Friday, May 4, 2012

Is Marriage Obsolete?

Chuckle:  "As a husband and father, I can say anything I want around the house, but no one pays the least bit of attention!"
Quote:  "There is no more lovely, friendly or charming relationship, communion or company, than a good marriage." --Martin Luther 
Jesus said, "Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'?  Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate?" (Matthew 19:4-6 NIV).  "Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, . . ." (Hebrews 13:4 NIV).  I'll begin with some sobering findings from the Manhattan Declaration.  
1.  Fifty years ago, three fourths of adult Americans were married.  Now the number is half.
2.  A survey done by Pew Research Center revealed that “marriage is becoming obsolete” in our culture.
3.  The writer of a USA Today article says that part of the decline in marriage can be linked to weddings performed by non-clergy.
4.  The USA Today writer also points out that clergy-less wedding ceremonies lack the necessary emphasis on the covenantal relationship between husband and wife.
5.  Studies show that children in married family households are less likely to live in poverty than children in single-parent homes.
6.  A 2010 Census showed that almost 40% of single-parent homes were under the poverty line. In fact, the state of Indiana links the breakdown of marriage as a major cause of the state's poverty.
 7.  In Indiana alone, the percentage of unwed births went from 5% in 1960 to approximately 44% today.
Even some "Christians" seem to have bought into the idea that living together and/or having babies outside marriage is perfectly alright.  Even though they know it's contrary to God's word, they don't have the courage to stand up and say so for fear of damaging relationships with their own family members.  Each one of us should pray for the conviction, strength and courage to vigorously and lovingly defend the definition and sanctity of marriage as a God instituted union between a man and a woman.
From the beginning, God's plan has included His deep involvement in each marriage.  It is a covenant relationship between the one man, one woman, and God.  Since God instituted marriage and actually joins husband and wife together with a spiritual bond, the covenant marriage relationship is sealed by His authority and will and is not to be broken except in the case of adultery (Matthew 19:9).  However, even in the case of adultery, it is God's desire that confession of sin, repentance, and reconciliation occur and the marriage be restored.  
Today, the emphasis on the covenant nature of marriage is often sacrificed on the altar of expediency and cultural acceptability.  The stigma of unwed mothers, living together outside of marriage, and divorce is rapidly disappearing.  Will we stand by and allow marriage to become obsolete in our culture? 
Love, Jerry & Dotse