photo by Sheri Dixon

Friday, October 15, 2010

What Makes a Marriage, and a Family?

Seems like a pretty easy question, doesn't it?

All the story books we read growing up had mommy bear, daddy bear and a little bear or three. All the television shows had a mommy actress, a daddy actor and little weird future messed up baby actors and actresses.

But life, real life in this time in history, is generally not quite so neat.

I myself have 3 marriages under my belt- one lasting 14 years, one lasting 2 years, and this LAST one (I promise) lasting 15 years so far. There are 2 offspring from the first marriage and one from this one.

My husband was married once before, no kids.

I've discussed the merits of choosing family over that sketchy potluck we're sometimes dealt, and writing that diatribe (hey- we were in Houston and under stress and duress- Mommy's version of Going Postal is to actually Go Post about shit).

And I had a hell of a time thinking of any "normal" families that we know and hang around with. Those "one man/one woman/2.something children from that one particular mixing of genetic material" families.

We know Blended Families- those where mom and dad both have kids from previous marriages- kinda like the Bradys, but no one we know has an Alice.

We know Large Families- with more than three children (heaven help 'em).

We know Multi-Generational Families- people raising their own kids AND their grandkid(s) and/or simultaneously caring for aging parents.

We know Bi-Racial Families.

We know Single Parent Families.

We know Childless Couples.

We know Same Gender Couples and Families.

And people and society generally support and don't have issues with all but the last group. Those are the ones who can't get the validation of their commitment to each other with a marriage certificate and that's ridiculous.

"But Wait- The definition of marriage is one man/one woman and the institution of marriage is to offer security for the raising of children. Gay people can't have children "the Normal Way" so gay people cant' be married."


So, old people in nursing homes can't get married since they are beyond childbearing age?

Paraplegic, quadriplegic, any other handicapped person whose "parts" don't work can't get married?

What about ME? I've had to have all my "parts" surgically removed- can't have kids anymore- shall Ward and I get divorced because our marriage isn't valid?

See? Ridiculous.

A family is any unit of people who love each other, who care about each other more than themselves and who will be there for each other no matter what.

To say that marriage is a sacred bond between one man/one woman clearly ignores the fact that there are huge numbers of one man/one woman marriages that are miserable, awful and downright deadly dangerous for the participants.

To fully respect the sanctity of marriage is to denounce any marriage that fosters resentment, neglect or abuse- no matter the gender of those involved, and to embrace the spiritual (and physical) union of people who are truly committed to love and encourage each other- no matter the gender of those involved.

Heterosexual marriages that are recognized by church and state and are violent, undermining or otherwise horrifyingly dysfunctional are everywhere- in every neighborhood, community, church. Those unions are NOT glorifying God, Country or the Precious Institution of Marital Bliss.

If our gay friends who love each other with kindness and respect are allowed the validation of a marriage certificate, that not only doesn't cheapen the value of my own heterosexual marriage- it makes the concept of marriage that much more meaningful and crystallizes what it really (should) mean.

Think. Reflect. Watch. Buy the T-shirt.


  1. FCKH8! I love this post! I stand 100% behind this movement. Thank you for the great analogies that I will steal (thanks for the use in advance) and use in the many agruments with my conservative friends over coffee. BTW I think I will get a shirt or two now that I have the info!

    My favorite come back when those friends come up with the whole "majority voted against this" crap is sometimes the majority is wrong - look at slavery at one time everyone thought it is a good idea now almost none do.

  2. I'm sure you know how I feel about all this, but I'll just say that far too many supporters of "gay rights" seem to want to muddy the water between what the government sanctions and what the Bible teaches. There are all kinds of things that are now legal, perhaps even encouraged, which are abominations to the Lord. The Lord changes not. Our society gets deeper and deeper into sin. No matter what "rights" are allowed or conferred, it won't make people love with the love of God. People will still be hateful or selfish or prideful or arrogant at times, and sometimes they'll be decent. God cares mostly about what any one of us will do about our sin problem, not whether we are gay or not, divorced or not, parents or not, nice or not, conservative, liberal, or whatever. He'll be looking to see if one's heart has been cleansed by the sacrificial blood of his Son. BIG difference between what man may deem as acceptable or right and what God declares as pure and righteous.

  3. Gayle, I've got too many Christian friends who are also gay to be able to agree with how you feel. But you already knew that.

    Mike, my 10 year old son wants one of the t-shirts. I think he's in love with the little girl in the video- she's got some real fire LOL

  4. Tessa's ex-Father-in-law is a very loving guy. She still calls him "Dad." I started calling him "Dad," too. Just a habit I dropped into. That's family.