Why Does Marriage Matter?

Getting married was one of the four best things I’ve ever done. The other three are my two children and turning my life over to Jesus.

Despite all the huge mistakes I’ve made (and some of my mistakes have been both public and grievous) these four things outweigh them all in my eyes. I look at my life so far, and I can honestly say that I feel it’s been good. It’s been very good.

The reasons I point to are my husband and children and that the Lord God of the universe has accepted me.

In this day and age of cheap cynicism from privileged people, it’s easy to disparage the best of life and thumb our noses to it. As the old Randy Newman lyrics say, money won’t buy me love, but it will buy a pound of cocaine, a 16-year-old girl and the back of limousine, which, the song implies is probably better.

That song, which was titled, fittingly enough, “It’s Money That I Love” was meant as satire. Unfortunately, a lot of people live their lives as if they take it literally.

Jesus asked us, “Which of you, if your children asked for bread, would give them a stone?”

The answer, in our serial-marrying, marriage-skipping, baby-daddy, baby-mama world is, sadly, us. We would give them a stone. We do give them things and stuff when what they need is love and home. 

Children need a home with their own parents. They need the stability of marriage, the love of marriage and the future that marriage gives.

Divorce hurts everyone. But it scars children to the core.

Living in the hell of an abusive marriage does the same.

No marriage. Bad marriage. Which is worse?

Why should any child have to settle for either? What is wrong with us that we can’t manage to bond, have children and make a home for them? What sort of suicidal society is that?

I’m going to throw this open for your discussion. Do you think marriage matters? If you do, why do you think it matters? To whom does it matter? Why is it important?

I will limit the discussion to marriage between a man and woman for now. We’ll talk about the whole question of same-sex marriage in another post. For this discussion, let’s confine ourselves to the mess that heterosexuals have made of marriage and why we think this matters.

Please comment. I would like to have a discussion that enlightens all of us.

  • Bill S

    I believe that Jovan Belcher, the Kansas City Chiefs football player who shot the mother of his child and then himself, would not have been in the situation that he was in had they been married. The only thing I know about it is that she had gone out to a concert or dance much the way one would if she were single, which she was. He evidently was jealous and one thing led to another. In a case like this you can definitely see where marriage would have brought more stability to a young family.

    • Ted Seeber

      I would point out that in every single case of that, a divorce was involved. Either the threat or the actual filing of papers.

      This to me is proof that secular marriage laws are a failure in general.

  • http://jessicahof.wordpress.com/ Jessica Hoff

    Yes, it matters hugely, and for the reasons you give. It is giving ourselves to each other as fully as Christ does to us. It is the foundation stone on which our society is built.

  • http://nebraskaenergyobserver.wordpress.com neenergyobserver

    Marriage is critical, especially to children. Men and women are different, in the way you said yesterday. I was single till I was 40 then married and now divorced, and be married was at least a 100% better. But our breakup was about trust, not abuse. Domestic violence or single is a very tough choice but I would come down on the side of divorce. My reasoning would be that an abusive relationship is very likely to get worse, while starting over, you have a reasonable chance IF you change the paradigm, of making it better.

    The absolute worst would be serial abusive relationships, that paradigm thing is critical.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Personally, I think that when someone attacks their own spouse, they have so violated the trust of the marriage that they have abrogated it. I never advise anyone to stay with someone who is violent or abusive. Quite the contrary. People who treat their families like this don’t deserve to have families.

      As for serial abuse relationships, even though the abused person who keeps marrying abusers may be innocent of abuse, they are evidently making very bad choices for some reason. A person who is a serial abuser is incorrigible and in my opinion unfit for normal human society.

      • http://nebraskaenergyobserver.wordpress.com neenergyobserver

        I agree with you, there is no room for abuse in a relationship, and I also agree that an abuser is unfit company for human beings.

        • Rebecca Hamilton

          I kinda figured you would, good guy that you are. :-)

          • http://nebraskaenergyobserver.wordpress.com neenergyobserver


      • Ted Seeber

        A better answer is to consider such people mentally ill, and get them treatment.

  • http://www.thresholdofheaven.com Peter

    Hi Rebecca,

    I believe marriage absolutely matters. And not just a marriage, but a good marriage. One that, although imperfect, seeks to honor God.
    The statistics for failed marriages after the death of a child are high. I thank God that although my wife and I have grieved differently, our marriage is being strengthened by our common faith in Jesus.
    We really sense that Jesse’s brothers need the security of our marriage as we continue to navigate our grief journey together. It’s easier to navigate difficulties in life together as a family unit.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      These are very important observations Peter. You could teach all of us a lot. One thing you touch on is that you and your wife both know that your two sons in this world need their mother and father together, and they need their home. They were wounded by losing Jesse, too. How terrible for them if they also lost their home and their parents as a united parenting unit. Bless you my friend.

  • Karen R

    Hi Rebecca,

    I believe marriage is vitally important and not just to us but also to God. He is, after all, the creator of marriage. He created marriage to be the model for the relationship between us and Him. It’s much more complicated than that, actually, but by the same token it is just that simple. Wanting a good relationship with God I will not settle for anything less than the marriage He has planned for me.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Karen! This is an important point. It may be THE important point!