is marriage relevant?

marriage, church, religion, christianity, perspectives, morals

Written by Nikole Hahn

Nikole Hahn is a recovering perfectionist blogging at "Life Upside Down" at www.thehahnhuntinglodge.com. She is also the publisher of The Relevant Christian Magazine (@TRCMagazine). She is a member of Word Weavers International, a book reviewer, writer, and coffee addict.

April 9, 2011

marriage, church, religion, christianity, perspectives, morals

Why should we get married if financially our partner has all the benefits of a married partner? We’ve spoon fed our future generation through television shows and movies justifying immoral behavior. As Star Parker aptly explored in her book Uncle Sam’s Plantation the lack of morality in our country has robbed us of many things like self-respect while society deteriorates and becomes more ‘me-centered.’

“I’m at this crisis. It appears to me more and more that marriage is not really relevant today. So for example, if you truly love someone and completely trust someone, he’s your confidant and your soul mate — why do you need a marriage to ascertain this?  Perhaps marriage was relevant centuries ago, when a lot of good things came along with one — safety, financial, sexual, etc. But if one can very much have all of these things anyways and do just fine alone…then why do we still marry?” said a young woman on Yahoo Answers.

The answer to this young woman’s question astounded me.  It astounded me more that she would ask that question on Yahoo Answers instead of gleaning from wiser counsel:

‘People wed because they aren’t as secure about their emotions towards their loved ones as you and I, and require a formal document to remind them of how they feel, or should I say, how they’re supposed to feel.’

Laws are passed to provide for ‘life partners’ (i.e. those who want to live together).  This strips away the respect of marriage. Living rather than marrying someone stems in most cases from the wounds in our souls.

Star Parker reminds us in her book, “The new rules insisted morality could be self-defined depending upon one’s circumstances, environment experiences, culture, economics, or personal choice. “You cannot legislate morality” is the sound bite thrown around by those demanding autonomy and liberation from the religious roots of law.  Political groups such as the ACLU and Americans United For the Separation of Church and State have precipitated major legal battles to ensure that any vestige of religion is removed from public property or public discourse, and most importantly from public education.”

I believe there’s a connection between our thoughts about marriage and God.  In Revelation 22:17, “The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.” Often, Christ is referred to as the “Bridegroom.” We are His bride.  But if we view marriage as “just a piece of paper,” how are we viewing God?  It seems like those who believe and continue to live intentionally in sin don’t enjoy that close relationship with Christ.  We don’t trust Him with our future and therefore, have one foot next to the open door.

Dr. Del Tacket of the Truth Project says, “Marriage is, therefore, no less a part of God’s creation than the moon or stars or fish of the sea. And, as are all the social systems that God has made, it, too, is a reflection of His own nature. And if this is the case, then it is not simply a capricious, evolved social arrangement open to our fickle or selfish designs.  The family is one of those: the diversity of a man and a woman brought together in a unity so intimate that God declares they are “one flesh”—and not to be separated.”

It’s scary to trust a man with your entire life. It’s scary to trust God. I believe if you look back on your past that you’ll find where your distrust budded. If you look carefully, you might see where your fear of commitment has touched other areas of your life like broken commitments and promises. A marriage is so much more than a piece of paper. It’s more relevant than this world realizes.  It’s about a relationship with God.

8 Comments

  1. Mark Lafler

    Good post. I especially appreciate your use of the Biblical metaphor the “bride of Christ” and its relationship to contemporary marriage and how this relationship impacts our understanding of God. Great connection. Somethng to think about and watch for as culture continues to evolve.

    Reply
  2. Hoffmanfive

    A couple of months ago, there was an article here on BibleDude that I found disheartening. It seemed to be condoning cohabitation outside of marriage as a legitimate expression of a Christian relationship. I am thankful to read this perspective. Marriage DOES matter. It matters to our relationships and it matters to the way that we present Christ to the world. And to our children. Thank you for not condoning sin. I have sinned in my life and in my relationship with my husband, before and after our marriage. God forgave me. That doesn’t make what I did ok. That doesn’t erase all of the consequences. Without meaning to, my husband and I provided poor examples to our siblings. We will never know whether, or to what degree, that influenced their choices, some of which were sinful, and some of which have had devastating consequences. Even though our sins didn’t specifically include cohabitation or even premarital sex, per se. As Christians, we aren’t called to live by the world’s standard. We are called to live by God’s standard. We are called to be salt and light, and to set ourselves apart. When we don’t, that is sin. It’s inescapable and it’s consequential. We need to quit excusing it. Marriage is holy and irreplaceable. God ordained it for a reason, and you stated it beautifully. Thank you.

    Reply
    • @bibledude

      i really appreciate you sharing your perspectives on this, and i’m glad that you agree! i believe that the original post that you’re referring to is what prompted Nikole’s ‘response’ here with this post.

      i also want to point out that the original post that you were referring to wasn’t necessarily ‘condoning’ cohabitation. it was a a post that explored the question about the issue after a the published results of a study that indicated the cohabitation was becoming a cultural norm. the author of that post was simply asking the question on what was acceptable in the church, while this post is just making a direct statement about the issue.

      i strongly believe that the church should be at the forefront of discussing cultural issues, so i encourage the kinds of conversations that get us talking about things like this. while i (personally) agree with Nikole’s position here and place high value on marriage, i also stand by the other post that encourages conversation about these issues, especially when they prompt response like this…

      again, thanks for coming back and sharing your voice in this important conversation! you rock!

      Reply
      • Nikole Hahn

        Agreed! And thanks! ;o)

        Only the otherside shuts down opposing views.

        Reply
    • Nikole Hahn

      bibledude is correct. And in actuality, I read that particular blog that he is referring to and was still confused because it wasn’t making a strong case for either one. I didn’t know whether to get mad or to cautiously make a pro-marriage statement and chose the latter. I don’t THINK the writer was condoning but it sure sounded almost like it.

      Reply
  3. Kathleen Beard

    As a widow of three years, married for 23 years, one of the most striking things that I experienced immediately was that half of me was gone. I went to the grocery store and when someone looked in my direction, I was surprised that someone saw me–I felt invisible. There was a strong sense that half of me was indeed gone because as the Bible indicates–we were “one” flesh. When one half of that one flesh was gone, there was that strange in-between place where I knew that a part of me was gone. Marriage is a picture of Christ and as His bride, we are one with Him. As a wife, I was one with my husband. There is something so deeply binding in a husband/wife relationship.

    Reply

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is marriage relevant?

by Nikole Hahn time to read: 3 min
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