Why Can't Marriage Be Redefined? We Didn't Define It In The First Place

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, February 20, 2014 0 comments

It never fails that God provides the perfect material at the right time for me to begin a post when I am struggling with how to get started. Yesterday, I was watching the movie “Face Off” as it was on television. The movie stars John Travolta and Nicholas Cage and is about a police officer who undergoes a surgery to literally have his own face replaced with that of a crazed murderer while the latter is in a coma. The purpose is to enter a prison and get needed information from the criminal’s brother. It is supposed to be temporary, but the murderer wakes up unexpectedly and forces the surgeons to put the officer’s face on him. The two then go throughout the movie living each other’s lives because even those closest to the officer weren’t allowed to know about the special assignment. The line that struck me was when the murderer (disguised as the cop) was talking to the cop’s wife (his assuming wife) and walked away muttering, “Lies, distrust, and mixed messages…this is turning into a real marriage”!

Isn’t it amazing how negatively marriage is often viewed in our culture? Something that many spend their whole lives waiting for turns out to be a major disappointment. For this reason, the bride and groom often throw huge parties to celebrate their last night of “freedom” before the wedding. People talk about how difficult marriage is and even sitcoms and movies portray it as an unpleasant experience filled with pain. Maybe that’s why so many in our culture are looking to “redefine” it. Maybe it’s our way of dealing with the pain and brokenness that we have seen in marital relationships that have been marred by violence, deception, and infidelity. We figure that if it’s not working out so well with one man and one woman, maybe it would work better with same-sex couples or with couples who mutually agree to allow each other to have multiple partners.

The problem with looking at marriage that way is that it is trying to take ownership of something that we did not create. As you may have read over the past few weeks in our blog posts, we believe that God instituted marriage when he created Adam and then created a woman to be united to Adam as one flesh. This intimate, committed relationship became the only thing we have in this world that could give us a glimpse of the relationship between God and his followers (Israel in the Old Testament and the Church in the New Testament). People have been given the free will to choose to go against God in whatever ways they want, but that doesn’t mean something is “redefined”. How can we RE-define something when we didn’t come up with the first definition? Can the Ten Commandments be rewritten? Can we change where the oceans and mountains are because we don’t like the setup? I’m reminded of the rhetorical questions that God asks Job in Job 38-39. I encourage you to read them all. Job and his three friends had questioned God’s plan because of suffering. God begins his response with, “Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge?”(38:2) Wow!

Job was not unlike you and me. When we don’t like the way things are going and can’t seem to make sense of it, we either try harder to take control or we completely surrender to God and his will. Usually we do both, with the latter coming after the former didn’t work like we’d hoped. Job questioned God for answers and when he got put in his place, he surrendered. “I am unworthy – how can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth. I spoke once, but I have no answer – twice, but I will say no more” (Job 40:4-5). It took a long time for him to get to that point. Let’s face it, surrendering is tough!

At Worldview Warriors, we don’t say that marriage can’t be redefined because we arbitrarily hate those who seek to do so. We say that it can’t be redefined because we have surrendered to God in this area. That doesn’t make us any better than anyone else, for we also have areas where we have struggled to surrender, as well as areas that we STILL need to surrender. We meet together and encourage one another to surrender to Christ those areas of our brokenness that we are seeking to control on our own, and we’d love to do the same with you. We know that he is not truly our Savior unless he is also our Lord, and he is not our Lord unless we are willing to surrender even the most difficult areas of our lives. We have also learned, likely through our own stubborn attitudes toward him at times, that ultimately we can’t change his sovereign will anyway. “These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open” (Revelation 3:7). In other words, any decision we make to go against him only hurts us. He is bigger than our choices and bigger than our redefinitions. The issue really isn’t about marriage. It’s about who is on the throne of your life. That’s not up to the government, pop culture, what’s accepted by the majority of society, or what your parents taught you. God alone is on the throne, and only YOU can choose to live accepting it or denying it.