The issue of marriage is a contentious one at the moment in Australia as the gay and lesbian community push for marriage equality, asserting that homosexual couples should have the same right to marriage as heterosexual couples. Social media has been alive with comments on all fronts, some more militant that others. This is not an issue that is just going to go away.

So…what is a marriage and why, as many Christians believe, should it be the sole domain of heterosexual couples? I have been pondering this for many months now and here is my contribution to the conversation.

I believe that it is not the sole domain of heterosexual couples to have loving committed relationships within which people find security and happiness. Both heterosexual and homosexual couples value faithfulness in their relationships and are devastated by betrayal and loss. I believe many couples regardless of sexual preference desire to be a family and joyfully welcome children into the relationship and seek to parent them to the best of their ability.

So…why do many people of all faith persuasions, and often of none, still baulk at the idea of a homosexual relationship being a marriage? What is so magical or special about this word marriage?

Many would say, because of their faith framework, that it is the design of the Creator God that marriage is between a man and woman. This answer satisfies those who may share that same faith but is not so readily accepted by those who do not, and I know there are people of faith who are homosexual and long to be true to both their faith and their sexuality.

So…here’s my take on it. A relationship between a man and woman brings together two people who are totally opposite in every way. They think differently, they are different physically, they have different agendas, they have different ways of dealing with problems and are different in how they express emotions and enjoy sex. I believe that it is in the union of these differences that the greatest capacity for human development is possible. As two people who are from opposite ends of the spectrum in everything live together and learn to relate to the world together that both have the greatest capacity to be the most complete versions of themselves. There is a design in this.

I understand that any two people regardless of gender when they come together have a capacity to change each other, to shape each other, just by close association. However I believe the greatest capacity for this to happen is within a heterosexual relationship. It is because of the magnitude of the capacity for personal growth, change and development that is available within a heterosexual relationship that marriage between a man and woman is the ideal.

I believe marriage equality in Australia is definitely coming. I just think that the original design was for something more.