The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday is the simple fact that we can defend traditional marriage by being enthusiastic and committed to it. We must show by our own lives and experiences that traditional marriage is good and something we want. Even though none of us will actually have the “ideal marriage,” we must make our own marriages as close to the ideal as possible.
Linda and Richard Eyre posted an interesting article about this subject entitled “What defenders of traditional marriage may be forgetting.” A summary of their article is “The largest threat to our society and to our economy is not the way people define marriage, but how enthusiastically and committedly they participate in it.”
Here is a quote that I found very interesting. “… Commitment is the start of a relationship that lasts, not the culmination of it. And the commitment of marriage is what lends security both to husband and wife and to the children who join them.
“If defenders of marriage are consumed and preoccupied in fighting against same-sex marriage, they are like a sports team that tries to shut down the opposing team but does not score any points for itself. People vigorously fighting same-sex marriage but doing little or nothing to advocate for promote traditional marriage are like a defense with no offense.
“The best way to make a difference is to celebrate commitment – the commitment of marriage.
“The debate over same-sex marriage will go on, just as the abortion debate goes on. A Supreme Court ruling does not put an end to either issue. Society may still be divided over same-sex marriage in 50 years, just as we are still divided now on the abortion issue 50 years after Roe vs. Wade.
“We personally believe the institution of marriage was instituted by God and that he defined it and continues to define it as a potentially eternal union between one man and one woman.
“But whatever our personal position, each of us should ask the question of what we should be most concerned about – the emergence of same-sex marriage or the disappearance of traditional marriage.”
President Henry B. Eyring of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gave a 15-minute talk – witness or testimony – of traditional marriage at a conference convened by Cardinal Gerhard Muller, a prefect at the Vatican - Humanum: An International Interreligious Colloquium on the Complementarity of Man and Woman. He bore person witness of “the power of the union of a man and a woman in marriage to produce happiness for each other and for their family.”
President Eyring explained the Latter-day Saint belief of eternal marriage – a marriage ordinance that blesses the couple and their posterity through time and throughout eternity. “We were promised that after this life, we could continue to enjoy whatever loving family sociality we could create in life.” He emotionally shared how his own marriage has brought great fulfillment. “I have become a better person as I have loved and lived with her…. We have been complementary beyond anything I could have imagined. Her capacity to nurture others grew in me as we became one. My capacity to plan, direct and lead in our family grew in her as we became united in marriage. I realize now that we grew together into one – slowly lifting and shaping each other, year by year. As we absorbed strength from each other, it did not diminish our personal gifts.
“Our differences combined as if they were designed to create a better whole. Rather than dividing us, our differences bound us together. Above all, our unique abilities allowed us to become partners with God in creating human life. The happiness that came from our becoming one built faith in our children and grandchildren that marriage could be a continuing source of satisfaction for them and their families.”
After reading from the Proclamation on the Family, President Eyring said, “Those are things people must do for us to have a renaissance of happy marriages and productive families.” He encouraged couples to be persistent in strengthening their marriages because future generations will build upon whatever foundation is placed. “Such a renaissance will require people to try for the ideal – and to keep trying even when the happy result is slow to come and when loud voices mock the effort.”
We can defend traditional marriage by following the principles in the Proclamation on the Family and by trying to make our own marriage as close to the ideal as possible. We must be enthusiastically committed to traditional marriage and let our example show for others to follow, particularly our own children and grandchildren.