Today's New York Times has an article on heterosexual couples who refuse to marry until homosexuals are granted the "right" to marry as well.
The Times would have us believe it's a burgeoning movement. In fact, as the article itself makes clear, it amounts to a few celebrity couples, several cohabiting engaged couples and a UCC minister, her two-decade boyfriend and their 18-year-old son in Massachusetts.
Interestingly, as the article continues, its fundamental conceit of couples' sacrificial-devotion-to-civil-rights-leading-to-delayed-marriage implodes before our eyes. The husband-to-be of one engaged couple says he'd rather go ahead and marry his fiance--leaving us wondering why his bride-to-be really refuses the formal ceremony. Meanwhile, the UCC minister and her man still refuse formal marriage despite Massachusetts legalizing homosexual marriage two years ago.
The obvious truth, folks, is that marriage has become an effete concept in American culture--an affectation, even a political statement rather than a one-flesh union. And Christians are as guilty of bringing things to this sorry pass as anyone. We have diminished the institution of marriage even as we've sought to aggrandize our individual unions. By delaying our own (and our children's) weddings until bride and groom are finished schooling, financially stable and established in careers, we make marriage out to be a valedictory, a statement of accomplishment rather than merely the first really adult act of most married couples' young lives; the start of life's hard work rather than its end; matriculation rather than graduation.
Even more fundamentally, we have diminished marriage by refusing to acknowledge the truth of God's Word that marriage is not a grand and complex thing uniquely tailored by each married couple to their own desires and circumstances, but instead, a Divinely-established monolith, a foundational institution established at creation by God through which those who marry submit to the will of God by conforming to the wisdom of the ages.
Finally, the insanity of a couple who have made commitments to each other and engaged in carnal union claiming they're not man and wife should be clear to all. That it's not is a serious indictment of the Church which is charged with being the pillar and foundation of God's Truth in this world. God's Truth says that these couples by engaging in sex and making promises have established a one-flesh union in His sight. Whether we call them married or not, God deems them man and wife. They will give an account to Him should they break their union as surely as all other adulterers. We are not promoting marriage by making it something more than it is Scripturally, we are diminishing the reality and danger of adultery.