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We live in a day and culture where marriage is something that it never used to be. What used to be something guarded and sacred is now unprotected and ungodly. Even the definition of marriage is up for grabs for whatever seems to be the most popular in any given year or decade. Most of our culture would prefer not to even get married and just live together. When subjects like these tend to spiral out of control, how are we supposed to make sense of it? What is marriage and is it only between one man and one woman?
These are questions that we need to answer. Can you imagine if there was no answer or definition of marriage, what that would look like? It seems that it would constantly change its meaning and sway in one direction or another based on popular opinion. Is that what’s happening in our culture and in our nation today?
Is marriage only between a man and a woman? Before we answer that, let’s look at some popular viewpoints on marriage and help bring clarity to what a real marriage is.
This type of marriage can be defined as a man marrying another man or a woman marrying another woman. Most of the battles in favor of this is to allow two men (or two women) to have spousal benefits and parenting rights and not to discriminate against them since these were only previously available in marriages with one man and one woman.
In 2004, Massachusetts was the first state to legalize same-sex marriage over spousal benefits and parenting rights. What happened next was a spark across the country of people stepping up in order to receive the same benefits in marriage and to express their love for one another.
Plural marriage (also known as polygamy) has been around for quite some time, but is only gaining traction lately because of the legal victories of same-sex marriage. This is where a man can have multiple wives or a woman can have multiple husbands. One of the many thoughts behind this is why just have one man or one woman when you can have multiple?
We shouldn’t be surprised by this and should more than likely expect the laws of the land to legalize plural marriage across the nation not too long from now. Reason being that as we legalize same-sex marriage in the name of not discriminating others and allowing them to have spousal benefits, where can you draw the line? It opens the doors for many types of “marriages” and this is something I believe we will start seeing very soon.
To define real marriage, we must turn to the Bible. The Bible is 100% truth. Yes, men wrote down the words but the Holy Spirit led them the entire way making it absolutely perfect (2 Timothy 3:16-17, 1 Peter 1:21). It has never been proven wrong and it never will be. So in the midst of a culture where the definition of marriage is all over the place, we must turn to scripture. Let’s let the Bible do the talking.
To define real marriage, we must turn to the Bible, which is 100% truth.
The first marriage in human history came from Adam and Eve. God made it clear in the beginning when there were only two people, one male and one female, that man would leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife (Genesis 2:22-24). From the very beginning, God created us male and female and made mention that as we become married as male and female, man can not separate it (Mark 10:6-9).
Marriage is between a man and a woman, only. Even in regards to temptation the Bible speaks about how each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband (1 Corinthians 7:2). There is no such thing as a same-sex, plural, or any other type of marriage in the Bible except for one that is only between one man and one woman.
Loving Others Instead Of Condemning Them
It’s important to note even though we find ourselves in a culture that doesn’t value the things of God or respect the way He has created and designed things (marriage, value of life, our world, our bodies, etc.), that doesn’t give us the right to not love others.
Christians who believe what the Bible says about marriage can often slip into condemning others when sin is present and people are engaging in marriage that isn’t Biblical. As followers of Christ, we must remember that we love others because He first loved us (1 John 4:19) and that every life has value in the sight of God.
Since we are forgiven through the finished work of Jesus, how could we not love others including those who practice same-sex marriage or plural marriage? There will be all sorts of marriages down the road and the way we love people and build relationships with them shouldn’t be any different. We shouldn’t be shocked that we live in a culture that practices intolerance as the new tolerance.
On top of that, if people aren’t following Christ or believing in anything the Bible says, why would we expect them to treat marriage the way God tells us to? If they wouldn’t agree God is the creator of life, then surely they wouldn’t agree that God is the creator of marriage.
Yes, marriage is only between one man and one woman, period. That’s what the Bible says and the Bible is the authority. That’s what God says and He is the creator and designer of marriage so I think He knows what’s best and how it all works. That’s the only way marriage and families work and we’ll continue to see that play out as real marriages will produce real families and other marriages will produce major consequences within families.
This is the time for the Church to be bold and speak up about what real marriage is in a day where the definition can be confusing to so many. These are the moments all of us as believers need to love and minister to those who don’t have an accurate understanding of marriage. Before we write someone off with their sin, let’s remember just how sinful we still are and how much all of us need Jesus.
Here are other Frequently Asked Questions and how the Bible answers them.