The following is my attempt to help people think a little more clearly on the issues around marriage, and how it should be understood.
What is marriage?
Is marriage just a social construct? Is it based on love? Or is it something that exists for the creation of families and thus society? Is marriage defined or discovered by societies? You see this is a very important distinction; either marriage comes out of society, or marriage proceeds and ultimately creates society.
Marriage isn’t a social construct and it isn’t based on love. What came first: men and women in committed relationships having children together or societies? The answer is obvious, men and women in committed relationships that have children, create societies. Societies then look at this relationship and realize that it is something that creates society, and is important for the growth and success of a society, thus they protect it and honor it.
Marriage has always been understood as existing between a man and a woman. It wasn’t defined this way, it was discovered.
Marriage isn’t just about having children, because any fertile male and female human can have a child, marriage is about families or at least the intent to create a family. Like wise society isn’t created by children, but families. Thus families are the root and cornerstones of all societies.
What is a family?
The reason it isn’t about children as much as it is about families is that families are basically mini societies, where people are related to and have commitment to each other. Society is really nothing more than many smaller families forming a larger one.
The family is important because when it functions properly, it creates the best environment to raise children in, and thus build a society. For a human to be the most rounded and capable person they can be, they need to be raised by both a mom and a dad, they cannot get the same nurturing from only one man or one woman, as they can from a mom and dad.
Families start when a man and woman commit to each other with the purpose to have and raise children. Marriage then is this committed relationship, and it doesn’t matter if it produces children, just that it could.
Why a man and a woman?
Don’t you think that if a man and a woman having sexual unity is the only way to have a child, that perhaps them having family unity is at least the best if not only way a child should be raised?
Same sex couples cannot have children, why then should it be considered natural for them to be best suited for raising children? Logically it doesn’t follow that if it requires heterosexual union to create a child, then homosexuals should be just as equipped to raise a child although their union cannot create them. This also follows the same logic as to why should single people be allowed to adopt a child? I do not see why any relationship (not individuals) that cannot by nature have children (this includes single people although they are not in a relationship, they cannot have children by themselves) should hold the same status in society as the only relationship that can have, by nature, children – man&woman marriage.
Ought we not to want our children, even the orphaned, to be raised in the best possible environment possible, which will give them the best chance for success in life and the success of our society? Why would we settle for anything less?
At the most base and simple level, there is a huge difference between a homosexual relationship and a heterosexual relationship, which is children. Homosexuals, even in the most loving, committed, and caring of relationships cannot create another human, heterosexuals can. The process of birthing and raising a child requires more sacrifice and work on the part of the parents, than any relationship that doesn’t have children.
It is then obvious that right from the beginning homosexual and heterosexual relationships are different. Right from the bat one has the potential for greater sacrifice, commitment and work demanded from it than the other.
Shouldn’t the relationship that grows society, and requires more commitment on the part of the individuals, be viewed as needing societies protection and blessing more than the lesser? Shouldn’t the relationship that has existed first, and created societies, hold some value and honor in our eyes?
If we took every child birthed to heterosexual couples and gave them to homosexual couples, what would society look like? This is not a dig on homosexuals, but just asking an observing question.
Homosexuals don’t grow society, they do not reproduce, nor do they create the ideal nurturing environment for raising a child. It is self evident that a good mom and dad can give a child more than a good man and man, or woman and woman could.
Although men and women both have equal value as humans, they are different, look at any group of men or women of the same age talking together, their behavior and the subject matter is entirely different. Men and women are different both physically, and behaviorally. We all need input from both sexes or else we do not grow up as complete and healthy as we could be.
Consider the ideal family environment of a father and mother, are you going to tell me that the children raised in that environment will turn out with the same understanding and appreciation of the sexes, relationships, and life as a child raised with single or same sex parents? Where has history ever shown us such a thing to be true?
Why do people get married in the first place?
Historically people get married because a committed relationship between a man and woman is the best environment to birth and raise a child in. Once these people have a child, they have created a family, and then their children create families, and so on, and then those families create a society.
Marriage creates families and families unite society, and allow it to grow. Old people and babies are united in common unity within the family. The commitment in marriage to stay faithful to each other to raise children is what allows society to successfully flourish. They commit because they know that together they have the best chance at raising healthy kids. Because it does take so much commitment, resources, and time to raise children, one doesn’t quickly take on such a commitment without knowing they will have adequate support from their partner. Not to mention having a child is a huge responsibility, one that shouldn’t be diminished or neglected.
I know many people will argue with me on this, and say that they can commit just as surely to another person without going through the pomp and red tape of marriage, but I say: no you cannot. Surely you may think the two commitments are the same, but they are not. The reason marriage is public with pomp and red tape is because there is nothing greater in this world that will cause someone to keep their word, than if they publically swear to each other. Let me ask you this, if there were two couples, the first one committed to each other in private before no others, and the second committed to each other in front of the state, friends and family, in which one would it be easier to break that commitment?
The first couple would have an easier time breaking their commitment because it was so private, they do not have very many obstacles in their way. The second couple has their friends, family, and the state all telling them to keep their word, and pressuring them to be faithful because they swore in front of them they would. If you really do mean what you say, and want it to be the strongest promise it can be, why wouldn’t you want to do it before friends, family, and the state? Please tell me if you know some other arena for giving your word, which will help you keep it more than before these three?
Thus people get married because they want to commit to another person for their lifetime in order to raise children and create a family. They want to be responsible for their actions, namely the birthing of a child. Does it not follow that a relationship like a family, which requires so much work, effort, and commitment, ought to be taken very seriously by other members of society, because it is the reason society exists and flourishes? If we destroy marriage, we will destroy the nucleus of society, the family, and thus we destroy society.
Why does the government recognize marriage, and give it special protection over other relationships?
The reason that governments throughout history and countries have given a special place to the marriage relationship over all other human relationships is because marriage creates the family unit, which is the nucleus of society. Marriage is not based in love, but commitment to another human of the opposite sex to form a life-long official relationship with the hope of raising children and building a family.
Society rightly recognized that its very foundation is the family, and that families were made up of men and women who committed to each other in order to have and raise children. Society rightly recognized that such a commitment is extremely difficult and taxing on individuals, and so they did everything in their power to encourage people to create families and to protect and honor them who did.
No matter how you feel about homosexual relationships, no matter how legitimate or great you think they are, you must admit that they inherently different than heterosexual marriage relationships. What a heterosexual relationship does for society by creating families cannot be matched in any other relationship period. If anything else just the fact that heterosexuals can have children in their relationship, ought to set them apart from any other type of relationship.
If one sits back and thinks about it, it seems men and women were designed for each other. They fit sexually, this union propagates the species, and they seem to complement each other so that the union is a more complete entity than the pieces separately.
Marriage existed before society was created, and thus society recognized it and didn’t define or interpret it. Thus we cannot redefine something that wasn’t originally defined by us.
It seems to me that we ought to acknowledge the importance of marriage and families, and how unique and different they are from other relationships. There seems to be something about a man and woman in a committed relationship, raising a family, that blesses mankind in a way no other relationship can.
Answers to some questions or points…
1. But homosexuals and single people can still have children outside of their current relationships.
Don’t get off on tangents and argue that homosexuals or single people can have children, we are not discussing the individual’s ability to have children, but the legitimacy of non-man&woman relationships being given the same recognition in society as having the same value and contribution as man&women relationships. Do we really want a society where everyone just has a kid, no matter what relationship they currently are in, namely any non-marriage relationship?
2. Your mean!
How so? Is it mean to say that love brings more benefit to society than hate? Is it mean to say that families benefit society more than non-families? Is it mean to state opinions or facts? I am arguing for a fact, calling me mean doesn’t disprove my claim. You must counter and show that my facts are false. If you disagree with me and think homosexuals should be allowed to claim the name marriage and all the social protections and approval that goes with it, you must show how their relationship is equal to heterosexual marriage, and brings the same benefits so society that heterosexual marriage does. If you cannot, then we have no reason to recognize homosexual “marriage” as equally deserving social approval as heterosexual marriage. Meanness has nothing to do with it.
3. What about love?
What about it? If marriage was based on love, tons of marriages throughout history and today shouldn’t be considered marriage, because the people didn’t marry for love. Yet, these “relationships” created and nurtured children as well as those started with love. Why because when it comes down to it, a successful marriage doesn’t need love to start, because love can be learned and can grow after time. In fact in most marriages there are times when the people do not “feel” love for each other but they still perform their duties as parents just fine. Love in a marriage is like desert, it is nice, sweet, and helpful for promoting happiness, but it isn’t the main course or essential
4. What about my rights?
What about them? No one is stopping you from “marrying” your lover, the only difference is your relationship doesn’t receive the social approval and blessing that heterosexual marriage does, and for good reason, yours doesn’t create families naturally, nor naturally grows society. There is no shame in not being married heterosexually, but please do not try to claim the same privileges for your non-marriage (marriage being heterosexual marriage).
In fact no one is stopping you from marrying at all. Everyone has the “right” to marry, no one is stopping you, you just don’t like that you can only marry the opposite sex. It is like someone wanting to start a business and have it completely owned and ran by their pet dog. Well they could do that, but society won’t recognize it, does that mean they should get mad at society for not recognizing what they want recognized? Society has good reasons for not recognizing dog ownership of companies, and likewise it has good reasons for recognizing marriage as only between a man and a woman.
There are other objections to my views, feel free to put them in comments or email me.
– Coram Deo