Merriam-Webster (MW) chose to change their definition of marriage in this year’s edition of their dictionary.Â The new definition reads:
Marriage – (1): the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law (2): the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage
I’m saddened at how far we have departed in our understanding of marriage since Noah Webster first penned this in his 1828 dictionary:
Marriage – The act of uniting a man and woman for life; wedlock; the legal union of a man and woman for life. Marriage is a contract both civil and religious, by which the parties engage to live together in mutual affection and fidelity, till death shall separate them. Marriage was instituted by God himself for the purpose of preventing the promiscuous intercourse of the sexes, for promoting domestic fidelity, and for securing the maintenance and education of children.
Marriage is honorable in all and the bed undefiled. Heb.13.
1. A feast made on the occasion of a marriage.
The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king, who made a marriage for his son. Matt.22.
2. In a scriptural sense, the union between Christ and his church by the covenant of grace. Rev.19.
Marriage is a sacred intuition.Â In fact, marriage is the very first institution that God created!Â Marriage came before the church, the law, or government.Â God created it, defined it, and blessed it.Â Noah Webster knew that to understand it, you had to go to the source of it.
It is a shame that today’s misinterpretation of “Separation of Church and State” guarantees that a student will never see the 1828 definition.Â MW would argue that their 2009 definition more accurately defines marriage as it is seen today.Â They may have a point, but in the process miss a greater point.
1828 our nation understood that marriage was a lifetime covenant that could only be broken by death; in 2009 we incorrectly see marriage as a legal contract that can be broken at any time.Â 1828 our nation knew that marriage was a sacred institution that must be kept pure and singular; in 2009 the door is wide open to the defilement of marriage.
We haven’t grown wiser in 2009, we’ve just grown further from the truth!
2008 California voted yes on Proposition 8 defining marriage as a union between a man and woman.Â Traditional marriage proponents hailed this as a great victory.Â Mark my words, it is a short lived victory.Â Unless our nation experiences a great awakening, we will see the day that America embraces the 2009 MW definition.Â That day, the opponents of tradition marriage will celebrate a 21st century civil rights victory.Â They’ll have a point, but miss the greater point.
Noah Webster defined marriage as an institution that conveyed the covenant of grace between Christ and His church.Â When marriage is defiled and redefined society will lose the example that communicates grace.Â
Webster cited Heb 13 in his definition, which says, “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.”
Our nation is founded on a genuine belief in the God of the Bible (atheist and humanist just have to get over it, it’s historic fact).Â Those founding principals have enabled this nation to become highly blessed among our peers.Â However as we move away from those principles we remove ourselves from those blessings.
The day that we embrace the 2009 definition we will dishonor marriage, pollute the marriage bed and allow our nation to fall underneath the judgment of God.