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The Supreme Court and Same-Sex Marriage: Who Really Decides?

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether all states will be required to allow same-sex marriages. But is this really their decision to make?

The Supreme Court and Same-Sex Marriage: Who Really Decides?
Within the past decade, same-sex marriage has been one of the most hotly debated social issues facing the United States. There are varying opinions on this issue from many different perspectives—but the most legally authoritative voice in the United States is now prepared to offer what may be the final say on the issue (from a legal perspective). The debate on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage could be over soon.

But today the debate continues to be waged. Some question whether the highest court in the country even has the authority to settle this debate.

A decision based on what?

Presently 36 states (over two-thirds of the nation) now allow same-sex marriages. This causes many to question why the high court, consisting of nine individuals, should have the authority to decide what the majority of the nation already deems acceptable.

Further complicating this future decision are the personal beliefs of the justices on the high court. Even though they are supposed to be impartial to the issue and to judge by the Constitution in an unbiased way, will they actually judge based on their personal ideological leanings?

The quandary the Supreme Court justices face as they tackle this issue is immense and complex:

  • Do they base their decision on the current growing acceptance of same-sex marriages?
  • How will they determine whether the U.S. Constitution guarantees (or does not guarantee) the right to such marriages?
  • What will be the long-term impact of same-sex marriages being considered equivalent to traditional marriages?

Whose decision is this to make?

So who should really be making this decision? The people? The states? Congress? The Supreme Court?

When we understand the purpose of marriage from God’s perspective, we see that we should respect the sanctity of the divinely created marriage union and make it our only definition of marriage.Life, Hope & Truth advocates using the Bible to provide the definition of marriage—because, within its pages, is the amazing origin of the institution itself!

The Bible reveals that marriage is not merely a social construct or the result of evolution to preserve the human species (as modern sociology textbooks will claim). Rather, marriage is a divine institution created by God. Understanding His purpose for marriage leads us to a clear decision about same-sex marriage.

The purpose of marriage

When God first created mankind, He made them male and female. He then declared that His creation was “very good” (Genesis 1:27, 31).

Genesis 2:24 marks the beginning of marriage: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”

This one verse shows that:

  • God created marriage.
  • Marriage is between one man and one woman.
  • They are to totally unite as “one flesh.”

This concept of “one flesh” obviously includes the sexual union (Genesis 1:28). One flesh describes the harmony that should exist between a husband and wife—from the sexual union to the emotional bond of a married couple. A strong marriage between a man and woman provides the healthiest environment for raising children.

Why same-sex marriages come up short

God purposely made men different from women so that the two complement each other. There are attributes and abilities that a man has that a woman doesn’t (and vice versa). It is through marriage that two individuals become one, combining the strengths of each, which God calls “very good.” One of the many blessings that come from the marriage union is children.

On the other hand, same-sex couples are incapable of these God-designed results of marriage. Same-sex couples may adopt children, impregnate a surrogate mother, or even be impregnated by donor sperm, but that is not the same as a father and mother sharing in their child’s birth as a result of the oneness they share—sexually, mentally and emotionally.

And the Bible tells us another incredible purpose for marriage.

The purpose behind marriage

The Bible makes the incredible comparison that a physical marriage relationship is to model the spiritual relationship between Jesus Christ and His Church (Ephesians 5:22-32)!

Christ is represented by a husband, and the Church is represented by a wife. As the spiritually stronger protector and provider, Jesus Christ sacrificed His life for His Church—His future bride (Revelation 19:7-8). Even today, Christ continues to protect and provide for His Church. The Church shows respect and honor by obeying Christ and following His example (1 Peter 2:21). Same-sex relationships cannot model this amazing design and purpose in marriage. They are a deviation from what God intended for the marriage relationship He created.

When we understand the purpose of marriage from God’s perspective, we see that we should respect the sanctity of the divinely created marriage union and make it our only definition of marriage.

Regardless of how voters, state legislators or the Supreme Court decide to define marriage, if you accept the Bible as God’s Word, then the biblical definition is the only definition that matters.

The best way to defend God’s definition of marriage is by implementing the biblical principles into your marriage in order to make it successful. Life, Hope & Truth places much emphasis on marriage and family and publishes many materials on this topic. Please read:

Photo by Troy B. Thompson/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

About the Author

Tim Groves

Tim Groves

Tim Groves has been married to his wife, Teresa, for over 27 years. Together, they have two daughters and two sons and live in South Carolina. They moved there from Ohio in 1997 to flee the cold northern winters and allow him to do the things he really enjoys, like roaming though automobile junkyards looking for hidden treasures from times long past.

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