law by the legislature.  The reason it was rejected by the court was stated in these words:
“The idea that same-sex marriage is even possible is a relatively new one. Until a few decades ago, it was an accepted truth for almost everyone who ever lived, in any society in which marriage existed, that there could be marriages only between participants of different sex. A court should not lightly conclude that everyone who held this belief was irrational, ignorant or bigoted. We do not so conclude.”
Hernandez v. Robles, 7 N.Y.3d 338, 361 (2006).

Will Marriage Change?
     Marriage will remain one man and one woman united for life no matter who seeks to redefine it.  William Cullen Bryant observed, "Truth, crushed to the earth, shall rise again."   Like as a rose that is just as sweet by any other name, genuine marriage will shine as a testimony against counterfeit marriage because the nature of both carry their own actions and fruit.  An old riddle would apply here.  If you called a tail a leg on a four legged dog, how many legs would it have?  Answer: It would still have four because the tail would still be a tail even if you called it a leg!

The Beauty of Authentic Marriage

Marriage as God designed it is beautiful because He does all things well.  God gave the first marriage to Adam and Eve.  The marriage was created before any sin entered the world. Jesus showed his power to create with his first miracle during public ministry of turning water into wine at a wedding.  God chose marriage as an example of the nearness and the dearness of his relationship to the Church.  The bride of Christ, which is the Church, waits with eagerness for that time of being united with Him forever.

                                        In this video which is less than three minutes, Allen
                                        Keys defends traditional marriage in a debate with
                                        then Senator Obama. 

This post first appeared on Digging Into Freedom's True Meaning, please read the originial post: here

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A Defense of Marriage


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