The traditional concept of a family with father, mother and children is definitively not a value I’d call “Christian”. Jesus didn’t care much about his biological family (e.g. Lk 14:25).
On the other hand, the approach of growing up in families is inherent to mankind and an unalienable part of our civilisation. It is a human value, not a Christian one.
An exclusive union of two humans who decide to hold together to each other for all or most aspects of their lives.
- to marry
Publicly declare your common definitive decision to hold together as a couple until death separates you. Receive an official validation of your decision in a wedding ceremony.
Designates either the state of being married or the public act of entering into this state.
A couple and their children.
A group of humans who share some aspects of their lives.
With respect to homosexual people I’d clarify that it is great and deserves our benediction when two homosexual humans agree to raise children in a family-like community. Homosexual couples should have a right to adopt and raise children who would otherwise have to grow up outside of any family-like environment. But it is not a family. Using accurate vocabulary is important when different cultures discus and negotiate about these things.
Until death separates you¶
Note that national laws usually don’t allow for lifelong contracts and therefore also regulate ways to divorce a marriage.
Message to young couples¶
You may like the idea of starting a family without being married. But please consider what this means to us, the other humans.
Raising a child takes almost twenty years. That’s a long time for a human. Not many humans agree to do this job for other people’s children and without being paid for it.
A child growing up in community with only one adult is a bit like a human with only one leg. It is a sub-optimal education environment. Yes, there are ways to work around such a handicap, but they all need much more energy than the optimal solution of a family.
So when you make a child and then stop living together as a family, you create yet another sub-optimal education environment. You are shuffling off some of your responsibility upon us.
Living together as a couple is a challenge because a family is managed by two partners having the same rank. That’s a fundamental difference to most other forms of organizations.
Marrying is a promise to bind yourself, to hold on even in difficult times. This promise can give you undreamed-of energy when needed. Without this promise your couple is more endangered than a family of breaking apart before your children are adult.
That’s why I ask you:
If you want to have a family, don’t wait any longer with telling this good news to the world and get married. If you fear the costs of a wedding ceremony, just marry without a big feast.
If you you don’t want to have a family, don’t waste your time with having sex together.