Life is a journey. And on life’s journey, many things are possible.
One of the happiest events among those many possibilities is one man and one woman coming together, with their friends and family, to celebrate a wedding:
A day of joy and happiness; a day to share that joy among friends and family; a day to share with younger folks who are still learning what life is;
And a day to share with older folks who have shared in that joy many times, as they watch the younger ones growing up and each, in turn, finding that special someone.
The covenant of marriage that is recognized in weddings is so special that not only do almost all religions endorse its sanctity, but also government has taken a role in the event.
Unfortunately, much of government intervention today works to undermine the good of marriage.
Society as a whole has long recognized the benefits of marriage for not only man and wife, but also for children and the community.
The statistical benefits have proven to be so overwhelmingly positive in countless studies as to be irrefutable, and these positives carry over across all demographics.
Unfortunately, two individuals agreeing to share living expenses and space is often what modern people think a wedding represents, and all they consider the marriage should be.
And so weddings and marriage are much trivialized among modern folks with their own ideas of lifestyle choices of weekend hookups and shack-up arrangements. Their celebrations are just another opportunity to get drunk.
What happens to the “special” of that someone if it is only a coming together for living expenses? It is much like renting an apartment is not so special as the celebration of committing to owning a home.
Along the same lines, the burning of the mortgage contract at the end of all those payments and the sacrifices and perseverance the accomplishment represents makes for a special day.
It’s a day worth celebrating, a day worthy of joining together with friends and family as one of life’s goals has been achieved with the endurance of the will to achieve.
“Opportunity to get drunk” versus “endurance to achieve” — maybe what we need to understand are the differences.
Modern man is not so much different than what humans have been since the Fall.
Just as when Eve and then Adam accepted the lie that they could decide for themselves what is good and what is evil, their descendants have been trying to find happiness in their self-serving happiness-of-the-moment choices. Our families and society as a whole are the worse for it.
Let’s look at the original idea: God created us in His image after His likeness. What is in us was in Him first.
God created the man of the dust of the earth, and made the woman from his rib. So the woman is part of the man, of the same creation, of the same substance.
As we are told in Gen. 2:18 of the Holy Bible, “And the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.’”
Man was made first and woman was then made by God to be a fitting helper. Although part of her husband, the wife is separate from him.
As helper, she is not self-seeking, but other-seeking — an outward concern. Helper also indicates purpose, as the wife helps to fill the husband’s purpose. What purpose?
If you look at the definitions of the words wedding, marriage, family, home, house, children, son and daughter in the Hebrew, you find a theme, that of building up.
When a man takes a wife, he becomes part of God’s purpose, building up from what God started long ago when He gave Eve to Adam in the first marriage and blessed them to build up the human family and have dominion over the earth.
In God’s purpose, marriage is the first building block of the family. Building up of children and grandchildren makes community. As communities grow, we have societies, neighborhoods, cities.
Continuing this expansion gave us nationalities and nations. The family of Adam and Eve has expanded all over the earth, subduing and taking dominion over the whole creation.
Building societies, building nations and dominion — all are outward creative purpose.
God knew that after they took of the forbidden fruit, human desire would be selfish. And that selfishness could and would corrupt the purpose.
To give guidance to the human family in their rebellion, God gave Moses the divine law, so that man could conduct himself rightly until such time as Jesus would fulfill the law and point us to the greater and comprehensive purpose that “... You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Matt. 22:37).
Ideally, those who enter into the covenant of marriage will love each other and their families according to God’s purpose, and all of society will be the better for it.
Abuse, neglect and mistreatment would not occur were the husband and wife focused on loving each other and their children with the same level of love with which Jesus loves.
Imagine if instead of government and other forces within society undermining the sanctity of marriage and the family, they instead encouraged and supported them.
Imagine how different our society would be and the possibilities of life’s journey if each husband and each wife resolved to fulfill God’s loving purpose in their marriage, their family and their community.
That is worth celebrating.
PAUL FROWNFELTER of Henry County is a member of the local Volunteers for Freedom Tea Party. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.