Monday was a difficult day. There was a sense, probably on both sides of the marriage issue, that there was little justice done.
The Supreme Court denied review of all of the pending marriage petitions, meaning that the court gave up its opportunity (at least for now) to settle the issue of whether the people of the various states have the right to define marriage in their state law as the union of one man and one woman. This means that in at least five additional states (Virginia, Utah, Oklahoma, Wisconsin and Indiana) same-sex marriage licenses will be issued soon.
But amid the challenge of the day, for those of us who believe in marriage there are some truths about marriage that no one can change.
No matter what the state of U.S. law—yesterday, today or in the future—God's design for marriage contains truths that society cannot ignore without suffering serious consequences.
- Marriage is creative. The union of man and woman has the inherent potential to create and raise children, and that is what makes marriage a unique relationship. Only male-female relationships can produce children, and having parents committed to each other and their children is best for children. A woman can be a great mom, but she can never be a dad, and a great dad can never be a mom.
- Marriage is our foundation. As the Supreme Court has previously stated in the 1978 case Zablocki v. Redhail, marriage is "fundamental to the very existence and survival of the [human] race." The lifelong, faithful union of husband and wife promotes durable families for the common good today and for future generations.
- Marriage is our future. It "is an institution, in the maintenance of which ... the public is deeply interested, for it is the foundation of the family and of society, without which there would be neither civilization nor progress," according to the Supreme Court in the 1888 case Maynard v. Hill. Marriage is progressive; it ensures that our civilization will not only continue by producing future generations, but also that those future generations will be best prepared to become good citizens and contribute to a healthy, thriving society.
The unity of diverse sexes, in marriage as God designed it, creates a synergy that is transforming. It benefits the individuals through refining and shaping their characters. It is the only union of persons that has the power to create life. And it benefits society by promoting the idea that children deserve to be cared for by their biological mother and father.
Compromising these benefits by redefining marriage makes no sense. And today's decision passing on the question makes it harder to trust the courts to protect this essential social institution. So now the people have to decide if they will continue to fight to uphold marriage as the battle continues in the legislatures and the lower courts. But whether the Supreme Court ultimately gives "justice" or not, each of us must decide whether we continue to speak up in support of marriage and whether we will live out marriage according to its purposes.
There are at least three things we can all do to support marriage today:
- Remain respectful but steadfast in the face of opposition.
- When the opportunity arises, remind others that only man-woman marriage brings unique benefits to society.
- Live out our own marriages accordingly.
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