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On the Splendor of Marriage
One flesh, the two of them.
The fact is that too often we fail to see the beauty and majesty of God’s creation around us. But the splendor is there. It is a fact.
How often do you think about oxygen? Yet this invisible, odorless, tasteless, mysterious, glorious gas keeps you alive every day. For thousands of years, scientists believed the Earth was flat. They did not recognize the essential nature of the Earth’s shape and its precise distance from the Sun. And we still don’t fully understand the vastness of space. Somehow, it all works to our benefit— to sustain life in this speck of dust we call home. The more we discover, the more we stand in awe and wonder.
Such is the case with all of God’s creations. Marriage was God’s idea, too. “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27). But He noted one thing, “It is not good that the man should be alone” (Genesis 2:18). Therefore, He creates “a suitable helper” for him: woman. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).
One flesh, the two of them. Spectacular. God also commanded them to “Be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28).
Thinking of this, I am reminded of standing by my wife as she delivered our firstborn child. Out of the two of us. Wow! The spiritual connection between my wife and me was never so palpable as at that moment. I was so proud of her. This union is truly beyond human understanding.
The Apostle Paul tried to get at it in the fifth chapter of his letter to the church in Ephesus. His reminder that “He who loves his wife loves himself” (verse 28) is a beautiful restatement of that oneness God established in the beginning. He concludes the “mystery [of marriage] is profound” and that it ultimately “refers to Christ and the church.”
This is what marriage is. I know our culture emphatically rejects all of this (many don’t even accept what a woman is), but again, our lack of recognition does not change reality.
Our desires, opinions, and feelings do not change it either. This is why, for all our talk about what we feel, the facts say unequivocally that men, women, and children thrive within the confines of marriage. But the studies don’t get at everything. There is much more to the mystery and splendor of this wondrous union.
Which is why it is understandable that same-sex couples and polygamists, and all other relationships, always seek to attain a “marriage.” LGBTQ+ activists are not satisfied with all the legal protections of marriage without the designation and recognition of “marriage” because there is more to it. And they will never be satisfied because they cannot attain by force of law what is only granted by divine decree.
Recognizing the enormous benefits of the married family, it is incumbent upon our government to support that structure. There is no more vital stabilizing force for society than a strong family unit. There is no better investment for the future of a nation.
It is to our benefit for us to protect marriage. “For no one ever hated his own flesh,” wrote Paul, “but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church” (Ephesians 5:29). Efforts to weaken marriage and the family are detrimental to our future. They destabilize our culture and increase interpersonal conflicts.
H.R. 8404 is one such effort in Congress. The (Dis)Respect for Marriage Act is a federal legislation that, despite its benevolent language, will give government the power to discriminate against those who believe in that God-ordained institution with sanctifying power we call marriage.
According to the radical left, if you want to be an artist, say a baker, for example, or a web designer, or anything else, you must support same-sex or transgender weddings or any other type of union the government deems a “marriage,” or your life should be destroyed. Christian adoption and foster care agencies should be closed. The (Dis)Respect for Marriage Act will open the door for a considerable increase in the persecution of our fellow believers.
You would think that the majority in Congress would stand against this assault on religious liberty, but you would be wrong. The United States Senate, evenly divided (50 Democrats-50 Republicans), passed a motion to proceed on H.R. 8404, which requires 60 votes, and it received the support of all 50 Democrats and 12 Republicans, including Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri, Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina, Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa, and Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio.
The word in Washington is that Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah will seek to introduce an amendment to try to protect people of faith and other charitable organizations from persecution when the Senate brings the matter back for a final vote after they come back from their Thanksgiving break.
Apparently, the irony escapes them, just as the nature of marriage does.