In the editorial, "On the evolution of marriage" from the Buffalo New York News, reprinted in the Star Beacon, we read that marriage only recently, "say in the last 150 years . . . focused on two people in love." Before then, "it was usually a forced or coerced arrangement about status, property or power." And so marriage continue to evolve, to be whatever we want it to be.

The proposition is absurd on the face of it and doesn't stand up to historical scrutiny. We all know the folklore and fairy tales going back at least 1,000 years, ending with "they got married and lived happily ever after." (We wish it were so easy!) But it illustrates that love and marriage have been connected for a long, long time.

How about going back to the Bible, as a historical document? ; ;Whatever you believe about the Bible, it nevertheless reflects life thousands of years ago: Classic stories of love and marriage such as Isaac and Rebekah and Jacob and Rachael 4,000 years ago; one of the most beautiful love poems every written, the "Song of Songs," of a bridegroom and his bride . . . and so much more. The Apostle Paul gets a bad rap for his teachings about marriage when in fact, he repeatedly told husbands to love their wives! ; ;And did you know the Bible advises men to be sure to grant wives their "marital rights?"

Until very recently marriage did have an element of parental "advise and consent" to ensure that couples were financially stable and otherwise well-matched. When done right, everyone benefited.

All too often marriage hasn't lived up to this ideal of love and commitment. It has devolved rather than than evolved. So, we should seek to strengthen marriage so that it can live up to its ideal. The myth of the "fluidity" of marriage is being vigorously promoted today, to justify changing the definition of marriage. It's a dishonest argument.

Mary Ellen Blake



Ashtabula

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