The essential public purpose of marriage

Posted By on June 3, 2011

While we do not believe that states (or the people) have the right to define inalienable rights (those are given by our Creator and cannot be redefined by man), this is a very good article demonstrating that marriage is not about two people who want to be in some kind of “relationship” but about parenting and the God-given rights of children to know and be with their own parents.

The essential public purpose of marriage is to attach mothers and fathers to their children and to one another.  To see the importance of this purpose, we must take the perspective of the child: What is owed to the child? Unlike adults, the child does not need autonomy or independence. The child is entitled to a relationship with and care from both of the people who brought him into being. Therefore, the child has a legitimate interest in the stability of his parents’ union.  But no child can defend these entitlements himself. Nor is it adequate to make restitution after these rights have been violated. The child’s rights to care and relationship must be supported pro-actively, before harm is done, for those rights to be protected at all.

Marriage is adult society’s institutional structure for protecting the legitimate interests of children. Without this public purpose, we would not need marriage as a distinct social institution.

We often hear the objection that some marriages don’t have children. This is perfectly true. However, every child has parents. Depriving a child of relationships with his or her parents is an injustice to the child, and should not be done without some compelling or unavoidable reason. The objection that some marriages don’t have children stands the rationale for marriage on its head. It views marriage strictly from the adult’s perspective, instead of from the child’s perspective.

Read the entire piece HERE.

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About The Author

Jennie is the wife of Matthew and mother of ten children, all of whom keep the household bubbling with life, learning, and levity. Jennie co-founded LAF in 2002 with Lydia Sherman and has been delighted to hear from women all over the world who enjoy their femininity and love to cultivate womanly virtues.

Comments

4 Responses to “The essential public purpose of marriage”

  1. heather says:

    The problem with this argument is that the federal and state rights and protections of marriage are not dependant on having children. People want to be able to leave their property to their spouse or to be able to make medical decisions for example. These are what people are fighting for. To say that marriage isn’t about adults is ridiculous.

  2. I recommend reading through the piece again. She isn’t saying marriage isn’t about adults at all; she’s saying that marriage was created by God for the creation of the family (parents and children) so that children grow up with the benefit of both parents’ involvement in their lives on a daily basis. Scripture backs this up in Malachi 2:15: “But did He not make them one, Having a remnant of the Spirit? And why one? He seeks godly offspring.” And, yes, marriage does allow partners to make medical decisions for each other, but that can also be done by power-of-attorney and other perfectly legal means outside of marriage.

  3. faunvandy says:

    So my husband and I do not have a godly marriage because we have chosen not to have children?

  4. The sole judge of what makes a godly marriage is God’s Word. I would encourage you to make a study of children in the Bible. What does God think of them? What does He call them? How does He address His people when it comes to children? Start with Malachi 2:15 and go on from there. :)

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