I feel I need to say a good thing about marriage, an institution under attack. I am speaking in particular of a marriage between a man and a woman, which is the kind God created:
“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife” (Mark 10:7). (Not “his husband.”)
Secondly, I am speaking about a marriage between one man and one woman, which is also the kind God created:
“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife” (Mark 10:7). (Not “his wives.”)
What I like about marriage is that because it is a covenant I do not have to worry every day that I am on probation. Shacking up with a guy, which is more the style nowadays, has no security in it. People I know who are doing it say they are fine with it, but I cannot help but think that somewhere in the unconscious is always the knowledge that you could be out on the curb next week if things go badly—for instance, if you develop an annoying habit of snoring loudly, or being chronically late, or too talkative, or contracting a serious illness, or getting dumpy looking.
This does not mean that when you are married you want to get sloppy and take advantage and “let yourself go.” But it does mean a daily stability in your life that frees up your mind for other things God has called you to do, such as writing daily columns for WORLD. I don’t think I could do it if I were always afraid that I might have one foot on the banana peel.
What I also like about marriage between a man and a woman is complementarity. I think that was ingenious of God. I notice that my husband and I think very differently, and a lot of that is because he is a man and I am a woman. If I were married to a woman, I would miss out on that difference in perspective that my husband often shares to keep me from thinking it’s the end of the world if one of my kids doesn’t phone for a few days.
What I also like about marriage between one man and one woman is that one-plus-one makes one, in God’s economy. If polygamy ever catches on in this country, you can count me out. It’s fulltime work to be one with one husband in a way that sanctifies both of us—I don’t think it would work with four or five extra people.