Think on These Things: Traditional marriage reduced to a ‘fossilized, submerged wreck’

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“Have ye not read, that He which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” (Matthew 19:4-6)

I quote these words of Jesus, intentionally, from the dated King James Version, to underscore the reality that I am part of that fossilized, submerged wreck called traditional marriage. Although I was being put to rest by the lawmaking community, it was not those people who released my coffin from the port bow. The people most truly responsible for my passing were those who once claimed they treasured me most. The sad truth is that I was eventually ignored out of existence by those who left their first love…

It is always so easy for me to point my withering finger at the other guy, so pragmatically useful, and such an easy way for me to escape the inevitable responsibility of my own self-sacrifice. If there is anything that stood out, during my own pathetic attempt at Lent, is that Jesus, who claimed to be the Son of the living God, always led by example. He allows the scourge to tear His bloodied back, rather than use His words and actions to tear the other guy to pieces.

I am ashamed at how often my accusing finger wags its damning condemnation in that other person’s direction, while I sit there basking in the raging inferno of my own inexcusable, and outrageously indiscernible, hypocrisy. Oh, it is certainly obvious to the rest of the world — like an emblazoned flag announcing, look my foolishness! Yet, the more strident my preaching at the other person, the more and more and more my flagrant hypocrisy is ever more oblivious to my own self.

How then am I to react when I see, all around me, a world, which, in my best judgment, has ignored, is ignoring and will continue to ignore, the most basic model of all human relationships laid down in Holy Scripture, namely, the covenant relationship between the man and the woman, which has served as the model we are to aspire toward — marriage?

How does the preponderance of scripture writings encourage me to react, as biblical marriage continues to go the melancholy way of the once great dinosaur? Scripture, overwhelmingly en-courages me to “weep, between the porch and the altar,” to bury my heart, in prayer. As one writer once said, “We are never so tall as when we are on our knees.” When we hide and hunker down in prayer, then Jesus, the one who died and rose again, and ascended into glory, becomes more visible, and far more compelling, than my hypocritical escapades. And then? Well, if Jesus, and His message on marriage, is still rejected, then I will have done everything I could have, safely, done by the grace of God.

And biblical marriage? Well, even if it dies out completely to our society, as apparently the evidence indicates, then, at least, we can take heart that, as an earthly prototype of the eternal marriage between Christ and His heavenly bride, it will forever remembered.

Still now, biblical marriage, remains, down here, as a hollowed shell, like the once great Titanic, but now only a barely remembered underwater site, for daring and adventurous deep sea archaeologists and lovers of the bizarre and obscure.

Ron Benty is the pastor of the Wynndel Community Church.