If you’re married, you have a husband or a wife. If you’re engaged, you have a fiance or a fiancee. (I know. French.) If you’re single, you might have a boyfriend or a girlfriend.
Or you might have none of the above. (In which case, if you haven’t met the right person yet, you’re much better off in my estimation. But that’s a topic for another day.)
You know what all those words mean.
But what does the word “partner” mean? You know what a business partner is. You know what a police partner is. You know what a workout partner is.
In the context of romantic relationships, it’s a bit nebulous, isn’t it? It could theoretically apply to any of the classifications I mentioned above, but it in no way makes clear just what the nature of the relationship is. Your spouse could be your partner. Your boyfriend/girlfriend could be your partner. Someone you just hook up with for sex could be your partner.
The use of the word erases all distinctions between different types of relationships, putting them all essentially on the same level with each other.
And that’s exactly what the use of the word is designed to do.
The image I used above is from Australia, where a prominent politician by the name of Barnaby Joyce recently was caught in an extramarital affair. He ended up leaving his wife and shacking up with his mistress, whom he subsequently impregnated.
The woman in question is his mistress. I suppose you could argue technically, if he is now divorced from his wife, then she is his girlfriend. She’s certainly isn’t his wife.
But the media are determined to avoid making these distinctions, especially when they write stories that make it clear two people are having sex or have had sex – which is inherent when it’s a story about pregnancy – so instead they’re using the word “partner”.
Now what, you may want to know, is the problem with that? It’s accurate and nonjudgmental. It’s not the media’s job to judge, after all, only to tell us what the facts are.
But when you use “partner,” you’re not telling us as much of the story as you should, because you’re not really telling us the nature of the relationship. If a man impregnates his wife, that’s different from a man impregnating his girlfriend, or his mistress, or even his fiancee. That’s going to produce a child out of wedlock, and that’s a pertinent fact.
The use of “partner” tries to pretend the question of wedlock isn’t important, and that’s by design.
The secular left wants to downgrade the value of marriage – especially marriage in the eyes of God – by presenting every relationship between two people as equal to every other relationship between two people. Live together. Have sex. Have kids. As long as you’re in a “committed relationship,” go for it. Even if you’re not, go ahead and hook up for sex if you want to.
Indeed, about the only time the secular left seems to think marriage matters is when it’s between homosexuals, and even that is mainly for the purpose of undermining the Bible as the authority on what exactly the definition of marriage is.
But the Bible remains the authority, whether people want it to be or not. Marriage is between one man and one woman, and living together and having sex are for after you’ve entered into that marriage covenant, which is for life, under the authority of God.
I really don’t think the media need to report on the personal lives of famous people or politicians, but if they’re going to, they shouldn’t pretend certain aspects of the story don’t matter.
That woman is not your “partner.” She’s either your wife, your fiancee, your girlfriend, your mistress, your otherwise platonic hookup partner, a prostitute or a total stranger you met while drunk.
These distinctions matter. The media’s attempt to make them unimportant by throwing everything under the category of “partner” shows that they really don’t believe there is any such thing as sexual immorality.
God says otherwise, which is why it matters that we get the labels right.
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Powers and Principalities (2009): Twenty years ago, Clay Bender saw the face of spiritual evil with the naked eye while attending a party. Now, Clay’s terrifying spiritual gift returns, showing him that a supernatural threat is looming – one that could threaten everyone in Royal Oak. As the community grapples with bizarre electrical disturbances and a horrible train derailment, only Clay can recognize the true nature of the strange events, and he and his two closest friends have little time to battle the city’s demons – even as all three are forced to face their own. (Buy Now button for signed hard copy: $15.99. Amazon button for digital download: $2.99)
Pharmakeia (2010): Kyla Spears is being warned – in terrifying dreams – of grisly and violent tragedies looming for young people in Royal Oak. But her spiritually gifted friend Clay Bender is reluctant to help, and her feelings for one charming young man threaten her newfound spiritual integrity and her ability to face the truth about what’s really behind the threat. (Buy Now button for signed hard copy: $15.99. Amazon button for digital download: $2.99)