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Friday, December 3, 2010

Marriage Matters

The media has been celebrating the demise of marriage for quite awhile. Time magazine, in fact, recently funded a Pew Research poll and heralded the results thus: 

What we found is that marriage, whatever its social, spiritual or symbolic appeal, is in purely practical terms just not as necessary as it used to be. Neither men nor women need to be married to have sex or companionship or professional success or respect or even children — yet marriage remains revered and desired. (Complete article here.)
Ho hum, marriage is just an old fashioned concept that can mean whatever you want it to mean. Different strokes for different folks. Forty percent don't think marriage is necessary at all which means a lot of Americans aren't paying attention to the fallout from the breakdown of marriage, especially on kids.

The Time article is filled with disinformation, like claiming (more than once) that cohabitation has no impact on the success of a marriage. That's not what studies show with cohabiting couples divorcing more often than those who did not. Not to mention that family instability (from both cohabitation and divorce) produces many negative consequences for children. Look here.

Despite it all, most couples still desire to marry. Could it be that the reason is because the institution belongs to God not man? We live in a time when promises (not to mention holy vows) mean little to most people. Breaking promises and lying are staples of our modern society. Integrity means little to barbarians. It's every man (or woman) for himself.

In secular terms, I see little reason to hope. So the sensible thing to do is put our trust in the Lord who made heaven and earth. And Advent is a good time to practice that virtue as we wait in hope for the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Tiime Magazine, thank God, doesn't have the last word.

If you're married, do something kind for your spouse today. If you aren't married but hope to be in the future, pray for your future spouse (God willing), for the qualities you know will make a good husband or wife: integrity, kindness, common sense, fear of the Lord, etc. If you are a parent with adult children, pray for young married couples, especially your own married children and their families. And have faith that God will give us the grace to rebuild His institution starting with our own marriages and the influence we have on those around us.

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