With the supreme court’s recent decision regarding homosexual unions, there have risen many voices to proclaim the evils of such so-called marriages. Unfortunately, many of these same people now so outspoken against gay marriages are the very people who caused them. It is not as if gay marriage has suddenly sprung upon us, but rather it has been slowly gaining momentum due to the lack of respect in our culture for traditional marriage. Sins against traditional, true marriage are the cause of the ultimate perversion that is gay marriage. Thus, those who sin against, and by their actions defame, traditional marriage are nothing less than hypocritical when they preach against gay marriage. It is important to understand the ways in which one can sin against marriage, and this understanding has to lead us to a higher reverence for true marriage if we ever hope to prevent the evil caused by gay marriage.
Surely in our society the most prevalent sin against marriage is the performance of the marriage act without first having the marriage union in place. This practice has become so commonplace that the traditional idea of waiting for marriage has been relegated to the realm of jokes. Those who wish to preserve chastity before marriage are mocked and scolded as some kind of naive and silly puritan. “Why would you ever buy a new car without test driving it first?”, I once read as a comment to an article concerning the topic of waiting for marriage. Yes, this is exactly how the marriage act is viewed today; nothing more than a pleasure ride. Enjoy the new car smell and feel for a few months or even years, but as soon as it gets old and boring, move on to the new model. There is no commitment, no bond, no contract, no union, and no good in the performance of the marriage act without the marriage union. No love is made in such an act–it would be better termed as pleasure-making. Someone who makes pleasure without accepting or acknowledging the consequences of that pleasure is a child. When the person doing such childish things is supposed to be adult, they are a thief. If we perform the marriage act without the marriage union in place, we are stealing from God. What a terrible crime to distort one of our Creator’s greatest gifts to mankind and turn it into nothing more than a selfish experience solely intended for momentary pleasure.
Adultery is another common sin against marriage, and perhaps it is the most underestimated. Adultery does not always have to be a full-fledged affair. How many married members of our society must carry the stain of adultery by simply lusting after members of the opposite sex. Lustful actions are not the only way to commit adultery. The same sin is committed by lustful thoughts and words. The famous Bible verse we hear so often attests to this simple fact. Consider how many men and women of our society constantly engage in lustful talk of members of the opposite sex. It is all but impossible to go an entire day without hearing a married man or woman talk about the physical activeness of some member of the opposite sex. These are sins of adultery. These sins are causing the destruction of traditional marriage. And these sins are causing gay marriage to rise in the place of true marriage.
A word must here be said concerning what typically follows the sin of adultery, divorce. While it is certainly not a sin to permanently separate from a spouse who has committed adultery or become abusive and dangerous, it is always, in each and every circumstance, a sin to attempt a remarriage after such a separation when the separated spouse is still living. Marriage is an indissoluble bond that can only be broken by death. No matter how just the reason for separating from one’s spouse, remarriage while the separated spouse is still living can never be justified. This may seem harsh when the implications are considered, but regard the consequences of a divorcee getting remarried. What does this say about the nature of the marriage union? Such an action indicates that the marriage union is a flimsy bond which is dissolved by a simple act of the will. One’s spouse commits a single sin of adultery and suddenly the whole marriage is dissolved as if it never happened? A clean slate is automatically awarded to the offended party such that they can start their life from scratch? Whatever happened to “til death do us part”? What about “for better or worse”? What kind of true husband or wife could act like their spouse never existed when that spouse is now most in need of their loving help? If it is acceptable to remarry after separation, this indicates that problems should not be worked out. But this idea causes nothing but more problems as evidenced by the extraordinary divorce rate in our society today.
Perhaps the sin against marriage which most needs to be discussed is the sin of avoiding marriage. It is easy to see that sins of fornication or adultery are clearly wrong and immoral, but even good people who would never engage in such acts often sin against marriage by refusing to enter into the married life when they should. The average duration of courtship before marriage in our society has gone through the roof, and we are now seeing a trend where many couples will simply forego marriage all together. With the divorce rate what it is in our country, it is easy to understand why someone could be afraid of entering into a marriage union which is seemingly very likely to fail. No one wants to go through a divorce, especially when it can be avoided by simply not marrying in the first place. But apprehension about the future cannot be used as an excuse to not marry.
Young couples have a natural antidote to the poison of apprehension for the future. The purpose of falling in love is to help hide all of the trials and tribulations that come with married life. Very few people would have the courage to face all of these hardships if they weren’t blinded by love. Now this isn’t at all to say that marriage is a scam and most married people regret their decision. What so many unmarried couples fail to understand is that God has blessed the marriage union by providing special help for the married couple. This is precisely why marriage is so special–because God has blessed it with his special graces. When we are married, we receive special graces for our state of life in order to help us deal with marriage-specific hardships. This is why it is silly for unmarried couples to so often say that they are not ready for marriage. It is impossible to be ready for marriage in the sense that one has everything necessary to live in the married state. To say that one can’t get married because they aren’t ready for marriage is a bit like a high school student saying they aren’t ready to be a doctor because they haven’t been through medical school. Go through the process of medical school and one will be ready to be a doctor. Go through the process of getting married and one will be ready to be a spouse.
These are but a few of the many crimes committed against God’s great gift of marriage. If we continue to fling around our empty words about how wrong gay marriage is without first addressing the powerful statements of our actions, we are acting like the heavy smoker elaborating the terribleness of cancer. If so many cigarettes hadn’t been smoked, the cancer wouldn’t have grown. If so many sins against marriage hadn’t been committed, the cancer of gay marriage would never have assumed its current status. In the case of the smoker, cancer isn’t the real problem, but merely a symptom of the much deeper problem of an unhealthy lifestyle. Similarly, gay marriage is not the true problem in our society, but merely the symptom of our much deeper problem of complete disrespect for true marriage. There is only room for one idea of marriage within our society. Either it is the beautiful ideal which God intended; monogamous, one man and one woman, the marriage act reserved for the state of marriage, the rearing of children, the mutual consolation of the spouses, the symbol of God’s love for His Church; or it is the ugly ideal of the Devil where anything goes as long as it feels good. As Americans, we have to understand that our entire country rests upon the building block of strong families. Where there is no husband and wife, there is no family. We have fractured the most fundamental units of our society, and the entire structure is now crumbling. Let us begin to build our country back by building our marriages back.