To be honest with you, I’m still processing the feature article that I read on ABC News.com over the weekend. Honestly, based on the information that they provided (and it’s really hard to debate statistics vs. merely opinion), I wasn’t really shocked. Quite frankly, as I’m sitting here typing, of the married people that I know *personally*, I can count the healthy *and* happy (and in that order) couples on one hand (and I just might have a thumb to spare). No, the better word to describe how I felt after completing the piece (and the three feature videos) was sad. The fact that we’re at a place in our culture where people are now considering marriage to be “not in general use” while wondering if it has “fallen into disuse”; if it’s “out of date” or needing to be “replaced with something newer or better” is just…well, sad.
Cause here’s the thing. James 1:17 tells us that every good and perfect gift is from above and Ecclesiastes 3:14 (NKJV) states, “I know that whatever God does, it shall be forever. Nothing can be added to it, and nothing taken from it.” The part that I think a lot of people miss in that Scripture? The last line: “God does it so that men should fear before him.”
MARRIAGE IS A GIFT FROM GOD. One of the very first gifts that we were given on this earth (Genesis 2:18-25). HE GAVE IT TO US SO THAT WE WOULD HONOR HIM BOTH WITH IT AND BECAUSE OF IT.
I thought about the book, “Real Christianity” (William Willberforce) that I read some time ago which was based on the premise that the Church is in the state that it’s in because people follow Christian culture rather than authentic faith. Culture always changes. Faith. It does not. And, any time that we get to a place where we wonder if we still need something that God gave us, we are on a very slippery spiritual slope. Pride comes before the fall (Proverbs 16:18).
Marital covenant is the foundation for family (Malachi 2:15) and the thing that really gets to me is that I fear that people spend so much time doing what they want to do “just because they can”, that they don’t take the time to really process the ramifications. I Corinthians 3:19 tells us that the wisdom of the world is foolishness with God. Not only that but he catches them in their craftiness.
One example: Have you ever checked out the stats re: children who come from single parent/broken homes? Hmph. Perhaps check out “Facts on Fatherless Kids” sometime. Indeed, just because you *can* (have children outside of marriage, file for divorce, have casual sex) doesn’t mean that you *should*. Matter of fact, one of the cited reasons in the article re: why marriage is not revered in the way that it used to be is because of the way young people have been affected by their own parents’ marital situations and ever-changing relational statuses. According to the piece, 29 percent of children under 18 are now the product of a single home and the number of single people between the ages of 25-34 now outweigh those who are married in the same age bracket. When it comes to the latter (especially being that I am 36 and still currently single), I wouldn’t necessarily “knock that” if those same people were abstinent. I’ve checked out the stats on that too. Trust me, most of them aren’t. Nearly half (46%) of all teens between the ages of 15-19 have had sex at least once.
Which is also what trips me out. We don’t need *marriage* but we need *sex*? SEX IS FOR MARRIAGE (Hebrews 13:4) and for those who want to debate that, well, now you’re saying that the Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16-17) is obsolete…which brings full circle why the piece disturbed me so in the first place.
When we get to a place where we don’t need what God said, being that John 1:1 tells us that in the begining was the Word and the Word was with God and THE WORD WAS GOD, we are in a pretty bleak position. And it’s hard to really move forward…in the dark.
All of this said, when it comes to the question of “Is marriage obsolete?”, Christians (John 8:31) should not “pause and ponder” but immediately be able to provide an answer…in word and in deed (Colossians 3:17): Not as long as this earth exists (Matthew 22:30) and we are on it.
Why? Because even with all of the stats and stories, the reason is pretty simple.
God said so.