Marriage

What exactly is marriage?  What is it’s purpose? What role does it serve in society?  Who can get married – a man and a woman, a man and a man, a woman and a woman, a woman to herself…?  Why is marriage such a hot button issue in American society when it is commonly practiced and accepted?

According to Dictionary.com marriage is defined as:

1.

a.

the social institution under which a man and woman establish their decision to live as husband and wife by legal commitments, religious ceremonies, etc. Antonyms: separation.
b.

a similar institution involving partners of the same gender: gay marriage. Antonyms: separation.
2.

the state, condition, or relationship of being married; wedlock: a happy marriage. Synonyms: matrimony. Antonyms: single life, bachelorhood, spinsterhood, singleness; separation.
3.

the legal or religious ceremony that formalizes the decision of two people to live as a married couple, including the accompanying social festivities: to officiate at a marriage. Synonyms: nuptials, marriage ceremony, wedding. Antonyms: divorce, annulment.
4.

a relationship in which two people have pledged themselves to each other in the manner of a husband and wife, without legal sanction: trial marriage.
5.

any close or intimate association or union: the marriage of words and music in a hit song. Synonyms: blend, merger, unity, oneness; alliance, confederation. Antonyms: separation, division, disunion, schism.
So marriage is a social institution legally (essentially an incorporation), a relational institution (essentially a partnership), a religious institution (more on this to come), and an intimate association, union, blending, merger, unification, etc…
Marriage on its face seems to be a lot of different things, but is it really?  Does it seem that way because of how marriage has been distorted over time?  The concept of marriage has existed as long as written records and is recorded in some of the oldest manuscripts and texts that archaeologists have uncovered and deciphered.  Essentially, the concept of marriage remains the same as it did back when the following was penned (stylused).
The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.But for Adam no suitable helper was found.So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
The man said,
“This is now bone of my bones     and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’     for she was taken out of man.”
 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.
Marriage is highly important to God, otherwise it would have been mentioned later than the second chapter of the entire Bible.  What makes marriage so highly divisive then?  Why is there such angst in our society of whether marriage is only supposed to be between a man and a woman or if all sexual orientations can participate in this institution known as marriage?
If we get down to it, Biblically, marriage is an allegory of the church’s relationship with Christ (Ephesians 5:25-33).  Take a look at the last part of the definition for marriage: intimate association, union, blend, merger, unity, oneness.  For the Christian, we desperately seek all of these and more with Christ as we are betrothed to Him.
So if marriage is the perfect allegorical example of our relationship with Christ, then Satan in all of his ability will do his best to distort and destroy the concept of marriage so it will be harder for mankind to come to Christ fully.  Think of all of the pitfalls associated with marriage today – divorce, affairs, sexual deviancies, abuse, separation… they are plentiful.
Some are probably wondering why I am staying so long on the religious aspect of marriage.  Simply, without God, marriage is a business contract, no more, no less.   Think about it?  Either marriage originated from God or it originated from man.  If it originated from the latter, there is nothing special about it… it is simply a contract agreeing to hang out together for a while.
However, if it is from God, it is much more than that.  It is a foundation for all of society and the smallest societal unit.  When you break down society into its components, what is the smallest unit?  The individual should be your answer, but a marriage between a husband and a wife creates the potential for growth, which is essential for a society.  Without this potential for reproduction, what is marriage, but just a turn of a phrase able to be redefined at will to fit whatever the masses want it to mean at any point in time.
Demographically, when marriage declines, procreation (childbirth) declines with it.  Eventually, if the decline is rapid enough, then a society can literally breed itself out of existence (modern-day Japan).  So essentially, marriage is the only institution that matters within society as it is the only one that can fundamentally shape or destroy the society over the long-term.
The previous point leads right into the next…. marriage is meant as a means to grow society and the population. As such, procreation must be physically possible for marriage to serve its purpose to society.  Now simple anatomy comes into play – if only a man and a woman have the biological potential to have a child, then only a man and woman have a societal right to marry.
While I have friends that are gay, and many that are happily partnered and am glad that they have the chance to experience love, I refuse to stand down from my principles and my beliefs. I simply am relying my own revelations based on the Word of God, my observations and musings on life, and biological science.  I disapprove of your lifestyle and your sin, but fully love each and every one of you.  I do have good news though!  All men and women have the right to marry.  Contradictory?  Not at all.  You have the right to enter into a perfect union with Jesus Christ.  Cleave to Him and you will know unbounded love beyond that which is possible from another human being (although we surely try).
So what is the purpose of all of this?  Is marriage on Earth simply meant as a means of procreation and as an allegory of Christ’s relationship with the church (you)? Yes.  Marriage is not a vehicle to bring someone happiness, wealth, status, or any other meaningless, earthly thing, but rather it is a vehicle for us to practice our love on one another so that it may be perfected with God and Christ.
I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind. (Ecclesiastes 1:14)
So why do we do it if it’s ultimately just an allegory and a means to pop out babies?
I can’t speak for everyone, but the reason I am married to my wife is because that God designed a helpmate for me specifically.  She balances me, comforts me, loves me as much as any human can despite my many faults, and she is my companion for eternity.  There are a number of other worldly reasons why I married her, but those are temporary and bound to our existence here only.
I have spoken much about love in just a handful of blog posts so far, but it is such a powerful thing that it is hard not to consider it in everything.  I actually believe that marriage is something God designed to help us better understand grace, which is an expression of love.  As husband and wife, we will bicker and fight, but we forgive and move forward because what we are fighting about is smaller than our love.  If Christ’s grace is sufficient to cover all of the sins of mankind and then some, then how could we possibly understand it’s entirety without an allegory to help?
Now some may come out and say that the argument I made does not rule out gay marriage or any other modification of the original combination of man and woman.  To that I ask, if God created marriage, then how can we, as specks in the grand scheme of things, ever believe that we have any standing at all to redefine the institution that He created?
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