It’s apparently wedding season.
I’ve seen so many engagements and weddings on social media lately that it seems like someone is always getting hitched. As a single person it’s really what I should expect. I’m single, a lot of my friends are single, and I go to events where single people are present. So since most of my friends are single, it’s only a matter of time before they meet someone, get engaged, and then get married.
Most of my friends are also committed followers of Christ. As I watch these relationships progress, I see two major events that seem to garner the most excitement and attention.
An engagement announcement and a wedding day.
I usually see tons of Facebook likes and comments on their pictures of the engagement and wedding day. In between those two events I see the same routine: engagement pictures, “I said yes to the dress,” taste testing, bachelor/bachelorette parties, and the marriage license.
On June 27, 2015, the Supreme Court granted same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. They can get a marriage license. There was a big uproar on both sides of the spectrum between equality and the biblical definition of marriage. As I processed what the decision meant, I couldn’t help but ponder in awe how the same-sex community fought so long and hard for what I see believers just procedurally do when it comes to marriage. The marriage license kind of gets put in a list of things that people have to do before their wedding day. If this was as important to believers, why isn’t getting a marriage license the event that we’re most excited about? So then I wondered what I would do if heterosexual marriage were illegal? How would I would feel?
My definition of marriage comes from the Bible. Genesis says in the beginning God created Adam. And then He said that is not good for man to be alone so he created a suitable wife named Eve. After that, He told them to be fruitful and multiply. Jesus expanded on this by saying they are no longer two but one flesh and what God has joined together, let no man separate. My definition of marriage is not a government benefit; it’s something God created.
If I put my identity in what the government states regarding how to recognize my marriage, I would feel incomplete and the love between me and my wife wouldn’t mean anything. However, my identity comes from Christ who called me His masterpiece. He is my Creator and He defines my marriage. So I am most concerned about what God thinks about my relationship and marriage.
If your definition of love is shaped like a heart, then love loses. I’ll bet you could ask every one of those people at the beginning of their marriage if they loved that person, and they would say yes. Yet we have a high divorce rate. If you asked them the same question after their divorce, their answer may still be yes … but they “just couldn’t live with them.”
Love Is Shaped Like a Cross
Ephesians 5:25 says, “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” Christ defined a love that man was not familiar with. It was meant to change how we saw marriage. What we know by experience is that love and marriage can end. Yet we were never meant to experience that brokenness. It’s like if you had a wooden swing in the backyard that someone’s kids loved to swing on. They swung on it day after day and they had so much fun. One day the swing breaks and all the kids fall to the ground and get hurt. Now as they approach the swing, they approach it with doubt and trepidation. This is how we view marriage — that it can end in hurt. But it’s never supposed to. Just like God’s love and commitment never ends.
What the License Means
I see pictures of my friends getting their marriage license on Facebook. You can see the excitement in their faces. The excitement isn’t because the state has acknowledged them as husband and wife or for the benefits that come with that union. But because it’s one step closer to their wedding day. It’s a step closer to what defines them as husband and wife.
I think my peers see marriage as a special day where they become one under God. They see it approved and blessed by Him. The date is set and their eyes are focused on their wedding day.
So if you were to ask me, what would it mean to me if the government banned heterosexual marriage? My answer is: nothing.