(Based on the number of hits, this post was the 4th most popular in 2013)
Picture this scene.
After a lovely dinner, under a full moon, Joshua gets down on one knee, opens a box with a sparkling diamond ring, hands it to Jessica and says, “Honey, I’d love to lease you…”
That doesn’t sound very romantic! Lease you? Not marry you? Well, not if Florida attorney, Paul Rampell has his way.
Recently in a Washington Post op-ed piece Rampell argued that the “til death do you part” of marriage should be abandoned as outdated. Olsolete. And antiquated. Rather he suggested marriage should be a “wedlease” in which couples agree to stay together for a specified period of time. Rampell says, “Why don’t we borrow from real estate and create a marital lease? Instead of wedlock, a wedlease.” Here’s how he says it would work.
“Two people commit themselves to marriage for a period of years — one year, five years, 10 years, whatever term suits them. The marital lease could be renewed at the end of the term however many times a couple likes. It could end up lasting a lifetime if the relationship is good and worth continuing. But if the relationship is bad, the couple could go their separate ways at the end of the term. The messiness of divorce is avoided and the end can be as simple as vacating a rental unit.”
Incredible! In my life time we’ve gone from Holy Wedlock to free love, to shacking-up, to no-fault divorce, to same-sex marriage, and now “wedlease.” Is this moving too fast for you? Is this about the dumbest idea you’ve ever heard?
Here’s a few things wrong this ridiculous idea from a Bible perspective.
(1) Marriage was God’s idea. Not man’s. The Creator put the “Holy” into wedlock and joined their first couple in the garden of Eden. Jesus said,
“Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? (Matt 19:4-5).
(2) Marriage is about people, not property. People have feelings. Affections. Emotions. People hurt. Suffer. Cry. Experience pain, anguish and disappointment. Does anyone think ending a relationship is a simple as “vacating a rental unit.” The Bible describes marriage as two people “becoming one flesh”–the most intimate of all relationships.
(3) Marriage is about commitment. Jesus said, “What God has joined together, let not man separate” (Mark 10:9). The prophet Malachi said that “God hates divorce” (Mal 2:16). You can’t “try” to be committed! You either are. Or you aren’t. Marriage is a life long commitment. Not a term contract!
(4) Marriage is a covenant relationship. The Bible speaks of marriage as a very serious manner. It is more than just a social contract. And it is certainly not a term lease! Marriage is a divine covenant between three parties. You. Your spouse. And God. (Mal. 2:14-15). It is a holy covenant. One of faithfulness. Fidelity. And life-long trust. Violating that covenant is a spiritual breach.
(5) Marriage is a relationship that depicts Christ and His church (Eph. 5:22-33). The church is the “bride” of Christ. He loves her. He gave Himself for her. His relationship with her is holy, hallowed and sanctified. It is special. Unique. Matchless. Marriage is not to be cheapened by ten-year term! It should reflect the glory and grandeur of Christ’s love for the church.
On a personal note, it was 45 years ago tomorrow, that Norma Jean and I vowed our faithfulness to each other for “as long as you shall live.” I’m glad we did. I’m glad it wasn’t a “wedlease.” She might not have renewed it!
We realized a long time ago that marriage takes work. Requires effort. Demands commitment. A couple of weeks ago I wrote about that.
Wedlease? It’s not only a silly idea. It won’t work. It will hinder relationships. Further undermine the moral fabric of our country. And dishonors God.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman