Session 5: Leaving God Out of It
The more broadly a concept is defined, the less value it holds when applied. Likewise, marriage cannot mean everything, or else it will mean nothing. While the Bible is completely authoritative, Christians should also be able to defend marriage outside the Word. In this session, we do exactly what the secularists suggest: We leave God and religion out of the debate. Yet in so doing, we provide a valuable defense of an institution that has preserved and benefited societies for thousands of years.
Three facts are intuitive in the social defense of marriage: 1) Sex makes babies, 2) Society needs babies, and 3) Babies deserve mothers and fathers. Societies have always managed these three truths through marriage, and marriage creates a public sexual union in which rights and responsibilities are publicly enforced.
Marriage unites a couple in a powerful and public way and yet has never been defined by proximity, affection, or convenience. Marriage marks sexual partners and holds them publicly responsible for their sexual behavior, and when a community promotes marriage, it promotes children being raised by both parents. Married fatherhood is an irreplaceable benefit that marriage brings to children and the community, and society is wise when it supports what has always proved best for children.
Marriage assumes permanence, and the exclusivity of “oneness” that marriage creates is expected to endure. This expectation of permanence is empowering for married couples and their children alike. We can conclude that marriage laws ought to do everything possible to convince married couples that their marriage is real and that it matters greatly.
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