First get Married, then get married
21 August 2011 Theology
Because of the great battles raging over “marriage” and the definition of “marriage,” I propose (pun intended) this: treat marriage as a holy, Godly institution in the eyes of God and the Church.
I know what you’re saying: “Umm…that’s what we’re doing, or what we’re trying to do.”
But take a better look at what I said: treat marriage as a holy, Godly institution in the eyes of God and the Church. I said nothing about a constitutional definition, state guidelines and regulations, benefits, and other state-related concepts. I am talking about marriage before God and the Church, not the state of California.
I’m talking about viewing and holding to marriage within the Church as something that God intended, and not bound to the whims of the secular, political realm.
What if we encouraged members of the body to get married without any care for the certificates, paperwork, timeframes, and other related issues the state asks for? Or the tax benefits? Or the financial and credit benefits? Without a care for how the state defines marriage or civil unions? Then, obviously distinct from the Church (so there is no confusion, no need for “By the power invested in me by the state of…”), if the couple chooses to partake of the state-dispensed benefits of how the state recognizes a marriage, the couple can go to the court house and be married.
But that marriage certificate my wife and I have in our stack of papers doesn’t define us. That piece of paper isn’t what seals us together. We were not married, bound together, because California said we were. Our marriage was bound by God, before God and the Church.
(I say this recognizing that there are cases where the state benefits that come with marriage are incredibly vital. But my hope would be that the local church community would be there to support everyone, and they would be the first responders when help is needed.)