I’m back, everyone!
I apologize for my brief absence. I was attending a wedding about six hours away, so I didn’t have the time this weekend to write anything. I also know that I missed my Monday Movie(gasp!), but I promise normalcy will be returned next week.
Seeing the wedding this weekend had me thinking about marriage. Specifically, how God defines it for us, and what the role of marriage has become in society.
The KJV mentions the word “marriage” 21 times, mostly in the New Testament. However, mentions of rules for married men and women abound. There’s the ever-popular Genesis 2:24, “A man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”(NKJV) There’s also the slightly controversial Ephesians 5:22-25: “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”
These verses, and others like them, seem pretty straightforward, right? Marriage is a man and a woman, leaving their families and starting a new life together, with the husband heading the spiritual family, and the wife mimicking the Church by submitting to the leadership of her husband’s spiritual guidance.
So why is this so difficult for society to understand and accept?
Simply put, it’s too hard.
Society, especially in modern times, dislikes the idea of authority and commitment. This is a hangover from the 1960s and ’70s, when the sexual revolution shouted at the world “If it feels good, do it!” Law, societal influence, and common decency and pride were flung hard from the window of individualism, and the idea that if it feels good it cannot possibly be wrong. Marriage and monogamy were seen as antiquated notions borne of uptight society of the early 1900s. Like the Broadway tune suggests, anything goes.
This has bred a generation that is so afraid of “missing out of life experiences” that they would rather never feel complete than miss out on the “fun” of having multiple partners. There are scholars recently who have even gone so far as to suggest that humans are incapable of being faithful to one partner, and must have at least two partners in order to be fulfilled. I suppose the two hundred plus years of society functioning within the parameters of monogamy is just a fluke. 🙄
God has made His position clear, but society simply will not accept this. Religion, like marriage, is seen as quaint rather than challenging. God is seen as a story created for children, and for those less “progressed” than we are. God, for society, is a troublemaker, trying to keep them from fulfilling what they believe they need.
I don’t pretend to know even a quarter of what marriage is about: I’ve been married only three years now. For nearly thirty years, I’ve been watching my parents’ marriage, which is far from perfect. My sister has been married about three years longer than me, and they have their ups and downs as well.
No marriage on earth is perfect, but with God’s guidance, we can break free of society’s abhorrence for marriage, and bask in the love that mirrors God’s love for His Church.
PS: I realize that I didn’t touch on homosexuality. For me, this is a completely different topic, and it has no place in a discussion about marriage.
Did I miss any points? Do you have a story about marriage to share? Let me know in the comments!