A secular marriage??

I was having a conversation last night about marriage in which I made the claim that there is no such thing as a secular marriage.  Here’s my explanation –

The marriage relationship is the shadow of the ultimate marriage of Christ and his bride, the church. At its very essence marriage is about God and it brings into being a relationship which is a reflection of his love for his bride.

Even a marriage (including civil unions) between people who deny God take this relationship and mimic it (albeit with distortions). They may deny that marriage as an institution is rooted in who God is, but their denial doesn’t make it any less factual.

There is no marriage that is nothing to do with God, because without God, marriage does not exist.

Am I wrong??

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12 thoughts on “A secular marriage??

  1. why does that make them secular? surely that doesn’t negate the fact that marriage is a shadow of the true marriage, and model on God’s love?

  2. Because a primary meaning of ‘secular’ pertains to timeliness rather than profanity (cf. the Latin version of the Gloria Patri doxology: …Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. )

  3. You’re right!

    It was striking for me a while ago to see that Jesus speaks his famous “That which God has joined together, let no man put asunder” in a context where the marriage being discussed is that of Phillip and Herodias (discussion in Mark 10, details in Mark 6).

    That marriage was not one of believers, but nevertheless Jesus makes the solemn pronouncement.

  4. There you go……right again!!! I am put in your life to raise these questions so you can think them through, come up with the right answer, doubt yourself (cos I can be quite persistent) and then get the confirmation that you were right all along! And then I think it through further and come up with the idiot’s guide to understanding complex theological issues

    So is it kind of like this….

    I have a massive argument with my Dad and don’t want anything to do with him ever again.
    He sends me a birthday present.
    I can reject or accept the gift, but if I accept it, I either need to:-
    1) acknowledge it is a gift from my Dad;
    2) take the item, refuse to acknowledge it is from my Dad and have no answer regarding where it came from that I am prepared to admit to;
    3) take it with the belief that it was my right to have the item in the first place, refuse to acknowledge it came from the man who claims to be my father and refuse to view it as a gift from anyone.

    Many people treat marriage like the scenario number 3 above. Regardless of whether they think they have a right to it or not, it still has been given as a gift, and regardless whether they acknowledge the origin of the “gift”, the gift still had an origin. And the giver wants the gift to be used by the receiver for the purpose for which he intended it to be used.

    I guess my next question would be, would my Dad be any more upset with me if I received the gift and used it for the wrong purpose (say he gave me a cloth picture in a frame to hang on the wall, and I decided to take it out of the frame and use it as a tablecloth) than if I took the picture and hung it on the wall, but never acknowledged it had come from him?

    • good question. I’m not a huge fan of analogies (because ultimately the fail at points) but how would you answer the question if the picture in the frame was of your Dad and his children?

  5. Hi! Interesting blog and comments. I have a friend who says “analogies are like sausages, only good unless you look at them too closely”. Lol. This analogy is a great template for this discussion at hand tho. And, really, it is the image of God that is imprinted on the gift He’s given….great thought.

    Re marriage: I see it this way, God gave us examples of our potential relationship with Him in all human relationships (father-son, friend-friend, etc.) but gave us the most close example in that of marriage.

    I like how Paul says in Eph 5 that this is a mystery …indeed it is – how all cultures over all time have in some form honored this union and exalted it in society as sacred, making it a foundational aspect of who we are and imprinting “God” and His ways within how mankind lives today.

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