Religion roundtable: Studies show fewer people are getting married; does marriage still matter?
Jul 14, 2012 | 1791 views |  0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Commitment is a gift

Marriage is commitment, and remains important to Christians no matter what the current fad may be.

From the beginning of human existence, God created a covenant (contract) or a commitment relationship between Adam and Eve, grounded in love.

Jesus Christ in the New Testament reaffirmed that covenant commitment, saying for this reason a man and a woman will leave their families and become one: that is commitment. (Matt 19:5-6)

The unmarried Saint Paul advised us to love our partners as Christ loves the church.

The imagery found throughout the New Testament is of the Church as the Bride of Christ — an image that reveals the loving commitment that Christ has to His Church.

While it is possible to have a committed relationship outside of marriage, and it is also true that a marriage license cannot guarantee commitment, a marriage license also affirms that I am committed to this person publicly and legally. In other words, it holds me accountable.

The vows and responsibility of marriage carry with them the commitment to love each other and be faithful by forsaking all others. People need to know that someone will stand by them — unlike the popular television show “Jersey Shore,” where commitment is not practiced or valued.

Committing to someone is a powerful gift. It makes us vulnerable, yet it has the promise of giving us a life partner to grow with.

Peter Hawker, First United Methodist Church, Anniston

Marriage reflects divine family

Commitment and covenant are promises that are made when a man and woman are joined as husband and wife. Being joined denotes faithfulness, loyalty and permanency in relationships. Marriage is an honorable state and is ordained by God to safeguard couples’ intimacy.

When a man and woman come together in marriage, they become a family. The Bible is rich in imagery depicting God as father, husband, nurturing mother, and Christ as our bridegroom. The covenant of marriage puts the human race in a position to demonstrate an attribute of our heavenly Father and be a family.

A working understanding of marriage according to studies is this: “Marriage is a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship. Marriages vary according to different cultures, but marriage is usually an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged. Such unions are formalized via wedding ceremonies.

“In terms of legal recognition, most sovereign states and other jurisdictions limit marriage to two persons of opposite sex or gender, but some of these do allow polygamous marriage.

“In the 21st century, several countries and some other jurisdictions have legalized same-sex marriage. Civil marriage is the legal concept of marriage as a governmental institution irrespective of religious affiliation, in accordance with marriage laws of the jurisdiction and is recognized by a state, organization, religious authority, tribal groups, a local community or peers.”

Marriage and family is relevant to those who believe God has placed husbands, wives and children in committed, covenant relationships to reflect the life of our divine family in our natural lives as the foundational structure of our society.

Beverly Maddox, Word Alive International Outreach
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