My first full-time teaching position was at a Catholic school outside of Charlotte, NC where I taught fifth grade language arts among other things. One of the basic skills I taught was strengthening writing through the use of strong vocabulary.
I abhorred overused, meaningless words like nice and good and bad, so my students brainstormed more precise language. Over the year, we devised a list of words we couldn’t use in class, “Blah Words,” like those above. The kids made suggestions and, as their understanding of vocabulary grew, a number of Blah Words were added.
Marriage was NOT a Blah Word.
Marriage was meant to be one man and one woman united by God as one flesh until death do them part so that they could help one another and ultimately bring children into the world.
But over time, the word marriage changed drastically, and many are now confused about who should be married and what marriage really means.
Marriage, as it is presented by God in the Bible, is strong and unchanging. Multiple spouses was not an option. Divorce was not an option. Gay marriage was not an option.
Biblical men had multiple wives partly because women were unable to earn a living or properly care for all the needs of the children in those days (and I’d argue, still today!) Because of this, men married more than one woman. Additionally, Moses allowed divorce only because of the, “hardness of your hearts” (Matthew 19 speaks of this and more on marriage and divorce). We never see gay marriage in the Bible.
The Trouble Defining Marriage
The trouble defining marriage began in Biblical times. Because of our human flaws and struggles on this harsh earth, such as the death of a father or the leaving of a husband, marriage was twisted from God’s original design to allow multiple spouses.
And with that twist, the word marriage lost meaning.
And then as time continued, wee’ve seen more and more men and women are walking out on their families in pursuit of their own happiness without real regard for those left behind. Some without a trace. Others fool themselves into thinking they are fulfilling their obligations by satisfying the court system.
And the word marriage lost its permanence.
We have shows like Sister Wives showing multiple partners living together under one roof, raising children, dividing chores, and we think this is okay. And, although they said it would never happen, we even watched a woman in Great Britain marry her dog.
And the word marriage became a joke.
Today, we have people marrying those they were never meant to marry. Gay couples not only demanding to be married, but bullying believers into providing services for their ceremonies. Catholic adoption agencies forced to close because they cannot morally place children with same sex couples.
And the word marriage became a word to be feared rather than embraced.
People didn’t forget what marriage meant. They chose to stop remembering. They chose to ignore what marriage was intended to be, what a real marriage is, the work it entails, the blessings it bestows upon children and society, and yes, even on husbands and wives.
We’ve mistakenly fallen into the trap of thinking if it makes someone feel good, then it must be good, and if it doesn’t feel good, if it doesn’t make you happy, change the definition.
And so Marriage is Now Defined As:
- celebrated by two people … or not
- between a man and a woman … or not
- permanent … or not
Marriage became a Blah Word, a word so overused, we (as a society) no longer have a real definition for marriage.
And the saddest part is that, in our never-ending quest for what feels good, in our pursuit of elusive happiness, we think have created more strife, more poverty, and more broken homes than had we strengthened the word marriage and reached out to those unsure of that true definition, not through a compromising of definitions and values, but by showing them God’s Love and letting Him reveal His plan for marriage.
Today, society has created a mockery of marriage and a subsequent dependence on the government rather than on God, but one day, we will need to account for all we have said and done here.
You know what the Bible says on marriage.
How do you define marriage? Are you justifying a change to God’s definition?