My Unbiblical Marriage

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Long ago a group of religious folks shunned Ginny and me.

People we had thought of as our closest friends ostracized us, often refusing to associate with or even speak to us because I was a divorced man intent on marrying Ginny as my second wife.

They did us a favor.

The treatment we received cemented in us the mindset of the two of us against the world. That attitude remains with us after all these years.

I say our marriage is unbiblical not just because of my having been divorced, but because of the way our marriage works on a day to day basis.

Lot of talk recently around Jacksonville, Florida, my hometown, about biblical marriage, family values, human rights, and alternate lifestyles.

The lead article in this morning’s Florida Times-Union newspaper says”In a cliffhanger decision, the Jacksonville City Council by a 10-9 vote Wednesday rejected a bill expanding the city’s human rights ordinance to protect gays and lesbians from discrimination….Council members fielded about 10,000 emails and heard hours of public comments leading up to Wednesday’s meeting”

Protesters and demonstrators and sign-wavers and cross-dressers and church congregations and just plain folks talk long and hard about “biblical marriage”.

Ginny and I do not have a “biblical marriage”.

Ours is decidedly unbiblical.

For one thing we’ve stayed married for 43 years now. I am happy and she gives every indication fo being happy. We are still romantically in love. We talk together continually yet we enjoy time apart. We often hold hands. Not a day goes by without our saying such things as, “I’m glad I’m married to you”… I love you… I treasure you… You please me”.

I have never been unfaithful to Ginny and, although I don’t lock her in a chastity belt, I’ve no cause to suspect she’s been unfaithful to me.

We’d hung together through some hellish rough spots over the years—Us agains the world!

My six grown children treat us with great respect. One of them earned a masters degree, two others graduated from college and the others went as far as they wanted with higher education. All remain consistently employed and pay taxes and contribute to various charities. None has been in jail.

The kids often dine together just because they like eachother’s company. They play games and go to movies together, help eachother out and seem to enjoy life.

Any time Ginny and I need anything in this our dotage, all we have to do is call and the kids spring to our aid.

See why I say we have an unbiblical marriage?


In thinking about this, I skimmed the pages of my Bible looking for biblical marriages. Here’s what I noticed:

Adam and Eve sinned and lost Eden through foreclosure. Got kicked out of their home and one of their sons murdered another.

That’s the first biblical marriage.

Two of their sons married their own sisters to make incest the second biblical marriage.

Abraham, father of the faithful and friend of God, knocked up both his wife and her maid. That was a biblical marriage.

Issac’s wife Rebecka deceived him to help her favorite son cheat his brother.

Jacob fathered 12 children on four different women.

Samson and Delilah– well their’s doesn’t count as a biblical marriage because they never married, just shacked up.

Ruth crawled into Boaz’s bed a the harvest before he bought her from a relative, but they married and became ancestors of both King David and Christ.

King David had her husband murdered so he could get Bathsheba. But he was also married to Micheel, Abagail, and I forget how many other women.

Solomon wrote erotic poetry praising in oriental imagery the love of his life—at least one of them because he had a harem of a thousand wives.

Apparently, Daniel and Jeremiah never married because the Babylonians cut them into eunuchs. No wonder Jeremiah wrote Lamentations!

King Ahasuerus, a jealous drunk, forced beauty contest winner Queen Esther into marriage.

Job’s lovely wife proved less that supportive in times of trouble telling him, “Curse God and die!”

The Prophet Isaiah and “the prophetess” had a son they named Mahershalalhashbaz. Poor kid! I had a hard time in first grade learning to write JOHN C. on my paper!

Then the Prophet Hosea married this lady who ran off I think nine time with other men dragging home pregnant each time. Theirs was a biblical marriage—one which to my way of thinking proves that you don’t have to be smart to be a prophet.

Those are the biblical marriages in the Old Testament.

The New Testament starts with the unusual marriage of Joseph and Mary, who, on a trip to Jerusalem, managed to lose Jesus for three days.

The famous “Woman At The Well” was married five times and was shacking up with a new guy when Jesus met her.

God offed the married couple Ananias and Sapphira when they pretended to be more religious than they really were.

And the Bible ends with that mysterious section about the marriage feast of the Lamb in which the church becomes the bride of Christ

Those are all biblical marriages I recall right off the top of my head.

Sure glad Ginny and I do not have a “biblical marriage”.

I suspect the folks protesting, voting, getting upset, advocating biblical marriage might be better off to use the term “traditional American marriage” instead.

And I think the best way to “protect the institution of marriage” is to go home, make sure your wife is happy and your children cared for the the best of your ability. Be kind to your family, and charitable to outsiders. Tend your own fireside first. Mow your lawn. Play catch with the kids. Watch the game.

Honour the Lord in your own home so that other folks say, “I wish I had a marriage like that”.

• Please, visit my website for more and feel free to look over and buy one of my books, posted by John Cowart. Or contact John at johnwcowart (at) gmail (dot) com.


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. vanilla
    Aug 16, 2012 @ 08:43:33

    Great article, John; and the last two paragraphs, if followed by all, would make this world a much better place.

  2. Leslie
    Aug 16, 2012 @ 12:17:34

    There are plenty of negative examples in the Bible. After all, most of it is about sinful people dealing with a holy God. It’s pretty obvious we aren’t supposed to murder a faithful soldier and steal his wife, and God made that abundantly clear through the prophet Nathan.

    When I think of Biblical marriage, I think of Paul’s exhortations in Ephesians 5… submit to one another, husbands love your wives, wives respect your husbands. We’re supposed to be a reflection, a foreshadowing of the love relationship between Jesus and his disciples.

    It sounds like you very much have that kind of Biblical marriage.

  3. Tracy
    Aug 21, 2012 @ 23:09:56

    Appreciate your point here.

    Makes me smile to read about you and Ginny and your kids.

  4. felisol
    Aug 24, 2012 @ 03:01:45

    Dear John C,
    You have a gifted way of making me laugh.
    The traditional American marriage is the 50 % of them end in divorce.
    That cannot be much to fight for.
    Yours on the other hand,should be a role model to many.
    The good God has blessed you with enough lack of money and health to keep you on bended knees and even more humor , fidelity and togetherness to make your days happy and grateful.
    I also think marriage is focused and devoted work of togetherness.
    Paul, poor lad, wasn’t married, so I choose not to be provoked about his commandments. Gunnar is not my head, and we both are devoted to each other.
    Have a wonderful married life!

  5. Amrita from India
    Aug 25, 2012 @ 11:05:07

    Hi John, you and your family have done well in spite of your un Biblical marriage. LOL
    The Bible is very truthful and honest about man ‘s nature – we are dust and no one is perfect. We are all kept by God ‘s grace.
    Divorces are common in India to. I think its better to opt out rather than to suffer.

  6. John M Cowart
    Aug 30, 2012 @ 02:35:38

    Dad! Once again. You are Magnificent! Perfect in attitude and action.