Defense of Marriage Actions
Obviously the title of today’s post plays off yesterday’s news that the Justice Department will no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act. But my thoughts are not about politics, playing to the base, justice or the human hubris that supposes the definition of truth and reality is solely ours to make.
I have been in the marriage business for a long time. Thirty-three years of my own marriage and eighteen years of helping couples prepare for marriage and officiating at weddings. Becky and I would never claim that our marriage is perfect – it isn’t – nor have all the marriages I have helped begin been perfect; some of have not survived, though, thanks to the grace of God, most of them have.
I’ve been thinking about marriage today. About the headlines, but more about what a wonderful gift of God it is.
Included in the opening words of the wedding service in our Presbyterian Book of Common Worship are these, “God created us male and female, and gave us marriage so that husband and wife may help and comfort each other, living faithfully together in plenty and in want, in joy and in sorrow, in sickness and in health, throughout all their days.”
I made hospital rounds this morning and in one case I sat for awhile with a husband waiting for his wife to come out of surgery. Nothing could be clearer than that he loves his wife with all his heart and that he was there in his faithfulness to help and comfort. And today it was in sickness – but when the doctor came out to say that all was well, it was also, most definitely, in joy.
My second visit was in the room of a man who has spent too many days in a hospital room over the past few months. His wife was at work because, after all, life goes on. The man worries more about the toll his sickness takes on his wife’s emotions than its toll on his own body. Again, nothing could be clearer than that through plenty and want, joy and sorrow, sickness and health these two have been faithful in their care and help of each other.
As far as I know, neither of the men I visited this morning are perfect husbands, their wives are not perfect wives (though they might want to argue the point with me!) and their marriages are not perfect marriages. But their marriages are a gift from God who created us male and female, and gave us marriage so that husband and wife may help and comfort each other, living faithfully together in plenty and in want, in joy and in sorrow, in sickness and in health, throughout all their days.
The story of creation as told in Genesis 2 tells us that the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him” (verse 18). And so he made woman that the man and the woman might live faithfully together. Then we are told, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh” (verse 24).
So I have been thinking more about God’s gift of marriage than about marriage as a political football. I am thankful for the gift and for the two LPC men who reminded me this morning of what good marriages look like.
There’s an action you can take in defense of marriage. If you are married, please tell your husband or your wife how thankful you are for the gift of your marriage. If you know someone who reminds you of what good marriages look like, tell them how thankful you are for their example.