Marriage is a hot topic in today’s culture. Whether it has to do with seeing your bride walk down the isle, your friends avoiding marriage, your friends getting married, gays trying to redefine marriage, or the government trying to define marriage, marriage is on our minds today.
Well, Oklahoma has taken steps to get the government out of the marriage business. The reason is that the government should not be in the marriage business at all. In Genesis, God invented the institution of marriage, so it should be his followers that engage in it.
House Bill 1125, which would effectively ban all secular marriages in the state, was passed by a Republican majority and will now go to the state Senate for consideration.
“Marriage was not instituted by government. It was instituted by God. There is no reason for Oklahoma or any state to be involved in marriage,” said one of the bill’s Republican supporters Rep. Dennis Johnson, though marriage is a legal contract.
Marriage is not just a legal contract, it is a picture of God’s love for his church. In Ephesians 5, Paul tells husbands how to love their wives,
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy by washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies.
So, without redefining marriage to mean something that God never intended, how can atheists participate in marriage or fulfill its purpose? Marriage is a continual act of selflessness, and while an atheist can be selfless, there’s no reason for them to be selfless. High atheist, Richard Dawkin, even praises the virtue of selfishness at the expense of sacrifice in his book The Selfish Gene. This is the exact opposite of marriage.
The good news is that everyone can participate in marriage, because God can redeem anything. He has mercifully given his Son so that our sins can be paid. We can all enjoy fellowship with Him knowing that our debt is paid.