What Is Marriage and Why Does It Matter?

Jason Jackson
Who decides what marriage is? Who is eligible to marry? Is it a matter of public opinion or political policy making? Absolutely not. God is the author of marriage, and his word regulates the divine arrangement. Jason Jackson considers the topic in light of recent developments.

Most people believe that marriage is the union of a man and a woman. According to a national Wirthlin poll by Alliance for Marriage last March, 62% of the people polled agreed that marriage is a heterosexual commitment; 26% disagreed; 12% didn’t know (http://www.allianceformarriage.org/reports/030304/030304.htm).

Thirty-seven states have passed marriage legislation, defining the relationship as that which is between a man and a woman. By way of contrast, no state has legalized same-sex marriages. But listen closely, and you may hear the winds of change.

The Massachusetts Supreme Court may rule soon (i.e., summer of 2003) on the issue, legalizing gay marriages. The controversy was recently brought into the spotlight when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down anti-sodomy laws of Texas.

Morality is on the decline and the divine institution of marriage suffers. But marriage is not defined by opinion polls. It is not recreated by judges. If Abraham had polled Sodom, what would the numbers have shown? God polled Sodom and not even ten righteous souls were found. It was a tolerant and “gay” society, concerning which Jude reported, “Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire” (Jude 7, ESV). It was a tolerant and “gay” society. From the heavenly Supreme Court Justice, we learn that morality is not defined by the majority.

Morality is absolute, and mutual consent does not make sin right. Mutual consentmay make it legal, but that does not make it morally acceptable. Consent has become the only reason necessary for legitimizing a sexual act — at least in the minds of some. It is, however, a gross perversion of God’s design for human intimacy. God created human beings in his own image, and he created them male and female. Furthermore, a man and a woman who are eligible to marry may enter the divinely created relationship in which sexual activity finds its purpose, is honorable, and is right (Gen. 1:26-27; 2:21-25; Matt. 19:9; Rom. 7:2-3; Heb. 13:4).

Homosexuals, and their sympathizers, are not content with saying, “This is the way we will live, and we don’t care if you go along with it.” No, they want to push their moral perversion on all people. They want legitimate status. They want financial benefits. They want wrong to be considered right, and homosexual-rights groups will not rest until this immorality is given universal consent (see "The Progressively Aggressive “Gay” Movement" and "The Google “Gag” Order" in our “Penpoints” section).

TV weighs in with its messages of immorality. With trash like Married by America and Joe Millionaire, the Fox Network portrays marriage as a game. Randall Murphree measures the situation accurately when he says, “To Fox, marriage is clearly nothing more than a gimmick to garner viewers and appeal to their worst voyeuristic inclinations” (“Dismantling Marriage: Prime-time flaunts assault on morality,” American Family Association Journal, Tupelo: AFA, July 2003, p. 16).

Popular TV sitcoms and drama shows have had their characters coming out of the closet for several years now. Some of the personalities have even discovered their homosexual appeal. As if the depravity could not be any lower, NBC (via its cable channel Bravo) has added a homosexual “reality” program to the long lists of so-called reality shows – programs that are nothing more than the exploitation of participants who are willingly humiliated for money, sex, or fame, and thereby entertain a sick viewing audience. Boy Meets Boy is scheduled for release this summer (2003). NBC believes the show will be a “fun but serious sociological exploration of male stereotypes” (http://stacks.msnbc.com:80/news/918462.asp); it appears, however, that it will be a virtual recreation of Sodom’s immoral society.

Marriage is not a shack up free-for-all. Sexual behavior is not merely “what goes on behind closed doors.” Far from being behind anything, immorality is in your face and you must accept it or be labeled with a scarlet “I,” which stands for the most offensive immoral conduct currently imaginable — intolerance.

What is right matters! What is moral matters! God created marriage and placed within it the honorable expression of love and intimacy. We do not have to cave in to the pressure of a godless society. There is no virtue in looking like Sodom, and many have failed to learn the lessons from the annihilated city of antiquity, and the souls that inhabited that region suffer for their rebellion against their Creator and Redeemer.