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With North Dakota standing as the only state whose marriage amendment has not been challenged in court, we need to consider where we are in this public debate about marriage between one man and one woman (and most certainly, we will not be surprised if our marriage law is challenged in the near future). But for now we must take part in the debate–one of the most important debates our society will ever face–we need to become informed, involved, and stand united.
Today, many are predicting the end of traditional marriage as inevitable. They fail to put into perspective this rather short debate in comparison to impact that this centuries old institution of marriage has had on society.
The issue is about “redefining” marriage. If we are going to redefine something as important as an institution, we should want to understand what we are redefining? We should want to know what we are replacing? Today, let’s look at what we think is “irreplaceable”.
There is something simplistically beautiful about marriage. A man, a woman, each imperfect, each with their differences — how this diverse union brings a oneness. Even with their shortcomings and unique differences, they complement each other, and through unity a oneness is created strengthening that union. This oneness serves as the foundation for the next generation.
When children become a part of that union, the diversity of that union expands exponentially. As the family grows in loving unity, it becomes stronger, it becomes more stable. That is what is irreplaceable for children-a loving, stable home. And someday the children will start this process all over again.
While every marriage may not result in children, every child has a mom and dad. This undeniable truth has served to define family structure for centuries. The intrinsic, parenting commitment by moms and dads is natural. It is a willing responsibility that their children will be cared for and nurtured, and these children will become the next generation, as it has since time immortal.
Today, it seems many in society are focusing only on the temporary, their feelings, their wants, failing to take into account the longer term and their role in society. The couple putting all of their energies into planning for the perfect wedding day while failing to prepare for the rest of their life together may well find the wedding day was indeed the best day of their marriage. The wedding is only the beginning and the best lies in the years ahead.
The couple, carving their names inside a heart on a tree trunk, illustrates a romantic beginning. Soon the names of their children will be carved alongside. Even more illustrative is how the tree and the strength of the trunk represent this couple, the roots their guidance and nurturing, and their children the fruit of their love and care.
This couple represents the essence of the institution of marriage, serving as the foundation of the family and society. It, along with virtually billions of others, serves to provide a framework for the common good for those living and those yet to be born.
Should this not be the ideal? Should this not be the societal foundation upon which all rests, as it has for centuries past? Marriage is truly a blessed union of two, and is most certainly about more than you. It is about you in relationship to your spouse. It is about you as a created being serving a role for the generations to come.
Marriage is more than you and most certainly is irreplaceable.
by the North Dakota Family Alliance
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Learn more about the North Dakota Family Alliance.