This week the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was struck down. I am a generally an apolitical individual and this blog is about marriage. It’s the marriage part that bears some relevance here. DOMA was a federal law put in place to appease conservatives who wanted to protect a traditional view of marriage. President Bill Clinton signed DOMA – which is why it applies in federal settings – as a way to get some legislation he wanted passed. In a sense, this was a very cynical law. Even when he signed it, I believe he knew that it would eventually be done away with by either other legislation or the courts. This week the courts pronounced the inevitable.
A traditional view of marriage is now ultimately a thing of the past in this country. By traditional, I mean marriage between one man and one woman. There is now no going back. More States will provide marriage and full rights to gay partners and someday other arrangements will be accepted as legitimate as well (such as polygamy). I follow this issue as a Professor who teaches on the topic of Marriage and Family for my college. With my class we have had lively discussions about the arguments for and against gay marriage. For purposes of debate some of the arguments are not only interesting but instructive. In the introductory chapter of my book, Perfect Circle: A Husband’s Guide to the Six Tasks of a Contemporary Christian Marriage, I mention that the United States has the second highest divorce rate on the planet. The country with the highest rate is Russia our old Cold War rivals. Clearly, neither side of that conflict has a good handle on sustaining marriages. This leads to the gay argument that gay couples can do better than heterosexuals in avoiding divorce. Perhaps they can, but only for a while. Human nature and our sin nature are not undone by our political maneuverings. Marriage takes work. It takes a reliance on the Holy Spirit and guidance by the Bible. There are many tasks that need to be accomplished in our unique contemporary setting if marriage is to be sustained, hence my book to help husbands love their wives.
I plead with my brethren in traditional marriages like my own to take up the challenge offered by the gay lobby, “Can we have marriages that last longer and are more loving than theirs?” Regardless of how you feel about the politics of the gay agenda, here is a way to respond in most non-hypocritical manner possible. Show everyone that you can create a successful and sustaining marriage. Study the Bible and study what makes marriage work. That will be an indefensible defense of your marriage.