There is a lot of discussion happening in homes and on the internet regarding marriage right now. I think this is potentially a great thing. So what is the big deal?
Before I jump into the hot topic of this week (The Marriage Amendment in NC), let me start off by asking: What is the big deal about marriage anyway?
Let me start off by saying what marriage is not?
- Marriage is not merely a legal contract.
- Marriage is not something done for tax or insurance benefits.
- Marriage is not simply two people in love, living in the same place.
- Marriage is not an idea man made up.
So what is marriage?
Marriage was originally instituted by God in Gen 2:24 as a covenant relationship between one man and one woman. Gen 2:24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. Jesus quotes this verse in Matthew 19:4-5 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ 5 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’?
Marriage as designed by God is a picture of the gospel. It is a covenant relationship between one man and one woman to give their lives sacrificially fulfilling their God given roles for the sake of living out a picture of the good news of Jesus Christ. Husbands are to love their wives as Jesus Christ loved the church (Eph 5:25-33). Wives are to submit to their husbands as the Church submits to Jesus (Eph 5:22-24). In this harmony people who do not know Jesus are to see a picture of the gospel through the institution of marriage.
So it is:
- Designed and defined by God as a relationship between one man and one woman in covenant before Him.
- For the sake of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
We don’t get to decide what is and is not a valid marriage. God has already done that when He instituted marriage.
Now the debate:
The debate raging amongst many Christ followers is not how to define marriage. The debate is whether or not to vote for an amendment that states:
“Sec. 6. Marriage.
Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State. This section does not prohibit a private party from entering into contracts with another private party; nor does this section prohibit courts from adjudicating the rights of private parties pursuant to such contracts.” (Copy and pasted from: http://www.ncleg.net/Sessions/2011/Bills/Senate/HTML/S514v3.html).
Many fear that this law goes too far in defining marriage. We have seen a stir that many consider a scare tactic to confuse the issue. Many fear to take steps to make moral decisions. I remember learning from a mentor: It is never wrong to do what is right (See Daniel in Daniel 6 or Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in Daniel 3). The truth is we don’t get to redefine what God has already defined for us. Marriage is a covenanted relationship between one man and one woman.