Yesterday we talked about the overlap between the church and the State regarding marriage. There was a time when church and state were one, and this marriage (all puns intended) of civic and religious responsibilities made sense. Even when the two separated, they walked in the same direction for many years, so things still worked. That’s no longer the case.
Marriage in society in general and marriage within the Kingdom are two different things. We need to recognize that fact. It’s not just now becoming true with some places allowing gay couples to marry; it’s been true for a very long time.
Our society looks on marriage as a temporary state. It’s a contract with an easy escape clause. There is no stigma attached to marrying and divorcing multiple times. Couples join, and jokes are made about how long the union will last. That’s not the same marriage we teach in the Kingdom.
When couples exchange their vows in front of an Elvis impersonator in a Las Vegas chapel, that’s not Kingdom marriage. When couples sign prenuptial agreements before saying “I do,” that’s not our marriage. When a man and a woman decide to “tie the knot” after having their third child, that’s not Christian marriage. I could go on and on, but we need to recognize that society’s marriage and the church’s marriage are not the same. By joining the two, we aren’t strengthening society; we’re weakening the church.
Even if the two marriages continue to be intertwined, we need to teach our children the difference between the two. We need to teach our adults, for that matter. The State isn’t the church, and the church isn’t the State. We are citizens of the Kingdom of heaven and need to remember, no matter how judges rule and politicians legislate, we answer to our King. For us: “There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy.” (James 4:12)
For citizens of the Kingdom, marriage is what it has always been.