Monday, July 14, 2008

About Marriage

These are my friends Tim and Wakako. They got married a week before we did. Tim was my former co-worker when I was in Japan. We were on the same team in Hokkaido.
Jim and I got to spend a day with them when we went to Japan in May for our delayed honeymoon. It was fun to trade wedding stories and talk about the worst gifts we received!
Two other colleagues of mine from Asian Access also got married this winter. Emi and her man Sterling got married the day before we did. Tim, Emi, and I all got engaged around the same time and shared with each other wedding plans and what we were learning through our respective marriage counseling sessions. It was a lot of fun.
What's also cool is that we are all older. We're all in our mid 30's or above. So if you are in that age bracket and haven't found "the one" yet, it will happen. And when it does, you will know it, and it will happen quickly! Some of us were looking, and some of us were caught by surprise by it all, but we all knew that it was right.
And I don't think you have to try everything or everybody out in order to find that right person! I certainly didn't! I'm pretty fed up with a society of high divorce rates and marital infidelity, of shacking up and playing house, having babies first and then maybe getting married, of adult privileges without adult responsibilities (and this has nothing to do with age).
My denomination just had its biennial General Assembly. One of the things that came up was an attempt by some to redefine marriage. Praise the Lord, it was soundly defeated. What meaning does marriage have if we redefine it? It will lose its sacredness. Now, I'm all for civil and human rights for everyone. I don't believed in privileged classes be they based on economics, religion, race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. But not for profaning the sacred by trying to redefine it. If marriage is simply a civil contract, then who cares? But I don't think that marriage is simply a civil contract. I believe that marriage is a spiritual covenant between a man and woman. Even friends of mine who have chosen to live together without being married recognize something different about marriage. That's part of the reason they have chosen not to get married.
And marriage is not simply a private thing. The reason to have a wedding with vows that are witnessed is so that others are aware and included in the covenant being made. God uses marriages as public examples of God's love for God's people. A marriage covenant makes the statement that yes we are two people who will have conflict and problem and hardship, but we will stick together and grow together and learn more about and from each other, God, and life. We are something together that we could not be apart.
As the last statement regarding the gift of marriage says: "Therefore, let marriage be held in honor by all."


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