The Crucifixion of Marriage
Guest writer – Aaron Amstutz – February 11, 2013
Marriage was on trial and she was left defenseless. Oh sure, she was defended in the religious courts, but the trial was occurring in the civil courts and to most watching eyes she was left without an arbitrator. Her trial had been a long one, but despite her pleas for respite, the onslaught was constant. The sentence wasn’t handed down in a single verdict; it was left to the court of public opinion to decide what her outcome might be.
Unknown at first to those who might have been able to defend her, the punishment would be a slow execution: a crucifixion.
The first nail, driven through the wrist of her right hand, was the demise of chivalry. It wasn’t driven straight through, all at once. It was pushed through as feminism demanded equality in all spheres. Equality became equated with equivalence and then all distinctions that allowed for chivalry were removed. When it became ignoble for men to defend their women, when it became allowed for women to serve on the front lines of combat, when it became normative for everyone to standup for themselves – chivalry was given a fatal blow. And marriage was punished with her first nail.
The second nail, driven through the wrist of her left hand, was the demise of gender distinction. The first hammer blow on this nail was delivered by abdicating men. Men who would not lead. Men who would not create a vision. In the vacuum, women stepped into the role; sometimes doing so well that men forgot their duties. As women led, first in the home, then in the civil sphere, then in the church, men eventually forgot what manliness is. They buried themselves in career, sports, play, hobbies; hoping to never have to come up and take responsibility. Women, thus liberated from any semblance of submission, hoped never to return to meager motherhood and serving in the home. Gender distinction and providentially ordained roles were stabbed. And marriage was punished with her second nail.
The third nail, driven through both feet, was the demise of the family. Childbearing, through the introduction of “birth control” was made optional. Family size and family timing could be managed, intentionally designed, or kept from coming into being at all. What was once viewed through the lens of the will of God, became firmly the purview of the will of man. Abortion became the coarser tool, used to exert control even when an innocent life hung in the balance. When children were allowed into the family, we handed them over to the whims of the media and professional educators to shape them to their will. Parents may have intervened as deemed necessary, but usually so that the least inconvenience was thrust upon their schedules or activities. The strength of the family weakened, the obedience of children waned, and in some cases the joys of motherhood and responsibilities of fatherhood were extinguished altogether. And marriage was punished with her third nail.
The next punishment decreed for marriage was a beating. Her head, up to now unscarred, was given repeated blows by pornography and sensuality. The very thing that protected her eyes, the gaze on her beloved, would be clouded by images of others. The blows would be constant, her determination weakened, her resolve of purity lost. She would be shown constant portrayals of couples living together without protection from the bonds of marriage. Women would be fed a steady diet of discontent through soap operas, racy novels, and selfish diversions. Men would be led into discontent by images, movies, magazines – anything that could pull in their gaze – just to sell empty promises. Even children, young girls, would be given pictures of scantily clad teenagers, they would be taught that sexy is beautiful, they would be taught to adorn their bodies because natural beauty is insufficient. Young men would not be spared, their lot the same of their elders; they would be subject to the same pornographic barrage. And so marriage, based on exclusive, covenantal love, received a terrible beating.
Though bloodied and pierced, marriage has held on to life. The life remaining is but the remnant of her former beauty. All that remains is the core of her being: covenantal, exclusive love between a man and his wife – consummated in a precious sexual union that has no equal.
The final punishment of marriage, now under consideration by the court of public opinion, is whether to drive a spear into her side. To kill the final remaining attributes of her existence. If marriage is devoid of any basis of physiological reality, then indeed she will be dead. She will cease to be defined by that very thing that made her precious; instead, seeking to redefine her, they will blaspheme that core essence of her being. If victorious, her punishers will hold over their heads the dead body of marriage as a badge of honor, and those who loved her will have to look away in shame.
If she is killed, and that verdict seems likely in our day – there is still hope.
She shall rise again.
She won’t rise in the same kingdom or likeness. She won’t be glorious in the civil sphere again. But, those very voices that failed to defend her there, will speak of her again in homes and churches. Young men and women, disillusioned by the dead body paraded around in the world, will come to greet the resurrected marriage – holy matrimony – in her full glory. These young men and women will have to be specially trained. They will have to be taught the core essence of holy matrimony again. Young men will have to be trained in chivalry, in leading nobly. Young women will have to be shown the blessings of motherhood and supporting their husbands. They will have to learn to protect their eyes, to be separate from the world, to guard marriage above all interests in their lives.
She shall rise.
– Aaron Amstutz