Marriage, while a dirty word to some, has certainly been a hot topic of late, and I’m going to offer my two cents.
Merriam-Webster defines it as this: the state of being united to a person … in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law.
But, that word, marriage, it’s so much more than what can be defined by a few words.
So, what is marriage really?
That, as I have found over the years, can be quite the tricky question and discovering the answer a twisting and winding road that never quite stops twisting and winding.
Before I married, I thought long and hard about what it meant to me, and now that I’ve been married for a time, marriage has come to mean even more.
The thing is, no one can really prepare you for what it takes to make any relationship, let alone a marriage, work.
And no matter how well you know a person, there’s always more to find out about them, and sometimes it’s stuff you really don’t want to know.
Bitterness and resentment, all it takes is but a tiny crack and they will push a door wide open. Despondency, it’ll come right on in, too, if you don’t keep a watchful eye. Hurt (like nobody’s business) can come often.
It takes diligence and great care and steadfast attention to keep these things from eroding what you each once viewed as impossible to crumble.
My husband and I made promises to each other, once upon a time. It was with all my heart that I made those promises. That means something.
I am the child of divorced parents. I never saw my parents being loving to one another, affectionate, playful, or even friendly – at least not on any level that registered with this kid.
I was only 8 years old when they split for good. There may have been all of those things present at some point, and maybe I just missed it because I was so young and not that good yet at the deep thinking part of anything. I cared about my Cabbage Patch Kids, Care Bears, watching “Knight Rider” and “Silver Spoons,” and watching over and over again Michael Jackson’s epic “Thriller” video.
I didn’t give a hoot about, or have a clue as to, the relationship of my parents until it was all over.
Suffice it to say, once it came to my own marriage, I took my vows very seriously.
It’s my opinion that a lot of people give up too easily on the matter. And the times you want to give up, they do come. I don’t think it matters at all what gender you are.
In the time since the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision recognizing same-sex marriage, I’ve given this marriage business a lot of thought again.
And I think a lot of folks are failing to make the connection that the courts do their job according to the law of man. The law of God is up to us as individuals.
So, the decision basically recognizes the union of a same-sex couple the way my union with my husband is recognized by the law.
The law doesn’t care if there is love or respect within that union. The law doesn’t care if there’s anything at all good about it.
God does. The law does not.
The court’s decision makes a legal document possible, not a marriage. And while there are certain recognitions that come with that document, there are also legalities.
Marriage, no matter who you are, is what you make it. The court has the right to define it in legal terms, but in the terms that matter most, the Bible covered that a long time ago.
But let me be clear, just because a marriage is between a man and a woman doesn’t make it right.
Who the people are and how they are as they make this covenant makes all the difference.
Marriage doesn’t happen in the courts; it happens in hearts.
It is really that simple.
The government may require a license for two to be bound legally, but that does not a marriage make.
This country is no more worse for wear than it was the day before the decision was made by that high court.
What matters is what you do with it.
Reach Angela Shepherd at email@example.com, 937-393-3456, Ext. 1681, or on Twitter @wordyshepherd.