by Patricia Beattie Jung
The contemporary debate about same sex marriage has created a wonderful opportunity for all Christians – whether gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered or straight – to think about why we celebrate marriage. Only when we are clear about what it is that Christian couples do when they marry can we address the question of whether the church should continue to bless only heterosexual partnerships. Ultimately all decisions about the form(s) marriage should take hinge decisively on foundational judgments about the purpose(s) of marriage. For Christians, such normative claims about the purpose(s) of marriage are deeply embedded in our faith convictions about God’s designs for and work in the world. So at bottom our question is really quite clear: from a Christian theological perspective, what is marriage for?