Biblical Marriage is Beautiful
I stand for traditional marriage (one man-one woman for life). I love marriage with my beautiful wife of 27 years and my two adopted sons who come from diverse settings. What a privilege to enjoy this God-designed institution. The traditional family unit has made America great and brings so much peace to life. As the Supreme Court debated the merits of same sex marriage, many of our elected officials on both sides of the aisle rendered comments in support of or opposition to same sex marriage, sending news-breaking statements across the nation as both political pundits and peasant commoners discussed the implications. While I use caution when remarking about the actions of others, I have and always will support biblical foundational principles. This article is not about a person. It is about family-centered biblical principles.
Current society finds many citizens deciding critical issues based on polls or humanistic thinking which views humans as the decision makers or as “gods” of their own lives. I, in turn, take a biblical view of worshiping the Lord God, and this shapes my particular beliefs or value system. For many years, the biblical view has been the foundational tenet of America and is connected to why I believe we have been so blessed as a nation. Psalms 33:12 reminds us, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance” (NIV). America’s embrace of a monotheistic view of God has been essential in structuring the moral fabric of society for over two hundred years. Today, not only has this view of God been attacked and discredited, but self has been elevated to “god” as the great moral authority. Because of this self-centered reasoning about God, now viewpoints on truth and especially biblical truth are changing with regard to issues like marriage. After all, humanity knows better–humanity is “god.” But the question before us is “should we build a culture around polls and our own humanistic thinking?”
America has been great because of its reliance on a Supreme God, its honoring of biblical principles that support right living, and because of God’s blessing. We may choose to deny biblical truth but must acknowledge certain principles for daily living have been established for our own protection, and marriage is created for this purpose. Here are some truths from scripture:
- Male and female are God’s creation for purposes of his glory.
- Marriage is ordained of God to protect our lives, give peace, and multiply the earth.
- God forbids sexual sins of all types.
- The family is the societal fabric upon which cultures are built.
From a biblical perspective, it is evident God ordained a beautiful life for all to enjoy. Through sin, that perfect life was destroyed and replaced by chaos. The only way to have a restored life is to experience the forgiving grace of our loving Savior and allow the Holy Spirit to cleanse the heart of sin.
Additionally, the American culture of success has been built around a traditional family society. The destruction of many civilizations has followed the corruption of the family unit through sexual sins and inappropriate relationships. From a sociological point of view, Pitirim Sorokin, Harvard founding sociologist, suggests that civilization is only possible when marriage is normative and mother and father accept responsibility for their offspring. Humankind, left to its own devices, is quite adept at destroying culture. Do we Americans understand that our society is doomed for disaster by embracing a culture that destroys the traditional family unit?
From another angle, the pure economics of a societal breakdown are staggering. As the meaning of the traditional family unit (one man, one woman, with children) disintegrates, so will social services need to be increased, costing millions to society. Multiple studies show how children need the established family unit, and that when it breaks down, there are negative consequences. Children become confused, requiring additional counseling services, healthcare services, and medications. Families struggle economically when a mother and father are not present to provide their roles of love and protection for the family unit. History reveals that the impact is devastating to economic realities.
Scholars David Popenoe and Barbara Whitehead are on target when sharing, “Marriage is a fundamental social institution – the ‘social glue’ that reliably attaches fathers and mothers to their children. It contributes to the physical, emotional, and economic health of men, women, and children, and thus to the nation as a whole. It is also one of the most highly prized of all human relationships and a central life goal of most Americans.”
I believe in God’s original design for marriage, and I call for America to embrace the beauty of the family.
Timothy Keener, in The Meaning of Marriage, said, “Marriage is glorious, but hard. It is a burning joy and strength, and yet it is also blood, sweat, and tears, humbling defeats, and exhausting victories ... there is no relationship between beings that is greater or more important than marriage.” It is useless to be malicious toward those who oppose this viewpoint, but it is imperative to remain bold while refusing to bow to those who desire to destroy the intrinsic human beauty of biblical American culture.
I believe in the beauty of life created with intentionality, and firmly embrace God’s love which reaches all humankind. I love every man and woman, and I am convinced life will be full of joy and peace when God, not self, is God. Again, I love marriage.
by Dr. Mark A. Smith, OCU President