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Please treasure marriage

  • 05 October 2017


Getting married last year was one of the most significant things I have done in my life. I had found someone who I loved, and who loved me, and who I wanted to start a family with.

It could have ended with that — an agreement to live our lives together. But when we exchanged vows, in church, in front of our family and friends, it felt like we were giving birth to something that had been slowly growing inside us since we'd first found a partner in the other. The marriage gave life to the deep loving connection that we had — one we both understood as a blessing from God.

Australians are now being asked whether marriage should be made available to same sex couples who want to make the same, in name if not in belief, deep commitment that my wife and I made.

There are many people in our society for whom marriage is extremely important, whether we come from Christian, Muslim, Jewish, or other religious or non-religious backgrounds. One of the main issues with the current politicising of marriage is that it risks devaluing deeply-held understandings of marriage in the same way that other understandings have already been devalued in the modern world.

Our modern, secularised society has a tendency to take institutions that have a deep, spiritual meaning to religious people, and transform them into things that — stripped of much of their meaning — are more acceptable to the masses.

For example, Christmas — once a celebration centred around religious ceremonies — has become for many a day where they gather with family and share gifts. Easter sees stores filled with chocolate eggs and Easter bunnies, but few images reminding people of Christ's death and resurrection.

In a Christian sense, marriage has been about bringing a couple together for life according to the teachings of Jesus. While there might be ups and downs, and even breakdowns, there's still a Christian ideal to aspire to. Similar ideals exist in other religions, and as noted, even people without a particular religious belief can still find beauty and purpose in the idea of a life-long loving commitment to another person.


"My hope is that those who are voting 'yes' see marriage as more than a commodity which same sex attracted people are excluded from."


However, that ideal is often far from evident in today's society. Shows like Married at First Sight,Wife Swap and The Bachelor(ette)