January 17, 2014

The Golden Rule Argument for Marriage

While driving today I was struck by an argument for the standard understanding of marriage as the union on one man and one woman—based on the Golden Rule. I believe it is succinct and compelling—if people are honest with themselves. Here it is:

The Golden Rule tells us to do unto others as we would have them do unto ourselves.

Ask yourself: Do you wish that you had been raised by your own father and mother who stayed together after they conceived you and then raised you in the context of a committed and loving relationship?

If you wish this for yourself then you should wish this for others as well. 

Therefore you should support the historic understanding of marriage as the lifelong commitment between a man and a woman, and you should oppose anything that weakens, redefines, or devalues that understanding. 

If you were raised by your own mother and father who stayed together, loved each other, and loved you, then you are envied by many many people. My wife and I have worked with young people for fifteen years and have had many conversations with youth from all sorts of fractured families. Yes... young people have a way to roll with the punches, but across the board they would tell us that their deepest longing was the wish that their mom and dad had been able to stay together as a family. Some could only dream about this as a fairy-tail. 

Marriage is what keeps mom and dad together. We would do well as a society to treat the union of one man and one woman as something very special and sacred. Every single human being on this planet owes their existence to this one precise combination. This combination is the source of life. When a society values authentic marriage children have a better chance of being raised by mom and dad. 

1 comment:

  1. This isn’t the only argument, the main argument, nor the best argument for OMOW marriage. Still, I think it is helpful because it argues from something that everyone can relate to. The “Golden Rule” is not just something that Christians believe although it is something that Christ taught as well (Matthew 7:12 and Luke 6:31). If you are a Christian, your beliefs on these matters should be determined by what God has revealed to us in the Scriptures. However, it is also important for us to learn how to argue these points in the public square. The same God that inspired the Bible is the God who designed and created humanity. God designed us to live and function in certain ways and for certain purposes. When we live according to that design, things go much better than when we live against that design.

    I think this argument is also helpful also because it cuts through the propaganda from some of the current studies that try to claim that children from same-sex homes do just as well as children who grow up with their own mom and dad. (For another article on that, see: http://stayontargetstayontarget.blogspot.com/2010/08/court-is-wrong-about-health-of-children.html.) There is a mountain of evidence to the contrary. But even if there wasn’t, I don’t think we need surveys to tell us what we already know and desire. It is easy for someone with an agenda to define “well-adjusted” as they see fit and to make statistic fit their desires. It is another thing to simply ask yourself: What would you have wanted if possible?

    The Golden Rule can be abused and twisted. Someone could argue, “What I would like is for other people to give me approval to live my life however I want, without any guilt or negative consequences… therefore I should do the same for others.” That would be sad. An attitude like that is individualistic and selfish. It is also common. It is not genuine love for neighbor. It is also a reason for Christians to be thankful that we can look to God’s Word to make things clear.


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