Last night we watched a DVD at our church called “Breaking the Spiral of Silence.” It conveyed the idea of speaking out on issues of great importance. Speaking out is sometimes very difficult, especially if you are speaking in opposition of the prevailing culture. Speaking out may mean you stand alone or even in opposition to the majority. However, when you know something is terribly wrong, you feel a moral obligation to break your silence. Today I am speaking out in favor of marriage.
Why defend marriage? People are asking that question these days, especially since the idea of gay marriage is a very popular topic. Why not let gays have marriage, and we will stick with traditional marriage? What’s the harm? That’s a good question, and it deserves a good answer. Those of us who defend marriage today do so because we see this issue as a moral issue. We define traditional marriage as one man and one woman loving each other and being committed to a permanent and monogamous relationship. It has been defined this way for over 5000 years. They are naturally complete in regard to biological function of sexual reproduction. A man and woman who bare children in the union of marriage provide the best possible environment to rear children. The biological mother and father who stay in a loving relationship give stability to the home. This environment is the most ideal for bearing and rearing children, a fact corroborated by the best available social science.[i] In this kind of setting, children flourish like a plant does that has all the right ingredients.
When a child grows up in a loving home where she sees her mother love and respect her father, she learns the meaning of love. When a child sees his father love his mother, he learns how to be a loving husband and a father. When children have the opportunity to grow up in a home where love is modeled, they feel secure. In this home a boy learns what it means to model his masculinity, and a girl embraces her femininity. Where marriage is modeled, children learn the meaning of marriage and embrace it.
One of the reasons many of us are concerned about the reality of gay marriage is what has happened in the places where it has been legal for several years. In Norway, Canada or Holland, for example, traditional marriage has greatly declined, and co-habitation has greatly increased. Consequently, illegitimacy rates have sky rocketed. Invariably, where gay marriage is sanctioned, heterosexual marriage declines.
Imagine traditional marriage as a strong concrete bridge that carries traffic over a busy freeway. Then imagine gay marriage as the proposal to build another bridge over the same freeway. The only problem is they want to build it in the very same spot where traditional marriage is. The two ideas of marriage cannot exist together without heterosexual marriage being weakened. As a result, the effect on children being raised in homes apart from their biological mothers and fathers is of great concern to us. Therefore, I am defending marriage as defined as one man and one woman loving each other until death.