Friday, January 30, 2009

Does Love Justify a Marriage?

First, a definition of love...(is that possible?)
Love is any of a number of emotions and experiences related to a sense of strong affection and attachment. The word love can refer to a variety of different feelings, states, and attitudes, ranging from generic pleasure to intense interpersonal attraction. The word love is both a verb and a noun. This diversity of uses and meanings, combined with the complexity of the feelings involved, makes love unusually difficult to consistently define, even compared to other emotional states. --from Wikipedia

Okay, so I realize this is taking on a huge topic...but I want to narrow it down to love that justifies a marriage if, in fact, it does. I may be rambling here, so please bear with me. If love is the only justification for marriage, what kind of love must it be? I love certain foods--even have an emotional tie to them. I also love a cuddly pet who will sit in your lap. I love babies...their innocence and perfection. I love ideals like loyalty, patriotism, honesty, and integrity. I love my children regardless of their challenges. And I love my husband.

It didn't take long while dating my husband to realize I felt love for him. It was that love, of course, that kept me wanting to get to know him better and spend more time with him. But was love the reason I married him? In fact, once he proposed to me, I began to get cold feet! Why? Due to the recent divorce of my own parents, I wasn't so naive as to believe that marrying for love was infallible. They had married because they loved each other. Why hadn't it been enough?

Marriage has to be about more than just loving each other. As my husband and I discussed the possibility of getting married, there was far more discussed than how much we loved each other. We discussed friendship, commitment, financial responsibility, raising a family, church activity, how to deal with disagreements, and future goals. The bottom line: we wanted to be sure we were creating a firm and secure foundation for our future family. If it had been for less than that, I might not have cared so much which church my husband attended or if he even attended church. I don't think it would have mattered what he wanted to do for a career, because I could have chosen any line of work and not depended on his income. Without the prospects of a future family, would I have been so concerned about his commitment to the marriage? Many people do "fall out of love" with each other and move on to other relationships.

So...does love justify a marriage? In today's ultra-modern society, many argue that any two people who love each other should be able to enter into a marriage. I don't believe that marriage has the same purpose if not focused on children and family. What about marriages that do not result in children?
1) If we're talking about couples who planned to have children but were unable, you would only hear them express pain and sorrow for their inability to bear children. They might even adopt children to fulfill these desires.
2) If we're discussing older men and women who get married past the child-bearing years, would they not also express the wish that they could have married sooner so they could have children? Or perhaps this is a second marriage for them. They will certainly help support and nurture each other's families.
3) There is another category--those who simply do not wish to ever have children. Does marriage serve a purpose for them? Of course. They might change their minds. They hold within them the divine ability to procreate, and the desire to do so might be awakened in them.
4) And finally, what about homosexual couples? Should a marriage that cannot produce children be justified only because two people love each other? I think not. Because I don't believe marriage is justified by love alone.

What makes marriage divine and beautiful and something to strive for is this: two people of the opposite sex, each with a part of the power to procreate--dependent on each other, who are committed to bringing forth children and providing for them all of the sacrifices and efforts and time that a secure home requires. There is nothing more beautiful or more joyful than the happiness that a family enjoys because of the willingness of the married couple to serve and sacrifice for their children. Perhaps this is the real definition of Love. And if that is so, then it is the only justification for marriage.

For more on this topic, read the following:

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Our Future is Our Children

Nancy Pelosi has promoted the addition of 100's of millions of dollars for contraception to the Obama economic stimulus package. She justifies this by saying, "Family planning services reduce cost...Contraception will reduce costs to the states and to the federal government."

With President Obama poised to sign the Freedom of Choice Act, which would remove all restrictions on abortion, we are all reminded of Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger's quote, "The most merciful thing that the large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it." (from Woman and the New Race. 1920).

Since when is promoting infanticide part of an economic stimulus package? Is this not a government-sanctioned policy ? And our taxes will pay for it. Obama has even gone so far as to remove all of Ronald Reagan's restrictions on American tax monies paying for overseas abortions.

When the decision of whether to have a child or not is reduced to its financial burden on the parents or society, it is a very sad day indeed. Children are precious and part of our heritage. There is no greater joy than those of a happy family cherishing their children. Children are also our future. They will lead us, support us, pass laws that affect us, pay into our social security coffers, and honor us...if we teach the value of life and families.

I am reminded of this story:

A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and a four-year old grandson. The old man's hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered. The family ate together nightly at the dinner table. But the elderly grandfather's shaky hands and failing sight made eating rather difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor. When he grasped the glass often milk spilled on the tablecloth. The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess. "We must do something about grandfather," said the son. I've had enough of his spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor. So the husband and wife set a small table in the corner. There, grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner at the dinner table. Since grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a wooden bowl. Sometimes when the family glanced in grandfather's direction, he had a tear in his eye as he ate alone. Still, the only words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he dropped a fork or spilled food. The four-year-old watched it all in silence.
One evening before supper, the father noticed his son playing with wood scraps on the floor. He asked the child sweetly, "What are you making?" Just as sweetly, the boy responded, "Oh, I am making a little bowl for you and mama to eat your food from when I grow up." The four-year-old smiled and went back to work. The words so struck the parents that they were speechless. Then tears started to stream down their cheeks. Though no word was spoken, both knew what must be done. That evening the husband took grandfather's hand and gently led him back to the family table.
For the remainder of his days he ate every meal with the family. And for some reason, neither husband nor wife seemed to care any longer when a fork was dropped, milk spilled, or the tablecloth soiled. Children are remarkably perceptive. Their eyes ever observe, their ears ever listen, and their minds ever process the messages they absorb. If they see us patiently provide a happy home atmosphere for family members, they will imitate that attitude for the rest of their lives. The wise parent realizes that every day that building blocks are being laid for the child's future.
-- from

The truth is...our children are precious. They must not be disposed of. They must be brought into a world where family is respected and valued. What we teach them (and they are certainly watching) is what they will learn. Are we prepared to accept that?