by Donald Mellon
Marriage can be looked at from two perspectives; as an individual and as a government. As individuals we enter marriage to demonstrate a commitment to our partner for a long sustained loving relationship that is conducive to raising a family. We acknowledge our responsibilities and vow to uphold them before GOD.
The governments traditionally looked at marriage as a way to perpetuate the realm. Children are needed and since the time to raise a child is long, a stable relationship between a man and woman was required. Financial benefits were bestowed by governments on those wishing to marry and raise children. Over time governments sanctioned marriage ceremonies exclusive of church involvement in an effort to promote increased child rearing.
Once governments started providing financial benefits to married couples, licensing became required to define who was entitled to the benefits. And this worked fine until the definition of marriage was challenged presumably in an effort to open the question of just who was entitled to the benefits. The courts somehow decided that not providing government benefits to gays and lesbians that wanted to pair-up was discrimination. And thus we have the situation where no one, either individual or government, really knows what the official definition of marriage is.
Although governments perspective of marriage has changed mine has not. So I say if the courts and governments want to redefine the word marriage, I say let us do the same. We need a new term that defines a church sanctioned marriage between a man and a woman. This term will represent a higher level of relationships, the ones we originally entered into. For the purposes of this article I suggest the term “holy marriage” as opposed to the word marriage which now may represent the coupling between animals of any number and variety.
We will leave the term marriage in the dust bin of religiously defined institutions corrupted by governments and let the gays, lesbians, courts and governments rant about marriage equality while we leave that behind and move on to a higher level of holy marriage.
Holy marriage will require the cooperation of the churches. They will have to recognize the distinction between holy marriage and other marriages they may be forced to perform. Holy marriage is only between the church and the man and woman and has no legal status or benefits so that the courts and governments will have no basis to regulate it. It is what we want anyway, for it allows us to define the marriage we want and to make our vows as before. The churches will be defining a term for a marriage between a man and a woman as they did originally. The current term of marriage will apply to other types of relationships.
As a side benefit, if the churches enthusiastically support the idea of a church defined holy marriage being different than government defined marriage they may experience a renewed interest in church affairs. Many may desire a church defined ceremony recognizing the special relationship between men and woman. I can hear it now, “if you want a church sanctioned marriage in the eyes of GOD that separates you from those joined by ceremonies suitable for gays and lesbians, enter our portals”. Maybe not quite that obvious.
We will still be required to get a license and it will be called a marriage license and we will receive government benefits but we will know that our marriages are church defined holy marriages and not government defined unholy marriages. And no doubt there will be churches that provide marriages to gays and lesbians “in the eyes of GOD” but we can ignore those marriages knowing that our relationships are indeed at a higher level, a level defined by a power superior to our courts and governments.