That’s the subject of my short essay over at Relevant Magazine.

I sound a note that will doubtlessly be a familiar one to readers of Mere-O and of Earthen Vessels, but the brouhaha affords evangelicals an opportunity to re-examine our own understanding of the relationship between marriage and bodies.

And so I did.

Marriage requires a covenant in part because loyalty is the lifeblood of love. But the body will decay, and the temple will come to ruins. We may not wear the bottoms of our trousers rolled, to quote T.S. Eliot, but my wife and I will almost certainly grow old. And in the slow corruption of our flesh, the vow takes on a new dimension, making it possible for us to imitate the sacrifice of Christ’s body through the giving of our own. It is the cross that is the shape of love in a broken world, and it is the cross we must carry in order to love broken bodies.

Read, as they say, the whole thing.

Posted by Matthew Lee Anderson

Matthew Lee Anderson is the Founder and Lead Writer of Mere Orthodoxy. He is the author of Earthen Vessels: Why Our Bodies Matter to our Faith and The End of Our Exploring: A Book about Questioning and the Confidence of Faith. Follow him on Twitter or on Facebook.

  • I read the whole thing, and I like what you said. Your thesis – “…we should be wary of separating the person from the body in the way Robertson does” – strikes me as commonsensical, but it’s obviously not and that’s the disheartening part. If only more wedding ceremonies invoked that beautiful line in the Book of Common Prayer: “With my body I thee worship.” My favorite sentence: “The erosion of memory that Alzheimer’s causes makes this sense of presence less stable, but to suggest it can accomplish the final dissolution of the person is to ascribe to it a power that not even death has.”