First, let’s get right down to the ugly truth no one wants to talk about. Marriage is a LEGAL status. It is not a RELIGIOUS status. You can get married without the church, without a pastor, without a prayer, but you cannot get married without filing paperwork with the appropriate legal agencies. In fact, until you file with the proper legal agencies, your marriage is not valid, even if you have had the most extravagant wedding imaginable. So bottom line marriage is a LEGAL status.
But having said that, I believe marriage is sacred. Some would argue marriage is a sacrament. Indeed, marriage is a union which was created by God, and can most certainly be blessed by God.
So what did God have in mind when he created marriage? Scripture tells us several things that should be considered:
- It is not good for humans to be alone
- Support, etc.
But the foundational reason God created marriage, is the very same reason he created everything else. For His Glory. God created marriage and I suspect he said It Is Good.
The question that must be answered is can a same sex marriage glorify and honor God. My belief is the answer is a resounding YES.
The primary argument I have heard from many Christians explaining their unwillingness to support same-sex marriage is directly related to the ideology that a marriage is supposed to be a reflection of, Christ as the groom and the church as the bride. I could not agree with that proposition more heartily. In fact, that is the VERY reason I believe same sex marriages can be and are God honoring.
The pill in the jam which is often overlooked is relationships between married individuals and the relationship between Christ and the Church is not entirely symmetrical. People focus too much on the usage of the words “groom and bride” as it is found in scripture. Many people are unwilling to admit that not only is the Bible filled with truth it is filled with symbolism, i.e. faith like a mustard seed, holy communion, all the parables told by Jesus, etc. In light of often used symbolism it seems perfectly reasonable to believe the wording GROOM and BRIDE are symbolic as well. Additionally, the greater weight of the evidence, implies this symbolism DOES NOT suggest, much less support, that these words were chosen to enforce or mandate opposite sex relationships. If a person digs a little deeper than a cursory reading of scripture it is easy to see that these scriptures are not sexual in nature at all.
Primarily, a marriage should embody and reflect the same FAITHFULNESS between two people as Christ has for the church.
The same deepening love Christ has for the church. The same exclusivity Christ has for the church. The same delight Christ has for the church. The same sacrificial behavior Christ has for the church. The same deep desire for unity Christ has for the church. The same selflessness Christ has for the church. This is how two married individuals are a reflection of Christ and his relationship to the church.
When a marriage consists of two individuals who are bound together, who resist the human nature of excess and self-centered desire, and resist behaviors that shame or degrade the other, a marriage, regardless of the gender of the two married individuals, glorifies God in everyday, mundane and common ways that are expressly human and not bound by gender or sexuality.
If you choose to follow Christ’s lead in these ways as you enter into marriage, regardless of your gender or sexual orientation, your marriage will glorify and honor God. It is for that reason alone the Christian faith demands that we support same sex marriages fully.