There are many people today, especially in my state, that are considering this question at this time. Regardless of what the voters decide on the subject in my state (Minnesota) or nationally, there is one thing that we must know: The God of the Bible not only instituted marriage, but He has spoken that the institution is to be between one man and one woman for life.
This has nothing to do with what God says about homosexuality (though the God of the Bible has proclaimed homosexual sexual behavior as well as heterosexual sexual behavior outside of the covenant of marriage as a sin- see 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, 1 Timothy 1:8-10, Romans 1: 18-32 and others). This has to do with the first institution that God has established and that Jesus Christ- the one true and only begotten Son of God confirmed while he walked the earth. Please read and consider the scriptures in terms of marriage:
There are a few things that we can commonly learn from this passage. The help that was meet for the man was not found in all creation. Not one of the animals could fulfill the role of a help that was meet, in other words, one that could complete the man and strengthen him where he was weak. To solve that problem, God decided to create a help that was meet. When God, the sovereign, omnipotent, and omniscient(all-knowing) King of all the universe created woman. God did not create another man to be a help that was meet, though He could have, if that would have fulfilled God’s intentions. The reason woman was created is that she was the perfect complement for man and the man was the perfect complement for woman in terms of the marriage covenant, which God established the same time that He created woman. He established this covenant that humans would rule over the earth and populate it, ultimately that the marriage relationship would demonstrate the relationship between Jesus (the Savior) and the church (those He has saved) (see Ephesians 5)
Jesus, the incarnate Son of God, also agreed, quoting the book of Genesis, and adding his interpretation in terms of divorce:
Matthew 19:4He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, 19.5:”Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh”? So they are no longer two but one flesh. 19.6: What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”
Herein lies the conflict between those who are calling for marriage laws to be extended to same-sex couples. It is not marriage the way that God planned it, it is not the way that the Chosen people (the Jews) recognized it, nor is it the way that Jesus, the incarnate Son of God and the founder of the faith we call Christianity, indeed the Head of the Church says it is. Jesus proclaimed that God created man and woman, and that God established marriage as a life-long covenant between one man and one woman. Nothing changes this- not the failure of man and woman to keep the covenant, not the changing times and the opinions of man or the state, nothing. Marriage is an institution founded and established by God to be between man and woman.
There are many questions that arise out of these absolute statements. Allow me to place my two cents here.
- What about equal rights? Shouldn’t people be free to marry whomever they want? Yes, people should have equal protection (see the 14th amendment) under the law of the land. That is why any man can propose marriage to any woman, and if she agrees, they can be married (depending on certain age restrictions and familial relationship) in any state of the union. Any woman can agree to marry any man who decides to propose to her. Thus men and women have equal protection under the law, it matters not their race, their background, their religion, or their sexual orientation. What the homosexual agenda attempts to hoist on the rest of the country is special rights. They desire to have the law of the land recognize their orientation as a special class of people that ought to be able to marry someone else of the same sex. They already have rights that are equal, but they want special rights. What is keeping the Jerry Sanduskys of the world from demanding a reestablishment of pedastry for those who have an affinity for young boys? After all, he was born that way.
- Why can’t I marry the one that I love? See # 1 above. You can marry the one that you love, if that person is of the opposite sex and that person agrees to the marriage. I have loved lots of women; however only one agreed to be my wife. You have the right in this country to love whomever you want. Indeed, though it is immoral in the eyes of God, you can have sexual relations with that person you love outside of the covenant of marriage, but that sin (along with lying, stealing, coveteousness and other sexual immorality) will bar you from the kingdom of God (see 1 Cor 6:9-10) You just cannot marry that person.
- Doesn’t the will of the people or legislation change the definition of marriage? It may in the eyes of the state, but like the laws concerning abortion (infanticide) it does not change God’s view or the Christian’s responsibility concerning being obedient to the word and the will of God. Abortion is murder in the eyes of God, and no murderer will inherit the Kingdom of God. Marriage, for the Christian, is always between one man and one woman for life. Any other definition is not the way that God intended or supports. You cannot vote for gay marriage or participate in a homosexual union and be a Christian in the Biblical sense, as you are rebelling against the Word of God.
- Doesn’t the Bible change with the culture? Many people believe this, but it is simply not so. They look at the Bible and try to interpret it to justify their particular sin or their lifestyle choices. They might say that Paul ( for example) could not possibly know that homosexuals were born this way etc. etc. By saying that, you are saying that humans wrote the Bible, that it was not inspired by God and the human others were not carried along by the Holy Spirit, and that the Bible is just a book like all other books. In claiming this, a person who claims to be a Christian could have no assurance of salvation, could not be assured that Jesus is God, that He rose again- indeed that He even ever existed.
- Doesn’t the fact that over 50% of marriages ending in divorce demonstrate what a broken institution it is? Absolutely, but that does not change God’s view on marriage. It is humans that fall short of His perfect standard. Just because two men or two women could be lifelong partners does not change the fact that God’s only definition of marriage and the only good marriage is between one man and one woman for life.
We have all fallen short of God’s standard; indeed there is no one that is righteous, not even one (Romans 3:10) We are all in big trouble on the day of judgement if we have only told one lie (Prov 12:22, Revelation 21:8) if we have stolen, committed adultery, even looked with lust. That is why we need a Savior, to save us from our sins. That is why Jesus came. He was perfect, never transgressing the law of God. When He was crucified, God treated Him exactly how we deserved to be treated. He crushed His Son for our iniquities (See Isaiah 53) so that we could could gain His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21, 2 Peter 2:24). What we must do is recognize that we are sinners, that our most righteous works- even religious ones- are filthy rags in the eyes of God, and turn from our way (repent) and trust (believe/faith) in Christ alone for our salvation. If we will do that, God will rescue us from sin and give us a new nature, one that actually desires to love, follow, and obey God.
Legislation will not save you, marrying the one you love will not save you, religion will not save you. Only Christ alone can save you. Turn from your way (which is the wrong way, it is the broad way that leads to destruction) and turn to Jesus. He is the only way that leads to life.