For some time now, there has been a culture war in progress regarding the definition of marriage—or rather the redefinition of marriage. In the pursuit of the holy grail of diversity, we mere mortals seek to nullify the natural order of those things divinely created, by employing the limited authority of other mere mortals (politicians), to provide their stamp of approval on unnatural actions. For more than a generation, this battle has been effectively waged through the cognizance of one political party to effect change, and the failure of another, to understand basic battle tactics. Far too long has the conservative side been issues-focused in its battle strategy, while those desiring societal chaos have been chiseling away at the foundation. Imagine if you will, two 18th century sailing vessels, two dreadnoughts in conflict at sea. One vessel keeps hoisting various sails aloft. One may be labeled abortion. Another may be labeled gay rights, etc. The conservative vessel keeps targeting the individual sail/issue, and attempts to prevent it from flying. The liberal vessel, its officers care little about the sails aloft. They have all of their cannons trained below the waterline. While the conservative vessel fires round after round into issues, the liberal vessel has been blowing holes in the hull. Chipping away at creation, weakening the concept of sin, of right and wrong, of consequences both good and bad, for our actions. This strategy has worked well, as we’ve seen our ship-of-state sink from the hull breaches. Economically, socially and culturally. Yet, even now there is celebration in the air in some parts of our land, celebrating the recognition of gay marriage. One more hole in the hull. But why is this so important? We talk about the sanctity of marriage, but exactly what makes it so?
Marriage is the building block of society. Its existence extends from the very beginning of man’s history. In the book of Genesis, chapter 1, we see the creation of marriage. We are reminded in Genesis chapter 1 verses 27 and 28:
“That God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created them, male and female He created them. God blessed them and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply.’”
That’s the basic principle. Men and women come together and in the God-ordained act of the celebration of their love, they have children. They multiply, they fill the earth, they subdue the earth and they rule over the earth—much to the chagrin of the tree huggers and animal rights activists. A commentator once remarked that the latter part of the 20th century showed the tremendous power of passion, and how people today felt the freedom to indulge that passion in such fashion, as would have never been exercised by our forefathers. Now the commentator was trying to say that our forefathers lacked the passion we see today. However, that word indulge is the key word. Our forefathers possessed as much passion, in some ways perhaps more so. They did not indulge that passion. They did not attempt rewrite Divine law and subvert Spiritual principles to suit their lusts. That is the difference. By attempting to redefine marriage, you introduce the three things that evil has always required in order to survive and grow: Chaos, disorder and confusion. How is that chaos created? By cracking the bedrock of society, breaching the hull so to speak.
The sanctity of marriage lies in the manner in which it was created by God and the methods it employs to achieve its purpose.
Genesis 2 verse 18:
“The Lord after making man says it’s not good for the man to be alone. I’ll make him a helper suitable for him. Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, every bird of the sky, brought them to the man to see what he could call them and whatever the man called the living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all the cattle, the birds of the sky, and every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him. So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man and he slept, then He, being God, took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. The Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man and 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 because she was taken out of man. For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and be joined to his wife and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.’”
This then is God’s design for marriage. A remarkable and beautiful union came out of that marriage; a mutual reign over the newly created kingdom of earth was formed from their coming together. We observe here the first function, indeed the primary function of marriage; it establishes longevity through the creation of children. Marriage above all else, is to beget children. “Be fruitful and multiply.” And children, as taught in the Psalm, are a heritage from the Lord. They are a blessing from heaven.
Secondly, marriage is to eliminate solitude. “It is not good for man to be alone.” Ask any therapist today what the number one problem is in a society that has access to more methods of communication than ever before, loneliness. Loneliness is counterproductive for a multitude of reasons. A healthy emotional life requires someone to balance his life. A man needs a complement to his life, he requires companionship, he must have friendship, and he needs an agent to provide accountability. Marriage is designed then to produce children and to provide friendship to eliminate solitude.
Thirdly, marriage prevents immorality. 1 Corinthians chapter 7 and verse 2 the Apostle Paul states, “We need to be married to prevent immorality.”
And there’s a fourth reason for marriage, and this is the matter perverted and hijacked these days but it is to provide loving, affection. Genesis 26:6, 7, 8 and 9, describes Isaac and it says, “He was sporting with his wife.” Understanding the language of that day it means caressing. This is an element of marriage that you have to recognize, and that is the sheer joy and the sheer exhilaration and the sheer love and affection that comes from the marriage union.
Marriage is for children. Marriage prevents immorality. Marriage eliminates solitude. Marriage provides affection. This is the way God designed it. However since man’s Fall, that model has been destroyed and the war commenced because Satan now is fixed in opposition against God, against all that HE ordained, all that HE created. This makes Satan the enemy of marriage, and Satan works very hard to destroy marriages. This is why in traditional wedding vows we have been instructed by Scripture not to tear asunder anything that God has brought together with regard to marriage. Satan attacks marriage.
America used to know and showed respect for this. While upholding the rights of an individual, those individual rights were never allowed to supersede the requirements of a healthy nation. We laugh now at the seemingly anachronistic notion of a “Shotgun Wedding.” But why were they enforced? Because healthy children needed a family setting in which to grow properly. It was better for society, that the individual rights of a few be curtailed, for the wellbeing of the whole. And many have stated that though they may have been married under such circumstance, it was the best thing they ever did. Family, the building block of society. This call regarding women being paid less than men, while wrong today, started out with a noble reasoning. Before the radical women’s movement began, when marriage was upheld and revered; it was accepted that most women would be married and raise children, thus fulfilling the function of marriage. Many women were paid less than men, and willingly and happily accepted it. They did so based upon their understanding the need for healthy families. They recognized that a man feeding a family of four needed to earn more. They were cognizant of the principle of sacrifice for the betterment of the family. A family they anticipated for themselves one day.
This same spirit is true of the tax code. Married couples paid less in taxes than single people. Why? They married family had multiple needs for their money. They were raising children. The singles of the day did not balk at this. They understood and appreciated the need for the married family to be successful. We all enjoyed watching “The Walton’s” back in the day. Under the same circumstances, do you think they would stand a chance with today’s tax code? Family was elevated, protected and encouraged. It was not until the 60’s, when the narcissistic message of “If it feels good do it. And “me, me, me” took root, that marriage became endangered. Ironically, the generation that claimed the mantra, “You can’t legislate morality,” didn’t mind legislating immorality.
With that legislation we see what has been before. The Bible shows this, how everything begins to come apart when that sacred union is attacked and perverted. In Genesis: 4 we see the establishment of polygamy. Chapter 9 begins the evil, sexual thoughts. Chapter 16 of Genesis we see adultery. By Chapter 19 we see gross homosexuality. Chapter 34 we see fornication. Chapter 38 we see incest and prostitution. Chapter 39 we observe an attempted evil seduction in the case of Joseph. The corruption of this union that God has designed becomes so complete that we saw then is we see now: a world filled with polygamy, adultery, homosexuality, fornication, incest, and prostitution. This corruption expands so rapidly that by Genesis 6: 5-7 we see:
“And Jehovah saw that the wickedness of Man was great on the earth, and every imagination of the thoughts of his heart only evil continually. And Jehovah repented that he had made Man on the earth, and it grieved him in his heart. And Jehovah said, I will destroy Man, whom I have created, from the earth—from man to cattle, to creeping things, and to fowl of the heavens; for I repent that I have made them.”
Therefore, when we observe the current state of our culture, examine the statistics, and remember the way it once was, we note that it was closer to what it should be than it is now. Then, perhaps we can appreciate why marriage is so sacred. What we’ve already seen as it has been attacked over the last couple of generations, is how much more we stand to lose if marriage is eradicated. Far too late it is for ministers to recognize the folly in concentrating more on the distraction of individual issues rather than on the foundations of faith, the keel of the ship. The individual issues are symptomatic of an already breached hull. We see the importance of making sure that the fundamental belief systems are inculcated into the minds of our offspring early on. Had previous generations of congregations been more grounded, we would not now be attempting to establish a definition by the Supreme Court of the United States, regarding marriage.
Filed Under: Social Issues
About the Author: HANK MARTIN is a Charlottesville native, a graduate of Albemarle High School and Piedmont Virginia Community College. Growing up, he spent more than a decade in the Cub and Boy Scout Programs and was a member of the Monticello Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol. As an adult, he has served as a leader in Scouting and church youth character building programs. An avid history lover, he participated in the adoption of the school anti-bullying legislation sponsored by delegate Rob Bell. Hank most recently founded and chaired Forever Albemarle, a personal property rights group. He lives with his wife and children in Charlottesville.