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Only one kind of union is right

“Don’t limit the freedom to marry.”

I’m a bit confused by this statement. After all, there’s all sorts of limits involved in marriage. Marriage is limited to those who are not close relatives (much to the dismay of two young people I knew who were first cousins and living together). Marriage is limited by age — a 14-year-old can’t get married even if she is “in love.” Marriage is limited by species. You can’t marry your pet. And marriage is limited by number. You can’t marry two women at the same time, or three men.

While I suspect that at least some of these ideas strike most of us as distasteful or even repulsive, let’s be frank—there are individuals and indeed groups in our country today advocating every one of these positions.

And while some today advocate the union of two men as a “marriage” (or two women for that matter), I think most people know that there is something unique and undeniably special in the union of a man and a woman in marriage. Anyone who has lived long enough or talked deeply with people has seen and heard the many devastating effects that go along with every sexual coupling other than one man and one woman joined for life under God. Many illnesses — both physical and psychological are caused by sexual activity that is not with the right number, the right age, the right genetic relationship, the right species, and the right sex. And only a marriage between a man and woman can produce that most wonderful gift to humankind — healthy, happy children.

Beyond these common-sense reasons why we should not try to redefine marriage, as a follower of Jesus Christ, I have one more. Because every time a man pursues a woman in tenderness and commits himself to love her faithfully for his entire life, I see a picture of what our creator did for us all through his son. Jesus came to pursue us all and loved us enough to die for us, erasing the record of all our rebellious wrongs. And when we follow the lead of his love, we become one with him in a mysterious and wonderful way, sharing a life that is wonderfully productive and eternally hopeful.