Editor's Note: In the Marriage Memo of May 16, 2011, Dave Boehi wrote on "Is Marriage a 'Dying Institution'?" Readers were invited to respond, and here are 100 of their comments. Click here for additional responses.
1. Diaz stated that we should move away from old traditions that don't suit our world today. I think this statement is a measuring stick for how high the waters are rising in this culture that is pulling away from God's standards and institutions. It's a measuring stick as to where the majority of people may be headed as the trends suggest.
Diaz, along with Ablow, suggests that we find a cultural alternative to replace this institution that God created. If these alternatives are anything like the ones we have to replace every other God created institution, then I would anticipate destruction and further decline into a culture that no longer wants to hear God.
Unfortunately, as well, I'm not surprised by this at all. Our culture has been on the decline since the fall of Adam and Eve. It's not just marriage, but it's all the values, in every area of our life that are being threatened by this cultural current. With a media saturated culture, even Christians have forgot how to be "in" the world but not of it. The lines are getting blurry.
In my opinion, the answer to this is to get back to the basics. We need to learn how to be in this world (clinging to God's blueprints), and not of it (opting for this world blueprint). Now I'm not suggesting detachment from our culture, otherwise we cannot be a shining light to this culture if we hide in caves or protective bubbles. By "the basics" I mean we need to hold fast to the traditional beliefs, but redeem the innovations in our culture.
Short story. I recently had been struggling over the issue of technology and how it fits into God's plan. With all the new innovations, like the ipad, iphone, etc. I found it hard pressed to buy an ipad as an ebook reader and forsake my beloved printed materials (which is a cultural advancement in and of itself, i.e. the printing press). After long deliberation, and discussions with my pastor about my belief system, I became convinced the method of delivery doesn't matter as long as the message stays the same. I even have my Bible on my ipad which was a hard decision for me, but I stay grounded in my belief no matter what innovation I'm using.
That said, I think the answer to what to do about this cultural idea of outdating marriage is we, as Christians, the shining light we are called to be, one family at time need to stand firm in our beliefs in the midst of an evolving culture. We can help redeem this culture by living out our marriages and lives as God has shown us "in" the midst "of" a changing world. The shining difference will expose fallacy of this world's logic on marriage.
Don't know if that made any sense, but while I agree with others' comments that we need more ministries to teach us, we need to get out of the classroom at some point and get into this culture and shine some light of positive change. In other words, we need to apply what God has commanded us instead of conforming to the cultural current. Stay traditional in belief, but innovative in our methods. Things change and will continue to change. Unless we get in the current, as Moses did, keep the standards held high (even if it takes holding each others' arms up) we will get lost in the crashing waves of this culture and become just a statistic.
Marriage is the first institution God created, and a reflection of His own image. It's time reflect this image outside the walls of our steeples.
2. "Marriage" will NEVER die, because it is God's idea, not ours. Its acceptance or rejection by our culture has more to do with how engaged God's people are in the battle. Are we planted as bolders redirecting the stream of culture around us, or are we sand and pebbles flowing wherever the stream wishes to take us? Do we model strong marriage? Do we teach our children? Do we write, call, and vote? Do we mentor?
3. I would like to comment on the article about the dying marriage. I come from a family of 6 kids. All 6 are married happily. The youngest of the 6 has been married for 27 years, and the oldest of my siblings is approaching 40 years of marriage. My parents were married for 43 years when my dad died of a massive heart attack. In the families of both of my parents, all of their siblings have had lifelong marriages with their spouses. That is, both on the mother's side and father's side.
8 years ago, I lost my first wife of 26 years to cancer. I have again happily remarried, and we have enjoyed 7 years together, have adopted 2 foster children, and hope to retire soon and do mission work with the foster system.
I believe with all my heart that underneath all the difficulties with marriage in today's society, marriage is still alive and well.
4. Marriage is under attack to be sure. The main reason it won't die is that God instituted it and He knows that it is best for the people He created. Only He knows all of the reasons, but I can see some.
The first is companionship. He knew that we needed someone who we have a deep friendship with, someone who is on our side and who we can communicate with. He said it wasn't good for man to be alone and that he needed a HELP-MEET. We need someone who is on our team.
Next He knew we needed stability. We need the security that a stable marriage offers. He said that a man should leave and CLEAVE that means to hold on to very tightly. When we know that this person is committed to us and we have committed to them we can relax and enjoy our lives together. We need to know that even when we are older and less attractive and even a bit grouchy this person will stay and accept us and love us because they have committed to do it and the Lord gives them that love.
Of course, one of the main reasons is for the children. They need a mother and father who love them and each other and who can show them how to get along with another person even though that isn't always fun or easy. Divorce is catastrophic for children, period. And that goes for children whose parents don't marry (legally) and separate as well.
Ok, the last one I will mention is that we need the commitment of marriage because it is in this relationship that iron sharpens iron and we learn to give and take and grow and love and to become the people that God is molding us to be. It is a crucible, as they say, where we learn to die to self and where we begin to be prepared for the life to come. Earth is the birthing place where souls begin their journey. Our life in Heaven is related to our life on earth and marriage is one major arena in which we are tested and purified and grow.
So, it seems obvious now why the world outside of Christianity thinks that marriage is dying. The Lord made us to thrive in a world with marriage. But a large group of people don't live their lives on God's principles. They don't see any value in growing or committing. They see only this life and what pleasure it has to offer them. Life just isn't perfect or easy for even the richest and most beautiful people. But they are searching for that perfection. Eventually life will be emptiness for them because that is just the way it is, without the Lord. They will see their children self-destructing but then it will be too late.
But I don't believe that it will be this way for everyone. I know that the Lord is calling and working in people's lives all the time. He is drawing them and we are a huge part of that plan. We need to let the Lord work in our marriages. We must keep our eyes on Him and submit to what He is doing and die to our own selfish will. The world will see Him shining through us, no matter what they say. We need to love all of those that the Lord has placed into our lives and be ready to give an answer when they ask us. We need to pray for the lost and confused and misguided with compassion and faith that the Lord has a plan. He will bring it to pass as we are yielded to Him and humble and trust Him.
5. I think that marriage is a lot of hard work and most of us want to take the easy road. It is easy to not get married and to live however we want to. We don't want to get married because we want to be in control of ourselves and our lives and not have someone else making any decisions for us. And if we feel that someone is trying to control us then we can just say bye-bye to them and hello to someone else who won't give their opinion. It really is keeping people at arm's length and not really letting them get any closer. We don't want anyone to tell us any of their real opinions if it is negative towards us at all because we all want to live happy, easy lives. And we don't want rules. We have grown up in a world that allows us to break rules if we want to, because the penalty is usually not great. We can be anything we want. We can be as successful as we want. We can live however we want. And no one wants to take responsibility for their actions any more. It is always someone else's fault as to why we aren't happy or why things didn't work out the way we wanted them to. So, if I don't get married and only keep people as long as I want them, then I won't have to hear or see anything bad and I can live in my perfectly happy world and never face pain.
This easy-street world is just not realistic. It is living in a fantasy world of total bliss. And though people will try this, I think they will end up alone because they didn't invest in someone for their whole lives. I want to spend my life with 1 person who completes me. I want to be at the end of my life one day and know that my best friend is right beside me. My husband and I have been married for 7 years now and there have been several times where I wanted to throw in the towel. And honestly, it was my sisters who listened to me and then helped me realize the benefits of sticking with it. They showed me how God designed it. And it was them not just sitting there agreeing with me but standing up to me and saying what I didn't want to hear at the time. But I am grateful for that. I have a great life with my husband and I want him to be there with me to the end. I want to stick it out, even though most people say, "Give up. You deserve better than this." Honestly, I don't deserve anything. But God has blessed me with a good man and I have to work hard at keeping the relationship good. I have to take responsibility for the success of it and not just point the finger at him. If we all give 100% then all of our marriages would work because we wouldn't be relying on someone else to make it work.
It really saddens me that our world thinks so negatively of marriage. Many men now get nervous about having children with women because they feel that women just want to have babies and then will leave them and collect child support. Our government does not support marriage, even if they have laws saying that marriage is only between a man and a woman. They make so many more benefits for single parents with children. You should get more benefits for sticking with someone and showing your children a good loving home, and showing them how to stay married for life through the good times and bad, than for giving up. We give benefits to those who have made a mess of their lives and penalize the ones that do the right thing. We need a Godly marriage revolution!
6. I don't think marriage is a dying institution. I think that it can appear that way because you mostly hear about the bad things. The news reports (and neighbors) gossip about divorces and the drama in relationships, not the great, successful, happy marriages that are out there. So do we hear about all the horrible things that can happen in relationships, absolutely. But do great marriages, HAPPY marriages exist? ABSOLUTELY!
And as for the doctor, he should get out of his office more often. Of course he's going to see unhappy people in his office, isn't that why they're there?!
It is sad the number of marriages that end in divorce. I think most people lack a good example and the right tools to understand what marriage truly is (not the fairytale ending, we all see as kids) and how to make it work.
Personally, my husband is AMAZING! And while neither of us is without fault, we both know that we are loved by the other no matter what. That kind of love and security is something that I would never want to live without.
Marriage gets a bad rep these days, but I think it can be a wonderful way to share your life. It's sad that so many will miss what marriage is, and in turn, miss out on the beauty of sharing your love and life with another, for as long as you both shall live.
7. I think marriage is becoming a dying institution and it is quite sad. My father left my mother when I was 4 years old and I have not seen him since (I am now 38). I never knew what it was like to have a father, let alone see two people stick it out together for better or for worse. My mother decided not to remarry until my sister and I were out of the house. I have had many failed relationships because I had no idea what to do or what to expect. After reading tons of self-help books and praying I decided to get married in my mid-30's. My husband and I are still married, and yes, we have had some really rough times but we are still together. He had a son out of wedlock when he was about 20 and the mother was 18 and they too knew little about relationships let alone how to raise a child. This child has grown up not knowing what it is like to have both parents present 24/7. My husband left the mother when his child was very young. And, our marriage has taken a toll because I was the first one to get involved with the son and no one seemed to like that. Everyone was so used to just the "family" being involved in his life that they pretty much shunned me. This is regardless of the fact that the mother is now on her third child with her third man. Blended families know that is another can of worms resulting from lack of commitment and immediate gratification.
I fear that the experiences during my childhood and that of my step-son are paving the way for a newly accepted set of guidelines for couples. My husband and I moved to the Mid-West from CA because of his work and I am grateful every day. The values out here are much different. People are more family oriented and seem more invested in their relationships and the impact that has on their children.
I think that we can believe anything we want to believe. So, if we want to believe that it is easier not to get married then I am sure someone can convince themselves of that. It seems to me that everything is disposable these days and based off of instant gratification. People switch jobs repeatedly, have sex at a very early age, have children out of wedlock, divorce at the drop of the hat, and rack up thousands and thousands of dollars in debt just to keep up with the Joneses. What happened to taking the time to make sure you are with the right person, the right job, making sure your situation is the best for your child before YOU decide to bring them into the world, and what about saving money before you make that impulse purchase? Where does this sense of entitlement come from?
Most of my life I have wondered what it would be like today if more people were happily married and children had more of a support system (less depression, less anxiety, etc.). It is sad that most children these days come from a dysfunctional childhood and it seems like the odds are against them because of it. Despite my upbringing I want to have a family (a husband and children) and I will teach my children that it isn't as bad as some make it out to be. I don't think we are evolving. I think we are becoming more barbaric. Two cliches I would like to reference: "No one said life was easy," and "The best things in life are worth working for."
8. I believe that marriage is facing some challenges; however I see it as the backbone of a vibrant and successful culture. When I look at the trend away from faithful, committed and lasting marriage I see it as a negative trend. Are those who say otherwise watching the classrooms of children crying out for a stable home? Do any of these five year on, five year off people see the number of daughters doing things in the dark because of the love they are missing at home.
I had the horror of reading a fifth grader's pain and anguish as he wrote about his parents' divorce. There was nothing positive in his pain, nothing exciting or refreshing in wanting his parents, but having one parent this week and another one on the weekend, but not both together.
Are we really serious that it is better to be in a non-committed relationship, where no rules exist, no commitment is made? Really! I think we need to focus more on marriage. We need to encourage people to stick it out, recognize how selfish we are and how much joy there is in the moments when a husband and wife come together.
In my opinion there is nothing more exciting and joyful than knowing my dreams, emotions, fears, passion, love and intimacy are shared with one woman and hers with me. There is no other place as safe as our marriage and home. And though it is a journey and has its challenges, the rewards outweigh it all.
9. Do you think marriage is a dying institution? No
Do you believe the weakening of marriage is a positive or negative trend, and why? Definitely Negative. It's blessed of God; children need to see parents working through the differences they face not running away from them. Our culture lives in the NOW. Not happy in a marriage? Can get a divorce. Can't afford somethin? Charge it on a credit card. Get pregnant? Can have an abortion. No accountability for any of these things.
What do you think should be done? We need marriage. We need churches that believe in marriage and provide support to marriages. I think people need examples set before them of what marriage is and be honest about it. Before someone gets married (especially Christians) they need to have a counseling time with a pastor (who believes in the covenant of marriage), to spend time discussing what will take place and educating the couple of the trials they will face and giving them the tools how to handle the trials. Also, commitment needs to be in both husband and wife. Knowing my husband is committed to me as much as I'm committed to him, makes all the difference. We've been married for 18 years ¨We have had some serious struggles, but my husband and I pray together and ask God to be in our marriage and to help us. I love that man more than the day we wed, that is only God.
10. July 2, 2011, we will celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. By all accounts, our marriage should have ended years ago. I was just 17 and he was 21. He was a workaholic and alcoholic. He had low self-esteem and outrageous behaviors to hide it. He was a P.K. (pastor's kid) and knew better but it was easier for him to have success at being 'bad' than to ever measure up to being 'good.' Getting back into church was good but there were 'relapses.' When he hit 40, his actions almost ended our marriage. Emptiness was my companion. An invitation for "Marriage Encounter " came in the mail and I threw it away thinking it was far too late. For some unknown reason, he picked it out of the trash and said we should go.
I had a dream. I was in the bottom of a cold, damp, high stone tower. There were the remains of a fire on the dirt floor. I looked and there was a tiny spark left. I could hear my husband on the outside of the stone tower wanting to come in. I decided to blow on the spark ever so slowly to see if I could get the fire going again. I somehow understood that I would have to take the stone wall down from inside. If it were taken down from the outside it would crush me.
My husband and I are both avid do-it-yourselfers and between us we can fix anything and/or make anything. I realized one day that if I can take scraps and make a quilt, dirt and make a garden, wood and build a house....why can't I take a very bad situation....scraps of a marriage and repair it? It took many months, even years for the pain to wear off. Then one day, I realized that we were a success story. My former pastor (he moved) said he has often (without our names) told the story of our marriage: the pain, the shame, the recovery.
It was most definitely the Lord that got us through that terrible time. I questioned His ways concerning our marriage because everything had seemed so perfect. I was reminded of Job. I was angry at the Lord but very thankful for His mercy and patience with me. It was only when I acknowledged that His Plans for my life are the best plans that I sought and began to understand everything. There is no justification for sin; nevertheless, there is also no justification for retaliation. I tried to drink away the pain of the situation long after my husband apologized. One day I attempted suicide, but the gun locked and I heard His voice say "I didn't bring you this far for you to end it." Another day, with anger and tears I cried to the Lord and He placed a 'whiteboard' in front of my mind's eye. Every word I thought went up on the whiteboard. I said ¡°I am acting this way because .... and I said my husband's name and his sin but it wouldn't write. Instead, oil came over the area that should have listed his name and his sin and the Lord said....'that's been forgiven." so I was left to stare at the words "I am acting like this because." I knew I would have to stand for my actions alone...there was no excusing them by saying they were the result of someone else's actions. It's an awesome thing to stand before the Almighty Lord.
The final outcome has been a closer walk with the Lord for both of us. Does it still pain me, yes, but more like the pain of losing my Dad in 2001. Dad and I had a special relationship. My mother was an abuser. But when I got saved, Dad wouldn't listen to the fact that only Jesus provides the way of salvation. Finally he got saved, 30 years after I did. He lived four more years. Every time I think of him, I feel the loss but by the grace of God, I also know where he is and that overwhelms the loss with joy and peace. It is much the same with our marriage. If the thoughts of 1979 drag me back to the pain, I remember how the Destroyer tried to end our lives and our marriage. Then I am overwhelmed with His mercy and comfort that His plans made a way where there seemed to be no way.
The additional result of going through such a terrible time is that we have learned:
- We are not "alike," but we make a great team. Each augmenting the other's weaknesses and leaning on the other's strengths. Communicate and affirm that to one another!
- To expect situations, problems, bumps along the road of life and IMMEDIATELY ask "What would you have me learn from this, Lord?" (It greatly reduces the length of the test!")
- To choose. When peace, joy and strength seem to be out of reach because of circumstances, just stand still, listen to the Lord and decide to make a Christ-pleasing choice. (Sometimes the choice isn't one I would make to please my flesh, but it's made only because I am not my own, but have been bought with a price. So I take myself by the scruff of my neck and choose to please God.)
- Life is precious. There will be no tears in heaven! Sometimes when you come very close to losing something: life, person, marriage, it becomes even more precious because you think of what could have happened.
- And we've learned that we can count on one another. We are best friends, joyful companions and one flesh, strong only because we are united in the Lord.
Finally, I think the pendulum of thoughts on marriage will swing the other way. Whenever we say we are married....however long...49 years now....people respond by saying "Oh, how did you do it? I wish one of my marriages had lasted that long!" We have the same answer. "It's not 50-50! It's each giving 110%." There is a real desire to have lasting love and companionship. Our throw-away society is not only about disposable paper goods but has gone to the depths of throw-away babies, marriages, parents and families. So the hunger for things that last is growing. We have had total strangers ask us about our marriage now! A stewardess said "I see the way you two hold hands and look at each other and I can tell you've been married a long time, how did you do it?" Last month it was the nurse at the doctor's office. We were just talking and laughing and she said "You two are so funny. You must be newly-weds! Am I right!" (Here in Florida there are lots of 'old folks' getting married.) It seems everywhere we go, people recognize our love. Somehow it shows and we are responding with the answer "You must have the Lord in your marriage! It's not 50-50; it's each giving 110%."
11. The beauty of a new marriage is based in sharing what could be, while the beauty of a long-lasting marriage is not only that but also in having someone to share in what has been. Over the course of living life together those shared memories become a network of bonds between the married couple, binding them together not only in shared experiences but also in time. This does not just include the good times either, but also the experience of having overcome the bad times together. In fact, I purport that it is the latter that builds the strongest bonds between a husband and wife. As the saying goes, what doesn't break you only makes you stronger!"
Marriage, as an institution, is indelibly linked to other institutions including selflessness, perseverance, faith, and at times the willful postponement of personal gratitude. In much of our western culture it is these principles, on personal levels, that are in peril. The failure of a marriage between two people who lack these qualities should surprise no one.
The beauty of God's design for His followers is that it is through the exercise of these very principles we truly can come closer to living the joyful abundant life that He desires for us, and this includes the opportunity to see our children and loved-ones live out joyful, relationally-enriched lives as well.
12. Seemingly moral values and standards in general are becoming "dying institutions." This is where we as believers come in to take a stand for our faith and what we believe. We are called to make disciples of the nations. Our voices should be louder than those who make these types of comments about things that are ordained by God. I am a 24-year-old married woman and in spite of what those in my age range believe about marriage and being faithful to one person for life, I have chosen to believe what God says. This faith has only come by hearing the word of God.
13. It's hard to imagine my marriage as a source of suffering as stated in the article. Rather it has been a source of tremendous joy, companionship, peace, security, rounding out of my personality, comfort, fun, and the list goes on.
Sleeping with the same person for the last 32 years has brought blessing upon blessing. The only "suffering" I see is the thought of not having another 32 years with my husband!
14. I have been married for 16 years. I can honestly say that my marriage is not a happy one. That being said, I do not by any means think that marriage is a dying institution. Part of the problem for me is that I chose the WRONG PERSON. Even with all the problems that I have had with my husband, I would take all the knowledge that I have gained from this experience and use it to find a better mate for myself. I would try to correct all the things that I have done wrong. Overall, I love being married; not because I am happy, but because I love the institution of marriage and all that it should be. My husband does not understand what marriage should be and how to be married and how to treat a person whom you love. If I could make him into the loving person I need, then I would be so happy. It is a struggle for me just to get a hug and a kiss without an argument. He is sick and does not know it. We have attended the couple's weekend to remember and it was great. However, my husband is stuck in his horrible ways and he thinks that is how marriage should be. Yes, I have thought about cheating and divorce but for some reason God has not led me to either one as of yet, and I wait for God to lead me to the right place. I long to find that life-long partner and husband that God want us to have.
15. I, myself, am the product of divorced parents. They divorced for not being Christians and my father being a drunk although he read the Bible quite a bit he did not attend any church. He prided himself on his knowledge of the Bible. For a long time he and a few other bad examples were my view of Christians and I wanted nothing to do with that for a long time.
I do believe that marriage is dying as an institution in America. We are turning into a nation of "individual rights," and "do what feels good at the moment." This is all very childish. Children start their lives self-centered and parents are supposed to teach them to share, be patient, respect others, have virtues and so on. But we seem to be going the other direction these days by what parents teach their children, both by what we say as parents and what we do. In the Bible study group I am in, I see the very permissive parenting in others in our group. My wife and I are amazed by it.
I was a soldier for 21 years and am recently retired. I think it is this formal upbringing that cemented teamwork and service to others. I was enlisted for 10 years and more than half of that was spent leading troops. Then I became an officer and continued leading troops and commanded an Infantry company for 3 years (1 year in Iraq). This is not to say that all leaders take their responsibility seriously. I saw many that didn't and that is why their soldiers got in trouble at high rates.
A leader must be an example like a parent must be an example. Kids learn by what they see and the behavior they copy. Each one of us must take responsibility for the whole and not just worry about pleasing self. But we have become a nation of individuals worried about only self.
I volunteer at my church with the children's ministry and I am regularly in amazement to hear the kinds of video games that they play at such a young age and the attitudes they bring to the small groups. I also chaperoned at a winter camp and I was amazed at the language used by the kids when they thought no grownups were around (I was well camouflaged). This is a symptom of what is going on at home. And the home is a symptom of the parents' heart condition.
What to do? Good question? The only good answer is to pray for our nation.
Another thing, I was a tough commander. I encouraged my officers to go elsewhere unless they really wanted to earn their pay. I was a firm believer of a smaller, leaner, dedicated unit as opposed to bigger, slower and sloppier. I let anyone leave for another company before the deployment began. We trained significantly harder before we left and I was left with significantly fewer, but dedicated soldiers by the time we got to country. In the end my company did the best, thanks to God.
I think too many churches are more interested in quantity than quality and make the message too soft and cozy and not enough challenge and brutal honesty when someone is slacking off. Such as tithing and serving your own church. I know I was below standard and there was no one to nudge me along. Now I try to, but too many are still in their own little shells serving themselves.
16. Do you think marriage is a dying institution? Yes..in our society and around the world
Do you believe the weakening of marriage is a positive or negative trend, and why? It's a terrible trend, as it is producing more and more wounded and hurting children..who grow up to produce more wounded and hurting people. Emotionally, it is crippling an entire generation
What do you think should be done? Two things: We have to keep helping those who are already married (training men and women how to fix, upgrade, and sustain their marriages), and we have to direct resources at helping emotionally and spiritually wounded children before they get married. Tall tasks and hopeless if I didn't believe in a God of wholeness and healing.
17. Do you think marriage is a dying institution? It is. Mostly because parents have lost morals and nothing is being passed down to their children.
Do you believe the weakening of marriage is a positive or negative trend, and why? It's a negative trend. Let's do whatever, whenever. No one cares, no one wants to listen. It's a fast-pace world with lots of talk and too many people have a fear of not being politically correct and in the friend scene.
What do you think should be done? We need God back in a powerful way. Don't you think He's tired and He's shaking the earth now?
18. It shouldn't be! But the more I study on the social culture of Rome before the collapse of Rome the more similar issues I see in their society behaviors and America's. Homosexuality was encouraged, abortions or leaving an unwanted child outside Rome's gates or as an offering for Roman gods, marriages in "name only" so both parties could do as they pleased, substance abuse, hatred of Jews and Christians...switch Rome's name for America...sadly it could be our history. There is NO BETTER choice for our society than real, God centered marriages which is also the best for our children! When we stop listening to "stars" & liberal minded psychologists and return to marriage as God intended we will be doing the best for all involved!
19. This doctor must really live a sheltered life. I see evidence of great marriages every day. Men and women working together to provide for their families. I see this in the people I work with, in the people my husband works with, in our circle of friends, family, and church family.
Marriage is a great thing. It is the most complicated relationship I have ever been a part of and I love it for that. There's not a day that goes by that I am not thankful for my 10 year marriage.
20. I do not think marriage is a dying institution. On the contrary it is the only stable institution we have in the face of so many others crumbling. What our nation does with it is another thing all together. I am pleased to say that I have been married for 37 years and I made that decision to marry at 16 and married at 17 and no I did not have to "get married." I had great role models, both my grandparents were married over 50 years, my parents for 56 years, my in-laws 49 (separated by death), my brother 20 years, my son for 3 young years but his wife's family sport the same numbers and heritage. I have lived all over this country and of all the places I have lived I have very, very few people or friends whose marriages have ended in divorce. I know there are others who can spout just the opposite numbers and my heart aches for the wounds in their hearts because that is not what God intended. But we don't give up because we fail at something we try again.
21. Do you think marriage is a dying institution? No I don't! I think marriage is one of the most challenging relationships you will ever try to master. Many people give up because of the amount of work involved. After 23 wonderful years of marriage, my wife and I still have to work hard to keep it working. But it is worth it. Ms. Diaz and Dr. Ablow are only speaking from their limited experience and exposure and, though some will think it so, they don't speak for everyone. Of course a celebrity is going to poo-poo marriage! It is extremely hard to pull off a marital relationship in that environment. We see many examples of that! And thinking of Dr. Ablow's frame of reference! How many happily married couples does he meet with? Based on what you have shared with us, I don't think I would ask Keith Ablow for help in saving or enhancing a marriage.
Do you believe the weakening of marriage is a positive or negative trend, and why? It's a negative trend for marriage and a positive trend or those who don't like the institution. It simply depends on your perspective.
What do you think should be done? We need to continue to pray for and help those who choose marriage, and allow their lives to shine upon others. Forcing marriage on someone has never been a good thing in my opinion. But helping people understand what it takes to have a good marriage is a key component. Education is very important and tends to defeat ignorance every time.
22. I do think it's dying... but I think this can be a good thing.............. I believe marriage is instituted by God... and I think the government should have stayed out of it in the first place... I think legally anyone should be eligible for civil unions w equal rights, but that MARRIAGE should only be recognized within the church. What makes it better or worse for two heterosexual atheists to be married compared to two homosexual agnostics? I'd say there is really no difference.. neither of them is going to treat marriage as God intended because they have no allegiance to God.
I think if marriage dies out in the secular community then it would provide a better opportunity for Christians to witness thru their scripturally based marriages that actually work when they are fully relying on God. But.. I guess that leads to what needs to be done... and that is Christians need to remove all the secular attitudes we have toward marriage.... more intense pre-marital counseling within the church before marriages.... more people being reached with great websites like this!... more young women finding Titus 2 women for counseling and the older women seeking out the younger to do so..... etc.
23. I do not think marriage is a dying trend. Anyone who allows God to choose their life partner will tell you they never want to be separated from their other half. They are now one and will always be until God separates them in death from this world.
I think this is a huge negative for our world and our children will only suffer more. People will be less and less happy and more and more diseased!!!
We, as Christians need to continually pray for marriage in our world and a revival in our land that God would renew His spirit and save us from the captivity of this snare Satan has set.
24. Marriage is dying due to selfishness. Cameron Diaz is a bit near sighted. Marriage is not necessarily about feeling good but it's about the perpetuation of mankind and raising children to be good people that will contribute to society in a positive manner. Cameron is only focused on the now aspect and what marriage might do for you, or not. Yeah, marriage is not suited for most people because they are too immature and have not moved beyond the childish self-centered aspect of development. Most people get divorced because they don't have Jesus as their example and therefore cannot be a good example to their kids. Therefore, you will probably suffer quite a bit if both parties in a marriage are selfish.
Marriage will not fade away completely because God designed it to be the best institution to improve the quality of our life and that of our kids. It may be degraded by our own doing as mankind, but it will never fade away completely.
I currently work with juveniles. The vast majority of my cases are from single parent households. It is tough enough to raise kids with both parents and I really don't believe that one parent is the right answer barring the extended family helping. Parents don't like me telling them that they must first be a better example before they can expect their kids to improve at home and show them respect.
25. I believe that marriage is from God. I also believe that either unmarried couples having children or divorced parents of children is a main cause of violence and crime in the U.S. today. When I read your article I googled fatherless and found the below statistics. This was back in 1997 so I can only imagine how much worse it is today.
Fatherless Homes Breed Violence. According to Getting Men Involved: The Newsletter of the Bay Area Male Involvement Network, Spring 1997:
63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes (Source: U.S. D.H.H.S., Bureau of the Census
90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes
85% of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes (Source: Center for Disease Control)
80% of rapists motivated with displaced anger come from fatherless homes (Source: Criminal Justice & Behavior, Vol 14, p. 403-26, 1978.)
71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes (Source: National Principals Association Report on the State of High Schools.)
75% of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes (Source: Rainbows for all God¡¯s Children.)
70% of juveniles in state-operated institutions come from fatherless homes (Source: U.S. Dept. of Justice, Special Report, Sept 1988)
85% of all youths sitting in prisons grew up in a fatherless home (Source: Fulton Co. Georgia jail populations, Texas Dept. of Corrections 1992)
26. The short answer is a definite: Marriage is not a dying institution; although we would have to say that it is for the most part pretty sick in the US. I don't have all the stats at my fingertips but I recall from several sources I've read that married people are healthier, happier, live longer, and even enjoy the joys of sex better than those who are just living together or who jump from partner to partner. By the way they tend to raise happy and healthier kids. It is interesting that someone (psychologist or psychiatrist) who makes their living off of seeing people with problems would somehow interpret the world of marriage from their limited field of vision. I think they need to get out more.
One thing you didn't mention in this conversation (or did I miss something?) is what all this means to children. Anyone who works with children or reads much will surely have to admit that kids who grow up in families where there is only one adult are where the marriage doesn't exist or is just unhealthy by biblical standards are more likely to end in trouble with the law and/or otherwise not be very successful in life.
27. The culture is certainly trying to tell us so, but I am encouraging young people to hold out for true love and wait for the one God has for you. We as Christians are fighting against a strong tide, but I still believe it is worth the fight, and that God's design is best for us.
28. I don't believe marriage is a dying institute, however I believe it is gaining more negatives than positives Outlook. The reason for this is that many people do not believe in the Bible and even if they do they tries to find loopholes to fit their situations. I don't believe there is much we can do to save the ideas behind marriage but I am a strong believer in prayers and is what is needed most, every year there should a marriage campaign that Christian around the world get together and pray for marriages. The power of God is more influential than movie star quotes.
29. I don't think marriage is a "dying institution." However, our views of marriage as being a "fairy tale" of "living happily ever after" are unrealistic. If one reflects on the marriage vows of "for better or worse, in sickness and in health, for richer for poorer...," they really challenge us to stick it out during difficult times and warn us that life isn't "happily ever after."
A second phenomenon I see in American society is the lack of delayed gratification and wanting a "quick fix" for problems. People want everything to be "hunky dory," and they want it "now." They don't seem to want to work together for a common goal or to work through problems. Instead, they tend to think the marriage is in trouble if their spouse doesn't fulfill all of their "emotional" and material needs. Well, guess what? No human can ever satisfy us completely. Only God can. This is a tough pill to swallow, but it's so true. We are imperfect humans and cannot every fully fulfill another person's needs or wants. We can however, try to work together to achieving common goals such as buying a house or raising Christian children.
Finally, perhaps Cameron Diaz does have one valid point about marriage as an institution. When marriage was first established, people only lived to about 30 or so. Therefore, the average marriage would only last 10 or so years. Now that people are living longer, those who marry in their 20s can be together 50 or more years. That's a long time and takes a huge commitment to working things out to stay together. It means sacrifice, and realizing that there will be seasons of drought. People in our "quick fix" society don't want to sacrifice. They want to live in utopia. Well, utopia only exists in story books and sometimes in the movies. Just look at other movie stars such as Elizabeth Taylor and see how many marriages fail. Political leaders, actors and actresses seem very vulnerable to having failed marriages. Being in the public eye may not always be the most ideal thing. They are tempted by other attractive people and spend long times separated from their spouses. This also happens in our military. It takes a huge commitment to remain faithful to a spouse who is far away.
Therefore, while marriage in general may not be a "dying institution," it is certainly undergoing change in our society. In order to preserve marriage, it needs to be viewed in the context of a loving relationship, not an "institution" like a school or a prison. People need to feel safe and free to explore their own interests, careers, and identities in the context of having love and trust and working towards the common goal of building love and Christian values in their interactions with each other and their friends and families. Marriage needs to be given a higher priority than finances, in-laws, children, or jobs in order to survive in these tough economic times.
30. While several marriages are failing in our society, marriage is far from being a dying institution. Couples are getting married week after week because they actually want to have a lasting love relationship with each other. Unfortunately, many couples don't know and understand how to make the marriage last.
For decades, people have attended weddings and heard "This union should not be entered into lightly or unadvisedly... Even quoted, "Endow you with all my worldly possessions," and/or forsaking all others... Too many, these are just phrases or a part of the ritual, however, their true meaning is lost. Once we understand that our earthly marriages depict the spiritual relationship we should have with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, marriage will take on a whole new concept and we will have a better perspective. When we understand who He is and who we are in Him, we will begin to exhibit His character, ultimately creating a union based on mutual love and affection.
Most conflict in marriages today exists because of selfishness, pride, greed, and a lack of love. Consistent display of such behaviors can only lead to destruction and death. Satan is using a deceptive tactic to make people think marriage is dying institution. Not so!
Marriage was instituted by God, Himself, and it is the closest union into which human beings can come. Marriage is God's institution and is therefore very much alive just as God is alive.
31. Is marriage a dying institution? No ¨I think we are facing the same challenges humans have faced for thousands of years. Marriage has progressed to where it is not appropriate or approved for people to have more than one spouse in most cultures. This was not true of the ancient times. We have also progressed where for most cultures do not approve of sexual partners outside of marriage.
God's vision of marriage has always been counter-cultural but God is counter-cultural. Marriage is hard because husbands (men) and wives (women) are to represent the relationship that God has with his people. Husbands and wives are imperfect so our marriages are imperfect.
Maybe the better question is: Is marriage a dying institution in the Christian culture? In the American church, I may have to say yes. (I don't have experience with any other country's church.) We fail to support, encourage, correct and admonish Christ followers in any spiritual growth and the sacrament of marriage is no different. If we do not expect Christians to grow in relationship with Christ and become more mature than why should marriage be any different. We express our sympathies when a marriage fails in the church. Or gossip when we know someone is seeking a relationship outside of the bounds of marriage. We state our disappointment when young couples choose to live together. We teach our children sexual purity in youth programs but don't believe they will ever choose it. American Christians watch the same TV shows and movies, read the same magazines and books. We barely choose to pick up the Bible once a week or pray on a daily basis. The American church fails to honor and obey God and be counter-cultural.
We do it all in the guise of tolerance and how Christians are not to be judgmental but God's asks us to do all things in love. Encourage in love. Admonish in love. Correct in love. Teach in love. Forgive in love. Share the gospel message in love. I think we are more apathetic. We don't want to get involved in other people's lives; it is messy. Our lives are messy enough. We don't have the time to invest in other people's lives. We underestimate the power of God in our lives. We fail to serve one another as Christ served us. We underestimate the power of the Holy Spirit who indwells us. We compartmentalize God instead of allowing him to transform us.
God asks us to love him with our whole being and to love our neighbor as ourselves. When we do this we are counter-cultural. We are in the world but not of the world.
I'm a sinner in need of a savior. I make the same mistakes that I have written about above. I am trying to mature and these actions do break my heart. I continue to try and strengthen my relationship with Christ. I came from a broken home. I believe our God is a God of reconciliation and with him all things are possible. My husband and I are determined to honor our sacrament and covenant with one another. It is not easy and it is not a fairy tale; its life in a fallen world.
32. Marriage was very, very important to me. I believed without a doubt that there was no reason to divorce and that God could fix any problem a marriage had. I believed that until my husband left me and our three kids. I had spent the last few years of our 15 year marriage trying to fix myself and hoping that he would also do what he needed to do for himself and that we would both work on our marriage together with the help of a counselor. I was miserable and felt unloved most of our marriage. I became less and less confident as a stay-at-home wife and mother. I lost myself and watched my husband pursue his education and career and then leave when I was at my lowest. I still believe in marriage to an extent, but I do not know that I can ever trust anyone ever again. I now wish I had pursued my own education and career before the bottom fell out on me and my three children. Not sure any longer what the purpose of marriage really is. I feel I was used, neglected, and abused and caged and abandoned. I think marriage is a dying institution, but I do not think that is a good thing. I just think there are too few men willing to fight for their families and choose to do the right thing rather than just what feels good for them.
33. My response... I am 35 years old, mother of the cutest 7 month old in the whole world, married 2 years.
Do you think marriage is a dying institution? I think that commitment is a dying institution. Marriage isn't easy, but neither is just plain living with someone. Committing to someone who is going to grate on your nerves or completely let you down isn't easy but knowing you do the same to them and they still love you is very, very reassuring.
Do you believe the weakening of marriage is a positive or negative trend, and why? Very, very negative. But, "marriage" should be between two people who are committed to each other and to making it work. I know a LOT of married people who are just in it for the kids, live totally separate lives or even stepping out on their marriage. That gives "marriage" a bad name.
What do you think should be done? The first few words of the book, Road Less Traveled come to mind... Life is difficult. And on a sign outside of a nearby church: "God didn't promise a safe voyage, he promised a soft landing." I think that people are taught to look at what is wrong with the world, not themselves... Changing that mindset can have significant results. I can yell at my husband for not noticing my new haircut or realize that I didn't thank him for mowing the lawn.
34. Cameron reflects a lot of what a fallen world would offer. The temporal vs. what Christ offers in a Covenant centered in the Holiness of Marriage.
I see it some in the church as well when I hear someone leaving a marriage for what they perceive as what will make them happy¡would say look at Cameron and her 5 year recipe for next on the happy list!
Commitment in our culture seems to be less about Covenant and more about self. A true marriage is one centered in Jesus Christ, who reminds me how blessed I am to have a Godly wife that loves me and allows me to love her well.
Marriage is not an institution or a government program; it's about a Covenant between you, God and your spouse.
Beauty is fleeting; ask John Lennon's son opinion of his dad's self-centered decisions. They leave a trail of broken relationships; ya gotta wonder what kind of idiot will be the next one to "fall for" Cameron, given her level of commitment.
35. Really enjoy Marriage memo and Weekend to Remember was a blessing to us!
There's a reason this is an op-ed piece and not a medical journal article. As a doctor, Keith Ablow knows his patients do not constitute a scientifically valid sample upon which to judge the health of the institution of marriage as a whole. Ablow is a celebrity psychiatrist catering to affluent, well educated professionals in and around Manhattan and the North Shore of Massachusetts; not a cross section of Americans by any means. And it stands to reason those seeking care from a psychiatrist are more likely to be experiencing relationship and martial problems as part or all of the reason they're seeking psychiatric care in the first place. Those with healthy marriages are most certainly underrepresented in the sample he uses to illustrate his dramatic "conclusions."
Ablow is a celebrity and celebrity seems to be at the fulcrum of our highly individualistic society. Headline grabbing Fox News.com articles grow the Ablow brand and fuel book deals and television appearances.
Research articles with statistically valid samples, scientifically sound methods and more modest conclusions do not. What's tragic is that those who are in martial distress and relational pain may accept the affirmation Dr. Ablow is trying to give them by adopting a victim mentality ("See, marriage just doesn't work.") rather than surrendering to God and getting to work on true relational healing that is rooted in Christ.
As believers, our marriages do need to be examples for others. But not through the persona of the "perfect Christian family" that so many of us try to uphold for others. White knuckling it through marriage for the sake of staying together in and of itself does less for the cause of Christ than our witness that comes from complete dependence on Him.
That's what gives us the humility, openness and courage to examine our character flaws and places of relational brokenness. That's where the willingness to confront dysfunctional family patterns comes from or the courage to conquer addiction. Ideally, that process happens in a loving, accountable small group at a spiritually healthy church, with a Christian counselor or psychiatrist and/or a ministry like Celebrate Recovery. Spiritually and emotionally healthy Christians create healthy, stable marriages that glorify God and leave a legacy. We can't fully utilize the capacity to bring the Good News to a hurting world and fight effectively for marriage until we get serious about letting God heal each of us.
36. Thank you for bringing up the Marriage Topic....
I am 27 and have been married for almost 2 years now. As a Christian, it is very easy to see how most people lead their lives with their flesh. Marriage is now seen as something that is simply "not important."
Do you think marriage is a dying institution? - Yes I do think is it dying out. This is all happening because Satan runs this world and he wants us to miss out on all that God designed for us.
Do you believe the weakening of marriage is a positive or negative trend, and why? I think that it is both positive and negative. It's positive because it's just one more sign that Jesus is coming back soon. But horribly negative because when someone is having sex or children out of wedlock, they are completely dishonoring God. They miss out on the chance to have a true, healthy relationship the way God wanted us to function. I hope that this "Trend" ends soon, but it probably won't, since so many people don't know Jesus and understand why it is important to be married.
What do you think should be done? As far as what we can do¡ªjust stick up for what we believe in when it comes up in daily conversations. We can honor what God has commanded us to do, by working that much harder to keep our marriages pure. All we can do is be the example and teach it to our children and those around us. But the most important thing anyone could do is PRAY for others.
37. I certainly pray that it is not. However, it appears that the younger generation has different views than many of us that are currently in our 60's plus.
I have a photo of my great-grandparents celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary (on my dad's side). My dad's mother passed away 5 days after his birth so his parents didn't have that opportunity but I'm sure they would have made it. My grandparents on my mother's side were married over 50 years. My parents were married 62 years before my mother passed away in April 2002; dad is still living alone and driving at age 93. My mother's sister & her husband as well as her brother and his wife were married over 50 years. My husband and I will celebrate 47 years in July. Our daughter and her husband will celebrate 23 years at the end of May. My in-laws also celebrated over 50 years.
I have gone back to a few of my high school reunions (last one in 2004 - for 40 years) and I have been amazed at the number of classmates that are still married.
In my case, I feel that an active church life and a strong faith have been very instrumental in grounding us. I go to my church for the faith and beliefs of the church. I have worked and used my talents in service. I know that Christ is my friend and I have a relationship with Him.
Unfortunately, many people go to a church because it is the acceptable thing to do. In some of the larger churches, they can become "lost" amongst the many. They might not have to make a real commitment. They might know Christ but not really have a relationship with Him.
Many of our generation had a tough time growing up: lack of money, toys, etc and have wanted to make it better for their children. We have created children who are now creating children that do not know what "NO" means. You can hear threat after threat but never see any action. They are not having to go through the "School of Hard Knocks" or learn "Common Sense."
Many people are concerned just about themselves. Even common courtesy is lost on many. My husband drives a school bus. Last week someone ignored the stop arm and a police officer just happened to be there so they were stopped and ticketed. Today, another drive had someone blow past his stop arm but he was able to get the plate number and car description so it has been reported. A few years ago because of a broken right leg and ankle plus a broken bone in my left foot I was in a wheelchair. WOW, were our eyes opened at the number of people that never attempted to assist holding a door open. We have been parked in a handicap place (with a card from the mirror) and people came and parked on both sides of us in the yellow diagonal striped area!
There are many organizations trying to "Make a Difference" and many books on trying to be a better person. More people need to read these and get involved in making a difference.
Guess I got on my soap box! Sorry to have taken so long but this is a "hot" topic for me as well as the selfishness of so many people.
38. Don't people just amaze you sometimes? Marriage may be a dying institution, but that is in the secular world. Among Christians, I think marriage is strong because we want to follow God's word. He created marriage, and as in Eccl 4:9-12, He clearly states that a cord of THREE stands is not quickly broken, meaning that marriage only works for those who put God in the midst of their marriage.
Why do so many people think that marriage doesn't work? They don't know or trust God to work within their marriage. I know my own marriage would not be the strong bond that it is, if my husband and I didn't believe in God. I think people miss that part of the relationship, and I feel sorry for them, because they are missing out on a great thing. I look forward to growing old with my husband, having a companion to talk and confide in, to travel with, who accepts me for who I am. I cannot imagine starting a new relationship every 5 years. Sounds like a lot of heartache. Cameron Diaz needs to start reading the Bible and find out who Jesus Christ is. Then, maybe, she will have a better understanding of what marriage is!
39. It has been very hard to watch my friends divorce and see what a terrible process it is. It is extremely difficult for women who have chosen to stay at home with their children and give up their careers. These women are left in terrible situations and depend on support checks from their ex-husbands that often don't arrive. They are forced to reenter the working world in low paying jobs because they have been out of the work force for so long.
I sometimes think that it's less about the dying of marriage and more about lack of respect between men and women and a focus on ME rather than US. Americans seem so focused on their own happiness and need for love that they forget that loving means more than a feeling. Loving someone is much more about loving action expressed each and every day.
People don't want to uphold the commitments that they have made to each other and to the children they have brought into this world. They much rather focus on themselves.
Based on my own experiences and what I have seen my friends go through, I would recommend that all women maintain a career outside of the home. It will give her more options if the worse happens as it so often does.
40. In response to your article written in the Family Life Marriage Memo, it does sound like marriage is a dying institution in general terms; however, I think it will always be here for those who are willing to stick it out for the long haul. I remember having this fear 25 years ago, when I was in my teens, wondering if marriage would still be around for me to take part in it. Sure enough, 25 years later is still is.
I believe the weakening of marriage is a negative trend. Whether we admit to it or not, we are all looking for stability and a solid foundation. Children need to grow up in a stable environment that has both a mother and father actively involved and committed to each other. Unfortunately, this ideal environment is not embraced by everyone.
When a person does not have a fixed reference point of Truth, they will waver with the changing times. Our country's judicial principles and centers of higher learning were founded on the truths of God and throughout the ages we have, unfortunately, strayed far from these truths and so many people have removed God from the equation. Ultimately, what needs to happen is what is stated in 2 Chronicles 7:14:"If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land."
What needs to be done? I'm not sure but I think the first step might be within the church. How can we be a light to the world when families are crumbling within the church and people who call themselves Christians don't know the truths of God and don't have those truths as their fixed reference point? Basically we seem to have an epidemic of biblical illiteracy within the church and this needs to change. We need to become serious with our faith. The church needs to be a beacon, the lighthouse on a hill pointing people away from danger and right now, in a lot of areas, churches aren't all that different from the local coffee shop down the street. Why would people be drawn to Christ and the church when they don't see a difference between those who call themselves Christians and the world? A lot of people treat God too casually, as their buddy rather than the Awesome God of the Universe.
I believe it comes down to this: We need a renewed sense of holy reverence and fear of the Lord. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding." - Proverbs 9:10.
41. Wow! How depressing to hear that people actually believe marriage is a bad thing. They obviously are unfamiliar with what the Bible teaches. I actually like my husband-a lot! I can't imagine a life without him. It makes me sad to think that there are children out there who are learning to be selfish in love from their parents. True, marriage is not easy. It's constantly evolving and can be quite challenging at times, but that is what shapes us to be the people God wants us to become. My husband and I will be married 20 years this month. We have no intention of breaking that trend! In my circle of friends, the majority are happily married. Maybe that's because we share similar values??? I believe for the sake of our children and the future of our country, it's important to protect the sanctity of marriage.
42. This made me sad. Not all liberal Democrats feel this way.
I think that focus should be on marrying the right person. More pre-marital counseling. We also need parents to be role-models for healthy relationships, even if they have a failed marriage, they need to find a way to do this.
We need to dissolve the fairy tale myths, and talk about realistic expectations. We need to develop character in our young people so that they understand hard work reaps rewards. Marriage is hard work, and there are the low times, but that is what makes the good times sparkle.
Your Marriage Memos have such practical, beautiful messages. Even though I do not agree with every single idea presented. I have gained much help, comfort, and confidence from them. I have read about situations and realized that we are not the only ones going through that sort of thing.
My parents are divorced, and I had to learn to have a healthy marriage the hard way, with the Lord's help, of course. Divorce, for us, is out of the question.
43. I am 36 and married for 15 years; I have 3 children. My eldest was born out of wedlock and the father insisted that she wasn't his child. So my husband raised her as his own.
Not being married and having more than one lover could in fact destroy your health and mental state. Health meaning that you can obtain HIV or whichever sexual transmitted disease that could eventually cost you your life. Mental State, I mean really, who would want to go through so much break-ups and starting over with someone new? A person who would want to go through life hurting another person in a few months or a few years just to satisfy himself or herself in being happy all the time, is selfish. Happiness also does not come from another person, it comes from within and if you and God can teach you how to love another human being if you let him.
My marriage has been tested with adultery, assault, poverty and emotional roller coaster rides, but God came into our lives and changed both of us. We still struggle every day with the temptations, but every day God have made us stronger and He taught us to forgive and love one another and the taught us to accept one another with our faults. Marriage is still sacred, and the reason people get divorced is because the get into the covenant of marriage way to easy and then they don't honor that covenant or they discover it takes commitment and a lot of hard work every single day. This becomes too much and then they want out.
God has always been the same and will always be the same, and the covenant we enter to with marriage will always be sacred to God. We cannot change his rules. He has to change us to abide by his rules.
44. I think (and I know you understand this) that first and foremost marriage and commitment are God's plan for our lives, simply because He designed us and He knows what is best for both us and our children.
But looking at it from a purely logical and secular view, we can liken these 4-5 year relationships without commitment to climbing half a mountain 10 or 20 times but never reaching glorious view at the top.
Or perhaps more accurately¡ getting helicoptered in to the tops of 10-20 mountains yet never knowing what it takes to climb it and never experiencing the true glory of the achievement! Either way it is empty and unsatisfying.
I heard Ravi Zacharias once say, "Love one woman, love them all; love many women, love none!" I think when he said that he was quoting someone else but to me that sums it up.
Unless we want to teach our children that things of value should be easy to get and if it takes work then just throw it away and move on.
How could intelligent people not see that life, marriage, work, athletic achievement¡ are all the result of work and hard work at that. But, oh the glorious reward, even in the world without the added component of God's promises.
Would it be as exciting to win a race if you had your chauffeur drive you to the finish line. Or if your muscles had been electrically stimulated to grow? I think not! And anyone would agree! If a discus thrower secretly added a motor to his discus and won the Olympics without anyone being the wiser would he truly feel proud of his achievement? I think not!
Cameron's comments and those like hers are the result of a lazy spirit. She is spending so much time working on her body and staying in shape that she has no time left over for working on a real relationship!
I am so saddened. Trust me, I am in a marriage which is difficult and frustrating. My husband is not a believer/I am; he is a spender/I am a saver; his idea of family is dogs/mine is children and we have two (need I say more).
But I married him, I love him, I will through the grace of God stay with him and be glad for all of what I can learn through our years together!
I am sorry for the way the world is going but I understand it as well. We live in a time when everything is disposable why not marriage!
God helps us! Please!
45. Thank you so much for the interesting and thought-provoking brief article. My reaction is that marriage represents the foundation of the social structure of life based on the way God created and set up the world and human relationships. It is abundantly obvious that the forces of darkness are gathering great momentum in what appears to be a campaign to destroy marriage, as a means toward destroying the potential for a fulfilling and meaningful life, for spiritual growth, and for the spiritual liberation and enrichment of the world. The spirit which you have reported on which views marriage as an outdated, irrelevant and even harmful construct for human relationships, is obviously a Satanic spirit which must be called out and rebuked wherever we encounter it. This is a spiritual war, not an ideological or philosophical one, and we need to use spiritual weapons to defeat to it. I believe this can only be accomplished through stronger spiritual disciplines, primarily prayer, the study of Scripture, and fellowship. Let's pray for marriage as the endangered institution it is, and claim authority of false spirits in this issue, in the name of Jesus Christ! Amen!
46. Interesting article and an interesting insight into the "normal" people who find it necessary/helpful to visit a psychologist to help them justify their own poor choices.
I'll put my money on God's plan. Sure, marriages require work. But our society has been so persuasive in pulling people apart as the "normal" way of living that even people who profess to be Christians get sucked into the "big lie."
We need to stop subsidizing the lifestyles of people who actively preach and practice openly sinful lifestyles. If we stopped buying tickets to their movies and stopped "Idolizing" them - yes, there really IS IDOL WORSHIP in our modern society - we could spend more time with our families and start learning where real happiness is in Godly relationships and in relationships with God.
We are our own worst enemy. We listen to Satan speaking through our "celebrities." We condone their actions. We financially support their lifestyles. We worship at the altar of their "success" and want to emulate them.
It's time to turn away from that lifestyle. Turn off the television with it's advocacy of homosexuality and infidelity. Spend real, quality time with our spouse and children. Frankly we probably need about half as much sports as we inflict on our families, because our "sports heroes" are frequently as immoral and amoral as our television and movie stars.
Marriage isn't a man's invention - it's God's plan for human society.
47. I believe that society has changed what they perceive as marriage. Then they look at their broken definition of marriage and say "that doesn't work." If they followed the biblical definition of marriage, as most people used to, it is difficult sometimes but overall enhances one's life.
48. I am from South Africa. I am a 35 year old female and have been married for the last 11 years. We have been together for 16 years altogether and I am loving married life.
I believe you should get married, it gives the relationship that bit more legitability. As you are now with this person for life. I came out of a household where my parents were together until their death and the same with my husband and I would really prefer my children growing up in a "married" household.
I think these days it is just too easy to move in together and see what happens. If one does not enjoy the experience you move out but what about the children or partner that is left behind. There is no commitment in this sort of relationship and no responsibility to keep it strong.
Married life is not easy, you have to work at it CONSTANTLY and therefore I appreciate my husband more as we have been through everything together and we trust each other.
We both came out of a home where we were brought up to "wait until we got married" and I believe that is what has made our relationship strong. There is no doubt between us as we have no other sexual history. We both know each others' past boyfriends/girlfriends and have embraced each others choices but also we know that we chose each other for LIFE.
My kids are growing up in a stable house where mom and dad have the same surname and you don't need to explain to the school regards the set up.
I think the morals of kids/families have dropped significantly. Sexual behavior is a common trend and in some communities it is widely accepted as normal. In South Africa monogamy is also not guaranteed and polygamy is allowed in certain cultures. Our own president has 5 wives and 22 kids. Kids are given the option to go on birth control substances as young as 12 WITHOUT PARENTAL CONSENT. And I believe this opens too many doors for Satan to get a foot into your door.
Marriage should not be seen as an inconvenience but as a matter of achievement. People are getting married TOO SOON, for all the wrong reasons and then when it does not work out they ask why.
We need to go back to our older values where marriage was the final step in the courting ritual, the promise to love each other forever. But you have to be in the right relationship for this to work. I do understand divorce happen, but I believe that if your love has had time to grow and develop you will know that it is the right thing to do, not just the next thing to do.
Marriage is sacred and should be protected.
49. Do you think marriage is a dying institution? I think marriage commitment is becoming a dying institution for the world, but as Christians we must choose to follow the Lord's commandments, hard or easy. The world will always influence us to think contrary to God's plan.
Do you believe the weakening of marriage is a positive or negative trend, and why?
A very negative trend, we are to set an example for our children, it is this negative trend that is influencing their thoughts on marriage and the negativity that has allowed the world and Christians alike to believe there is nothing wrong with divorce.
What do you think should be done? The Christian community, church and individuals should offset the negative influence with positive role models, testimony and literature and training for married couples as well as the pre married couples. More biblical teaching in the Church in regards to marriage and less influence from the Church that is somehow alright to divorce your spouse for other than Scriptural reasons. Back to the basic bible teaching.
50. My first thought: how very sad! Sad, frightening and scary.
No, I do not think marriage is a dying institution. While (generally) half of all first marriages do fail, that means there are still half which succeed! Dr. Ablow's comment about "coming up with something that improves the quality of our lives and those of our children" seems oddly out of sync with Dr. Ablow's profession. How about curing the brokenness so glaringly apparent in all of us as individuals so we can live in harmony with others? I do recognize people must be willing however what I see is that often they are quite willing, they just don't have the means to accomplish this. Usually this is due to the cost.
I love the concept of the book Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas. His question about marriage (what if God intended marriage to make us holy MORE than to make us happy?) really seems to sum up any rebuttal I might have to Dr. Albow's position on marriage. God did not intend for marriage to primarily "make us happy." There was most definitely a time in my life when I did not understand that concept, having been through divorce myself. What I've learned since then is that, with God's help, letting go of personal greed, pride and selfishness, and replacing it with the plan God had for me all along has taken care of the issue of "coming up with something that improves the quality of my life and that of my children." (Not that I'm 100% successful, but you get my point.)
How like us to want to create something new (and destined to be equally flawed) rather than identifying and fixing our own personal flaws as the answer. That's what the divorcing half of the population are trying to do since they usually jump straight from the fire into the frying pan, as the saying goes. Judging by the higher divorce stats for second marriages they do unfortunately figure out that a new relationship is not the answer.
I am often reminded of a needlepoint pillow I saw one time and regret not having purchased. It had a cute little dog embroidered on it but his nose was all scrunched up as though sniffing something bad. The quote on the pillow was "Is that ME I smell?" I have discovered that in my own life, it often is.
51. Yes I think it's dying but I believe if the churches take up the cause I think it can be turned around. I have so many friends getting divorced because one or the other isn't "happy" and they honestly believe God wants us to be "happy" so when they're not they believe they have the right to terminate the marriage to go seek happiness. In our materialistic society, we need to help redefine what is God's happiness versus the world's. Our pastor this Sunday talked about this believe that with God we won't have to suffer but in fact we are to praise in the midst of pain and suffering because God and our ultimate life with Him is what it's all about. I believe until we teach individuals to focus less on "me" and more on "us" we will continue to see marriage decline.
52. I think marriage needs strengthening. I think people are getting too used to thinking only of themselves and marriage means you must put the needs of someone else first...whether that be the person's spouse or children!
53. In your article you ask what should be done:
We need to Pray for the following: We need men to step up and take responsibility for their families, children and the unity of their home under Christ. We need women and moms to support their husbands and biblically teach and correct their children. And we need to wiser (older) generation to step up and mentor these younger generations how to be a leader for the family (for men) and a supportive wife (for the women). We need the country the church and society to stop making excuses for failure, it needs to be harder to get married (more intense pre-marital Biblical counsel) and harder to get a divorce and easier to get marital counseling (in my state, not covered by health plans). But above all we need prayer!!!
Divorce rates among Christian scare my husband and I, especially among those that have lost a child. We work every day with couples who have lost a child (pregnancy loss and early infant death), to give them the hope of Christ so that they may experience his great plan for their marriage, even as one of their family members resides in heaven. Our verse for our ministry and family is Romans 15:13. "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." He says, if we trust, he will give us hope. Here is to hope for marriage in a world that thinks its dying!
54. I do not think marriage is a dying institution. I don't think this is ironic at all but faith I received this message this morning. As part of our Sunday school lesson, Brother Johnson was discussing things we turn our head from and just let it happen. I wasn't raised in a home that encouraged marriage but my mother had three children out of wedlock and has never wanted to get marriage. I see marriage as something great and thought of it is God loved me so much that He made this one special person just for me to be with the rest of my life.
That's a great thought. He took the time to think of me and make preparation for me.
I believe the weakening of marriage is negative trend. It is negative trend because the world today is excepting things that weren't accepted when my grandmother was young. People are turning away from the what we should be doing right and doing what feels good and aren't realizing that they will have to answer for everything they've done.
My in-laws use to be on fire for God and lived by the Bible and spoke against fornication and living in sin. Now it's totally different. For 11 years my husband and I were the only married couple out of five children. My husband's sisters were both divorced and my brother in law had two children out of wedlock. My in-laws even allowed my brother in-law and his girlfriend, my sister-in-law and her boyfriend to stay in her house and sleep in the same room. This wasn't acceptable 15 years ago when my husband and I were dating. When I questioned her about it her response it the neighbor allow their kids to do. My response but is it the right thing to do. Her response is she's allowing unmarried couples to spend the night at her house for the grandchildren. On the other hand, I was raised in a single-parent home and of the three children in my house 2 of 3 have been married for over 10 years.
I think to encourage more couples to be vocal about marriage and it's importance in a family unite. Let it be known that it is in God's plan regardless how people view it. I love marriage and its ups and downs.
I have someone who loves me and I'm looking forward to spending the rest of my life with him. People need to be more equipped to deal with the enemy. I love Weekend to Remember!
55. Dave Boehi, thank you very much for your article. One point that I would like to make about this is that, as usual, this also portrays a very "American-Centric" view of the world. As if the norm, and only real possibility, is to have a world which looks and is like the American/western way of life. Clearly we have such an extensive moral decay, that this must be normal, and to try and reverse it would be too much work, so why not accept it. It is the same as an alcoholic or drug addict, who thinks it would be too much trouble to try and quite, so he must resign himself to living that way and call it normal. The mentality goes like this, since we have found ourselves in the pig-pen, let's just tell everyone how good it is, and if more people will join us, then we can call that normal...
The other absolute fact is that the culture we have is so self centered and selfish, that living with the idea of someone else's happiness as even a concern, would be deemed as repulsive. Therefore, let's not have to make sacrifices for our spouses, and live as if they are important. Kids? We can just "tell" them that they will be better off without a mommy and daddy, or with continually changing people as "parental influences". After all, wouldn't getting a variety of "parenting styles" be a more positive experience... All the child ever learns is that living for self is what it is all about.
All hogwash. But here is the thing. We cannot, in our society, accept the fact that life, in its essence, is not to be lived for ourselves. That the hopelessness people feel in life does not come from living for someone else, but rather is a product of living from self. Because there is nothing, nothing, in this world, which can satisfy the all devouring selfishness that is born in our flesh.
56. Is marriage a dying institution? It has been on the brink of death since its inception. It is not in our nature to put others first, die to self, be patient, be kind, to love when we don't feel like loving. The only way we can rise above ourselves is to have some One pull us up.
No feeling, financial state, amount of kids, no yacht, lipo, job, charity, church, pastor, friend, family or spouse will ever provide us enough emotional stability to last a lifetime. We will eventually, become frustrated and ready to give up and move on to the next thing (or person) and the next and the next.
If we only look inward to search for what will make us happy, what will make us fulfilled, we will find nothing but a dark, empty cavern.
It is only through Jesus Christ that we can rise above ourselves and love with an everlasting, selfless love until "death do us part."
So is marriage a dying institution? Yes, unfortunately it is. But, the Good News is the Christ has already conquered death and he can even bring back the dying institution of marriage, if we let Him.
57. Mr. Boehi - Here are my thoughts on your article!
Do you think marriage is a dying institution? No, I do not think that marriage is a dying institution. I think that Hollywood portrays a very small portion of the population (kind of like homosexuality is only 2% of the population, but every sitcom has a gay individual on the show). Living in the Bible Belt brings its own "bubble" of what is perceived as normal as well though. The majority of individuals I know are married (even though it may be their 2nd marriage). My parents' neighbors had lived together for 12 years and married 4 years ago... I still feel that deep in most individual's souls they long to settle down with someone and build a life together & truly believe that you can love one person forever.
Do you believe the weakening of marriage is a positive or negative trend, and why? Weakening in marriage is a very negative trend. The psychiatrist’s statement that, "We should come up with something that improves the quality of our lives and those of our children" goes against all research that is found on the benefits of marriage. Dr. David Lipschitz often advocates that marriage (and faith) produce longevity, happiness, and better health. The best thing to improve the quality of our children's lives is to work at our marriages & not just survive in them but flourish in them. Creating a stable and committed environment for children creates peace, confidence, & an environment where they can truly safely learn about the world.
What do you think should be done? I think that couples should really put the time, effort, and financial priority into their marriages. Individuals will spend thousands of dollars on a vacation, but to save your marriage from the pitfalls of an affair or divorce will you pay thousands of dollars for a marriage intensive? Adults cannot deny the consequence that divorce has on their children. These consequences are in direct response to their poor choices.
Children need good models of communication, romance, conflict resolution, and commitment to a vow even when it seems better to cut your losses. In our home we hold to a phrase that challenges us to really live our marriage like it is a representation of Christ & the church, "Don't tell me about your ministry. Tell me about your marriage". It is in the daily grind that our testimony is defined and lived out and no more challenging of an area to live that than in a marriage. Living with someone 24/7 is not easy. For me personally, 5 1/2 years of marriage and being willing to put the time, effort, and financial priority into our marriage has made our marriage better and stronger than ever. I have never been more proud of anything than I am of our commitment to a great marriage and putting in the hard work to have one!
58. Do you think marriage is a dying institution? I believe that marriage is a dying institution because it is reflective of the environment that person may have lived in. Everything starts somewhere and if you grow up around it you are what you live like. There are those rare instances that someone may see it differently and rebel against the norm. Those are the few that choose to do different and be different.
Do you believe the weakening of marriage is a positive or negative trend, and why? The weakening of marriage is a negative trend to me. As I have seen in my marriage of 18 years, when I truly understood what it was like to believe in my spouse and trust in her for everything, I began to understand. You cannot live not believing, because it leads to being lost and alone, my God created us to live in harmony and to unite as one. When you don’t believe in your spouse it equals to not believing in anything or anyone. It’s the same in scripture, and you find yourself Lost.
What do you think should be done? What could be done, is the only thing I can think about doing, take it back. We need to go back to the day, when marriage was entrusted to those that not only understood it, but for those that wanted it as much as anything else in this world. Not allowing Government to govern it but allowing the Spirit to free it. Marriage should be re-instated in law, so that if anyone wants to even think about divorcing, they have to go through the highest courts to get out of it. It’s only when we put the utmost importance on something, is when people begin to realize what they are doing. Make it next to impossible for marriages to end and see how the importance of it will grow. Then when someone says “I DO”, it will mean I am taking on a full time job not a part time one.
59. America is suffering because of the breakdown of marriages. Children are growing up in split families and have emotional consequences because of it. Marriage is not always the easiest bond to withhold, but I believe it is definitely worth it. My parents have been married 38 years and my husband’s parents have been married 34 years. My husband and I were married almost 4 years ago and 9 months ago we welcomed a beautiful little girl. The nights are sometimes long – we don’t always agree, but we both made a commitment to each other. I think the major issue within marriage is respect. Weak marriages serve no purpose! Without respect for one another, Satan can creep in and begin to spread lies and increase distance. Marriage is not an outdated institution – too many idols have crept in to create distance. It’s too easy just to call it quits and blame it on some faceless dilemma. We have to continue to set positive examples, show our children that marriage can work – and how it should work. Walt Disney created a wonderful bank of cartoons that have lead to this fairy tale expectation trend. Somehow though, everyone forgets about the villain seeping in to cause chaos. And I should point out that Walt never went further than the wedding in his happy ending. Focus should be brought to how to deal with the everyday – not just the wedding day. True marriage takes work, the whole blood, sweat, and tears thing.
60. What I hear the article saying is that we don't like the word commitment and sacrifice and unit and what is best for children. The devil is alive and well in the mind of so many marriages. I am glad this world is not my home.
61. I think that the concept of disposable marriage commitments is a reflection of the "me" focus today. But, when people stick it out and work through the difficult times in marriage, the other areas of life are impacted as well - the ability to work through issues at work, with extended family members, even in social groups (not internet realm) and/or their local communities.
62. Dr. Ablow and Cameron Diaz speak of what they know. How sad that they have been deceived to believe that this is true for the majority of people. Obviously the people that are in Dr. Ablow’s office are suffering and unhappy. That is why they have come to him for help. Fortunately there is a world full of people that are not in need of his services. Marriage as God designed it is very fulfilling, satisfying and provides a loving, stable environment for children to grow up healthy spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. Is it a bed of roses? Actually, the answer is yes! Beautiful blooms are produced but there are thorns along the way, and pruning must take place to keep the bush healthy. The problem is two selfish people come together and conflict is inevitable. The beauty is that when they are committed to each other and to the Lord each of them will grow to become better people. This is the part of the transformation process as we die to self and are transformed into people who truly love. This is not selfish love, this is God’s love. When children are raised in this environment they are experiencing and learning how to love unselfishly. When God is the center of the family and His ways are taught and followed the children have security with a firm foundation. It is not easy and requires diligent, intentional choices each day to surrender our selfish desires. The rewards far outweigh the sacrifices and the benefits are eternal.
63. Sad but true article on the state of marriage. Marriage is a blessing instituted by God, a model of Christ's relationship to the Church. Marriage teaches us about real love, self sacrifice, and putting the needs of others before our own. It teaches us patience, endurance, and gives us the motivation to become more than we can ever be alone. All forms of accountability are falling by the wayside, marriage being just one of them. Marriage has been under attack from many sides, from gay marriage proponents to the no-marriage cultists. It is a spiritual battle that few are aware of, far few still being equipped and willing to fight.
Our once great nation may increasingly fail to see the need for marriage; in fact they will rebel against it since the natural man is an enemy to the things of God. But with the decline of marriage we lose the blessing of family as well. And history shows repeatedly that as the family goes, so goes the nation. This nation does not see the need for marriage, for it no longer sees the need for things of God (nor God Himself).
I fear for both the family of believers, and even more for our children... for this is on lie that so many will quite eagerly adopt since it removes accountability to one person. The role of a man and wife in marriage has been reduced to the level of appliances or automobiles... when it's old, worn, when it gets difficult, or if you're just tired of it, trade it in for a new model.
Pray for us. Pray for our children. But most importantly pray for this nation.
64. It is, unfortunately. The word "commitment" seems to be losing its power as well. I believe that marriage is a wonderful gift by God. The joining together of a man and a woman was meant to be one of "completeness", that is, when God is also joined with them. In a marriage where there is equal respect for one another, a man and woman can help each other to reach their true potential as designed by God. In order to help to reverse the negative trend of dying nuptials, one must focus on the reasons why God designed marriage in the first place. First, He stated that man must not be alone in his life's journey, so he invented a woman to be his companion. Second, when there is commitment between these two, then the family which is born from them will naturally have more nurturing, stability and an opportunity to educate their young about God, hence most likely create more balanced citizens. This is evidenced by the growing rate of crime, teen pregnancy, and a general lack of morals found in young adults today.
65. * Do you think marriage is a dying institution?
* Marriage is not a dying institution, morality is. We have devalued relationship, loyalty and commitment in our society and made it all about what feels only good. Life is about struggle and pain sometimes with joy and fun mixed in. When the pain comes there is a misconception that is time the commitment should end. However, if you pay close attention the cycle will repeat just with different players. While the marriages of our parents and grandparents had plenty of their own problems, families could count on the stability and loyalty that came with those relationships. This gave the family of yesteryear the security of knowing the family unit would be there. Not perfect and not always functional but the security was in knowing it would be there.
** Do you believe the weakening of marriage is a positive or negative trend, and why?
** Definitely negative. As a woman security if very important to me. If I feel my partner could tire of me in 5 years and move on with no sense of commitment or loyalty what do I have? Nothing. I know men value respect. How respectful can a woman be if when things get rough or rocky she has no loyalty to work things out? My husband and I entered our marriage with the attitude that Divorce was not an option; therefore we MUST find a way to work things out no matter what. It has not always been easy of course. And there are times (recently in fact) that I wanted to run away. But honoring my commitment was more important. So I had to figure it out.
** Also, just look at the state our children are in. How many behavioral problems they have. I think this has mostly to do with the Security of the family unit being ripped away from them. Children need to know they have a safe and secure place to land when they fall. They can’t be worrying about which place that will be, moms or dads in the case of a divorce. The brokenness created is 10 fold.
*** What do you think should be done?
*** The only thing that can be. We need to return to loyalty and faith. Faith in God, Faith in the marriage COMMITMENT, Faith in our relationships, Faith in our families. If we look to Jesus for our perfect family model we can save marriage and family. He did not run away when things got tough. He turned to his Father and his "family" for support. While going to the cross was not easy He did it for family. He did it out of obedience and loyalty to His family FOR His brothers and sisters (us) to be saved. His loyalty should be what we seek to model our families after.
I love my husband and family and while things are not always easy and at times I have thought "I understand how people can want to run away" I know the pain of leaving would be far worse than staying to work it out.
66. I am appalled by all of this. It is easy to see the ever-growing cult of Americans who think marriage is a waste of time. Maybe they are right... I mean why do something for the good of others and that will improve the outcomes of children? Why spend time investing in something that is a daily reminder of forgiveness and love? Why give up having security in a committed relationship? Let's just live with random people who please us for this minute, show our kids how great it is to have no stability, and make the world one big apartment complex where you can pick up a new "mate" everyday if you want. I wonder how Cameron will feel when she is 80 years old and not attractive enough to pick up a new mate and with no children to care for her? The problem is that so many feel this way that many Christians are giving up and tossing in the towel. I do NOT think it is a worthless cause. I have days I want to leave my husband but then I spend time with the redeemer and am reminded of my own selfishness getting in the way. When I step back and let God make my marriage something beautiful we can serve as a team and a connected unit. There is not a love affair on earth that can compare to that! Let's fight... Let's fight for marriage... Let's fight for the Lord!
67. I have seen a marriage of 20+ yrs die due to Facebook reconnection to an ex wife from high school yrs... to marriage ending 20+ yrs when the child moved out. My husband and I have known each other since our senior yr in high school. He came from a divorced family and I came from a family where I had never even seen divorce in any of my family (i.e. grandparents, aunts/uncles, sisters, parents). We waited 9 yrs till we were through college and certain we knew each other well enough that our marriage would NEVER end in divorce... till death do us part is what we struggle to work on every day for the rest of our lives. We were then married nine years getting to know each other before we had our first child. We have been married 18 yrs and known each other 27 yrs and I would still recommend marriage for life to one spouse. Don't get me wrong we have done marriage counseling and I have done counseling on my own to help us better understand the difficulties of growing up TOGETHER and living with each other's selfish desires TOGETHER, forever. I just can't see it any other way for us as a couple or our children to know that marriage is work; but the best job I would ever ask for in the good days and the bad days.
These people that think that never settling down with one person but sharing themselves, body, heart and soul with anybody that crosses their path will never experience the true happiness of working out their issues of growing and becoming less selfish with two of the best men in their lives God and their husband...the poor blind and selfish people. If they have children those children, as adults, will struggle in the same lifestyle or searching for something more meaningful but not knowing how to stick it out for the long haul...we will NEVER do that to our children or each other!!
May God continue to bless our entire family through marriage forever,
68. I feel very sad about this topic. I feel that society has become a very selfish one. I feel that marriage is a giving relationship not expecting something in return. It seems that individuals are only focusing solely on their own pleasures and happiness without a concern for others. When a mother and father live their lives the way they believe they want to achieve their own happiness, the children are not learning about relationships and communication. What this does is set the stage for children that become very self centered adults. The world becomes very selfish.
Makes me sad. I actually take marriage very seriously. I am feeling like that makes me old fashioned.
69. I hesitated more than once at the thought of responding to this topic, as I have very strong--and sometimes, conflicting--feelings and thoughts on this topic. May I preface my statements with these affirmations: I believe marriage was designed by God and His design/plan was beautiful! I believe in marriage between one man and woman, for life. Divorce usually is a product of hardness of heart, as Scripture so aptly puts it. A lack of repentance and dying to self, in other words.
All that being said....in no particular order nor carefully edited (or I'll change my mind and not share my thoughts at all, smile), I would add the following: I am blessed to be in a wonderful assembly of Christians and still yet, know very, VERY few people who, if the bottom line-absolute truth be told--are happy in their marriages and glad to BE married. My own parents will, in just two months or so, celebrate (using that term VERY loosely!) 50 years of marriage. But there is no celebration really. Although they both love the Lord and I'm sure they love each other, the marriage itself is nothing much to rejoice. True, they do not cheat, hit, lie, etc, but...is there emotionally intimacy? Joy in the relationship? Deep, satisfying love for each other? Kindness, gentleness, respect and self sacrifice on both sides? No. A resounding, sad, echoing No.
As a widow myself, I yearn, crave, deeply desire....long for a godly man to be my husband and helpmeet. How desperately I feel the gaping lack of balance in my life with no husband nor father for my children!! But there are few godly men to choose from, add in children and the pool gets smaller....I'll be 40 this year. I often wonder if it's better to stay single, although it's far from my desire.
I love the Daily Moments With You devotional because I learn so much and see so much I need to learn. I pray that someday, in God's perfect will and time, I am blessed with the husband He is preparing for me. And I battle the fear of failure and ending up like the majority of even Christian people that I know...in sad, empty marriages.
70. Marriage is not a dying institution. Married couples just don't have the right tools to keep it going. A weekend marriage gives room for God to show off. My marriage was weak and dying and God restored it for us. We are doing a book study with a group on a book called Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson. It is based on what Gods word calls us to do as a husband and wife. God call woman to respect their husbands and for husbands to love their wives. Now isn't it interesting that God didn't call wives to respect and love and husbands to love and respect. He did this for a reason. Women are already by nature loving creatures and men are already by nature respectful. So when we are married God has called us to learn the other end. When a man feels he is disrespected he acts unloving and when a woman is treated unlovingly she acts with disrespect. It becomes a cycle. it’s called the Crazy Cycle. When a woman is being critical she thinks she is being loving and telling him what he needs to change. He takes it as disrespect and acts unloving. She is hurt because she was just trying to help so she acts with disrepect and the cycle continues to spin. At some point one is going to have to get off. If you act respectfully to a man is acting unloving if will soften his heart and if you act loving to a woman who is being disrespectful her heart will soften. Women desire to be loved and men need to be respected. It takes swallowing of pride to do this. Who should be the one to get off first? The mature one of course. I could go on and on about love and respect. It saved our marriage and has saved countless others.
71. To answer your questions… I think traditional marriage has been under attack for many years and the perception of many people would match that of Dr. Ablow’s patients and Cameron Diaz. It is an extremely negative and devastating trend for our society. As the people go, so the nation goes. The moral character and values that are being embraced are very lacking and lead to insecurity, depression, and hopelessness. What needs to happen is a spiritual revival. Only God can transform the hearts and minds of people and enable us to love as He loves. Those of us who are Christians must be committed to prayer and our own individual responsibility. Then, the outreach to and mentoring of others can be effective to share the truth.
72."Marriage traps you into something miserable."
"Marriage is painful."
"Marriage is for the weak."
"Marriage is full of conflict, anger and resentment."
"Marriage takes away your freedom."
"Marriage takes away your rights."
"Marriage will not end well."
"There is no such thing as a 'good' marriage."
I once believed all of these lies. As a young girl, I was convinced that marriage brought nothing but heartache and frustration. At the age of eighteen, my boyfriend and I had a little surprise: we were pregnant. He proposed and I accepted. Unfortunately I brought all of those lies into my brand new marriage with my brand new baby reaping the consequences. Our relationship consisted of fighting, crying, yelling, loneliness, frustration, anger, confusion, isolation, alienation and destruction. Every single one of those lies proved to be true...
Until we met someone. He is a counselor. He is a doctor. He took the time to stop what He was doing, reach into our lives and expose the lies we were believing, the lies that we were living. He was so compassionate, merciful and patient. He spoke gently when we were fragile and with power when we wavered in our efforts. Slowly, my husband and I could see what was really around us. Like a new baby who becomes aware of his surroundings, not really focusing on anything but turning his head toward sounds and lights. The scales slowly fell from our eyes. Once we got the accusations and finger pointing out of the way, we could see each other. WOW. "He really is handsome!" "She really is beautiful!" Despite the imperfections, love wrapped its arms around us both and knit us together into something new and beautiful...and eternal.
Marriage is a gift that teaches us how to live for someone other than ourselves. It teaches us how to give up our own desires in order to see someone else's fulfilled. It reveals our weaknesses so we can be humble and accepting of others. It gives us opportunity to give strength to our partner where they are weak. Marriage is the foundation of an eternal legacy. Marriage is a picture of how much Jesus loves us. He gave everything up: eternal bliss in heaven - so He could come to our world and show us His love. This love is what challenges us every day to love our spouse as He loves us.
These lies have been around forever "there is nothing new under the sun" but Jesus comes and brings the light exposing these lies every day. New life, new love in marriages like mine.
73. It would seem that the statistics don't lie; marriage is a dying institution in the USA. The real question is what are we going to do about it. Secularists would suggest that it is okay that marriage is dying and we need to move on to bigger and better things. As Christians of course we cannot accept the fate of God's most central ministry and institution. We are called to be salt and light. As salt we are to preserve our culture, hold her to a higher moral standard, God's standard. It is precisely the role of the Christian to prevent marriage from dying. Marriage appears to be fading in our culture, but we must give it CPR. We must be willing to make a stand in our own homes for our own marriages. The most unfortunate thing is that the divorce and single parent statistics don't change a whole lot when screened through only the Christian community. We need to clean up our own house (the Church) and then show the world how well God's system works compared to theirs. We need more preachers willing to stand up and say divorce is wrong and we need more men willing to fight for their marriages and families. God has made the man responsible for the life and health of the marriage and family and it is because of the lack of strong men that the marriage and family unit is struggling to survive. Teach biblical manhood as self sacrifice, service, and loving as Christ loved us and you will see a turnaround in marriages first, then the family, then the Church. The world will never buy into the concept of Christian marriage unless we uphold a standard that is worth following. If we are not able to make marriages last as Christians we should not wonder why non-Christians are unwilling to follow and are ready to look elsewhere for relational satisfaction.
74. No, Marriage is not a dying institution. People are shifting their beliefs in an effort to extend some kind of control over their choices. Marriage is like breathing, it is from God and as such it can only benefit us in ways we cannot even imagine.
What about the health issues, why should I be exposed to disease from my partner simply because someone wants to have the options to explore every possible partner they could want?
The enemy would have us believe all of his lies and uses every opportunity (celebrities) to exploit young uncommitted lives. Marriage is something that also helps prepare us for the committed life we are to live for our Lord and Savior.
It is sad and scary that people would choose not to marry simply because it takes work and effort over a long period of time. I would question their commitment to anything if they are that set against marriage. It is difficult enough to trust people without wondering if anyone has the ability to commit to something or honor their own words for the long hall.
I am married and we have been through much in our 12 years together, sickness, cancer, family issues, children, insecurities, fear, work, etc, etc... We both know that this is something that God chose for us and we are "in love" again. We enjoy our lives and everything we go through brings us closer together and closer to God.
It is a sad trend, and I am not sure there is a way to change it. I think it is part of the beginning of the end.
But our media life in this country is a big contributing factor in peoples beliefs even Christians, so change our media morals, stop the rapping of good Godly Beliefs and Go back to virtuous values. I know this sound antiquated, but we are regular (normal) Christians that have jobs, mortgages, children, and bills to pay like anyone else, and we live a blessed life thanks to God. Maybe that is the biggest problem of all; people don't want to believe in someone who should have control over their lives. God!
75. Even though I am in a second marriage failure right now, I don't believe marriage is a dying institution. I do believe that people need more education and to take more time. The old traditions of marriage did work. Where we have gone wrong today is the lack of taking the proper time to go through the stages of dating and spending quality time with one another. My second marriage is a blended one with him having 2 children and I having my one. The stresses that come with that alone are tremendous and devastating. My first marriage was to a man who had been married twice before me, but with no children from the prior two. There was a ten year age difference between us as well. Even with my blemished track record, I still believe in marriage. I will be approaching the subject much differently in the future. Sometimes I wonder if God just laughs at me since he already knows what I am going to do before I do it. I don't believe marriage is a dying thing. What would we have to strive for if we all believed it was?
76. No, marriage is not a dying institution. Marriage is something that takes work and commitment. Our society is neither of these at this time. We seem to want something for a while and then dispose of it. You only need to look around and see how we live. Very little value is placed on anything that we are about.
My wife is a school teacher (elementary). After reading this article, she commented to me “ask any child that has experienced family divorce what is the one thing they desire most and they will answer both parents” Where is the commitment to the children here? It seems to me that it is all about me.
Family values are important! Keep doing what you are doing, Our Lord is in charge, we are not.
77. Marriage is not a dying institution. It's very basis - from our Heavenly Father - gives the family the stability and foundation it needs. Our marriage is not filled with suffering, but joy. Are there painful things that occur in a lifetime? Yes. How grateful I am that I do not go through those times alone, but with my husband. I am joyful and blessed to be spending (God willing) the next 30 years with the man I love. I am blessed to love and be loved by a man who love the Lord before he loves his wife and children.
78. Marriage is not a dying institution but it is true that we have become an instant society and so many are not modeled that things take hard work. Grad school is not easy yet people do that. We need to teach our children that they need to take classes in healthy communication, Financial Peace University to learn to manage our God given resources and all of relationships take the weekly investment of time. If you do not pull out the weeds things will grow that we do not need. Every church should offer communication classes. How to date and find a mate. Making a living and having a life with God. The 5 love languages cooking up marriage 365 days at a time. Does this child come with a manual 'cause something is wrong here? (ages 0-5, 6-12, 13-15, 16-18 adult children and beyond, aging with grace and dignity.) Then you have one for life transitions that is on going to include:
- So we are moving again?
- Buying a house the major purchase and what I wish someone had told before I purchased a house.
- Changing careers.
- Getting hitched.
- Spousal death.
- Investing for God and you.
I would counsel people of a same gender orientation to have their own group as they so often have issues that are specific to them and groups tend to beat them up emotionally and make it not safe as well as some faith communities are not open to them. If the Goal is to have them find God that needs to come first rather than focus on the gender issues.
79. I don't want to think marriage is a dying institution. But having just lost one of twenty years, my opinion may be a bit skewed.
I wished I'd married a Godly man who believed in providing for his family and being a leader but I didn't. This Christian giver married a taker. And after twenty years ran out of give.
In those twenty years, we saw other couples divorce and re-marry. We always said that would never happen to us because we soooo believed in keeping our family together.
Now we live in two separate houses and our children spend every other weekend with their father.
I think Family Life is doing a wonderful job of getting the information out but both parties have to want the same things. One living in the world (partying, women, etc.) and the other still providing the food, clothing and shelter doesn't work. I'm just tired....... and saddened to think this is where the institution of family/marriage is going.
80. Yes, I do believe it is a dying institution because the current and following generations are not used to making sacrifice for anyone else and understanding the total picture. A marriage at five years is just beginning to season. I will be married for 1 year this June and I would not have given that year up to live in a way that: 1. The Lord did not design for us. 2. Live in hopes that I might put up with someone until I get tired of them. One person will almost always have the advantage in those relationships and one will have their self worth placed in the wrong area. 3. The world of STD's is no fun playing ground. 4. Children need stability and authority figures, they shouldn't change every few years or months.
81.Wow! Your article on "Marriage Being a Dying Institution" was not only relevant, but important to make us Christian parents more aware of the secular mind-set our children are being exposed to these days. I would challenge both Dr. Ablow and Ms Diaz on two major points- "Please describe what marriage in your mind is supposed to look like." and "How do you think you get to that point?”
I am sure that if both were to answer my questions, they would probably say something along the lines that " a successful marriage-if it exists- would leave the couples satisfied and content no matter what the circumstances." But they probably would not have a great response with the second question because they do not know God. Dr. Ablow makes a major mistake by proposing a secular fix for a spiritual problem. Couples counseling without God as the center is doomed to failure. Just look at what some secular psychologists tell their patients. I had a friend who was counseled-"to leave his family and find his own satisfaction in the world- it was time for him to do what he wanted." The couples that Dr. Ablow sees are broken people who have more than likely tried all the secular remedies to "fix" their problems. Our world today endorses the use of pornography "to spice up" a dying marriage. Really??? Seriously???
Ms. Diaz will not succeed in marriage because her own comments give away her mind-set, "I want to make my own rules." Marriage is not about making rules to please yourself- marriage is about letting God make the rules to please your spouse!!! Not easy, and frankly nearly impossible at times, but that is what why we need God in the middle of marriage at all times.
Left to my own devices, I would have ruined my own marriage many times over, but because God is alive in my home I know His purpose for marriage, the gift that is a God-centered marriage, and the call to model this type of marriage to broken couples and homes as much as possible. Getting to that point can be done with God's help and being willing to learn the art of self-sacrifice. Both my husband and I come from broken homes. Neither of us had a clue on what a solid marriage looked like when we married nearly 13 years ago. I have 4 siblings in my family. I am the only one who is not divorced. Three ended their unions on bitter terms, and one never married for fear of winding up like his parents and siblings.
My husband, Jason, and I have felt a call to start local marriage ministry. Eventually we are going to write about our experiences being married and having a chronically ill spouse. I am the one with serious chronic illness, but I believe it was given to us as a gift to help those who are facing the same struggles. I am going to call it "In Sickness and in Health" because never in a million years did I imagine that would happen to us on our wedding day!!!Being in a Godly marriage is the greatest gift we can give our 7 year old daughter.
82. Do you think marriage is a dying institution?
--Among secular relationships it's possible that the sanctity of marriage is dying. People are more comfortable to live together first to see what it's like to be married and then move on if they find it to be too difficult. With half of marriages ending in divorce I think people have become afraid of marriage especially for those who have lived through their parents' divorce or experienced it themselves. So many couples enter into marriage with divorce as an option --hence the popularity of pre-nuptial agreements.
Do you believe the weakening of marriage is a positive or negative trend, and why?
--I think it's a negative trend. People have become accustomed to "instant gratification" in our society and the minute there are bumps or unhappiness in their marriage, they feel that they are entitled to seek happiness/love elsewhere and thus remove themselves from their current situation. The brokenness of marriages and families has created a society of untrusting people searching for love in all the wrong ways/places and people. Generations of people have been created to believe that divorce is an unfortunate but normal thing--and I wonder if this pattern of divorce is similar to that of the "crazy cycle."
What do you think should be done?
--I think that until God is allowed back into our society, a lot of marriages will continue to fail. How can something survive when the One who created marriage in the first place is pushed out and removed from our relationships? The answer is that people need to turn back to the one true God in order for the drastic changes to take place. We have to live a counter-culture life in order to have fulfilling marriages centered on God. The movement needs to begin in our churches and become an example to everyone in our lives that marriage is a testimony of God's love and that it isn't a "ball and chain, jail-like" experience as society portrays. Marriage can be the most rewarding and fulfilling experience...for a lifetime!
83. In the "worldly western views" perhaps marriage is a dying institution BUT my personal view, it SHOULDN"T be a dying institute...I think marriage is "thought" of as a dying institute because of Hollywood and those individuals, such as Cameron D. who go around speaking out on the topic and unfortunately, there are those of in the population who listen to Hollywood and people such as Cameron and take what "they" say too seriously.
Hollywood has TOO much influence in our society...I only wish people would look to the bible, to values and morals to base their beliefs and not Hollywood...it's very frustrating to watch our society "idolize" Hollywood!
What Cameron D. said goes right along with the trashy picture she did for a magazine cover......
84. I remember being commitment-phobic - how on earth could I promise to love one woman until death did us part? But once I did, that commitment before God gave me a secure base within which I could thrive. It helped that I'd found the most amazing woman ever. Even after losing my beloved wife to cancer last year, I embrace marriage and I know that I will want that again.
85. Wow; I’d like to check back with these people when their kids are grown and have no idea what it means to have endurance and staying power. Even worse, their children are and will be casualties of this laissez-faire attitude toward relationships. What I expect we will see is another Babylon and Sodom in the making, with many emotional sorrows and lives out of control. However will any of them know what gold lies on the other side of crisis if they walk away too soon?
86. Thank you for this opportunity!
Marriage is a strong institution because it was created by God. Divorce can be overcome if God is in the center of the marriage and it is surrendered to His design. Perhaps the “world” sees marriage as dying because that’s the direction they want it to go in -- they don’t know the Truth and they are deceived. The culture (media, well-known actors/actresses), the manner in which children are raised, Satan’s lies, generational sins….all have likely been sources of so many divorces. There’s a real spiritual warfare going on. For unbelievers, it really should not be surprising that they would just want to do away with marriage. These people are very lost. Satan indulges in using the problems that arise in marriage to divide people and mess with their minds, and deceit causes some to see divorce as an attractive thing. But it causes a ripple effect in the wake of pain and woundedness. What should we do? Our problem: too many divorces. Our solution: Jesus. Christians being bold to speak up and ACT for what is right. Pray.
I was lost for many years, and have been through three divorces. God is so patient! I’m on my fourth marriage, but my first one since giving my life to the Lord. I’m separated, but have not been called to the courtroom, and God is actively moving in our marriage! We have not given up and it’s been three plus years of living 600 miles apart!
God used Weekend to Remember as a source of renewed hope and a way to speak truth to me! All glory to Him!
Thank you for following your call to offer hope to struggling marriages by the power of the Holy Spirit!
87. Thank you for your continued investment in the institution of marriage. I do feel that marriages are threatened by our society's questionable values, but I believe it can be saved.
Even for those not involved in a faith community, mentoring is seen as a valuable thing within the school system (reading pals, peer tutors, etc.) as well as socially through organizations such as Big Brothers and Big Sisters. Mentoring, whether formally or informally, can make all the difference.
My son and daughter in law recently became involved in a Young Married Couples Mentoring Group through our church. A stably married "elderly" couple - about the age of most of the young couples' parents- lead the group. This time of fellowship and sharing helps the young couples to make friends with others who value a strong marriage and learn from those who have been down the same road and have grown closer because of it.
Our church also offers a Marriage Course for married couples of any age in addition to an Engaged Couples class. In these courses the couples are encouraged to communicate and to have realistic expectations, and then to share them with each other.
My husband and I married right out of college and moved across the country following jobs. We have supportive extended families who haven't been able to be "hands on" much due to distance. Our church family has filled the gap and we have purposely surrounded ourselves with close friends who value marriage and our faith commitments. We would also have benefitted from more organized marriage mentoring.
When our son and daughter-in-law were engaged we supported their efforts to have a lovely fairytale type wedding, but continually emphasized that the important thing was not the wedding day, but their marriage relationship. We were blessed that her parents agreed with us on this.
Will these things guarantee our children's marriage will last? No, but they are investing in their marriage and their parents and grandparents are as well. With their willingness to WORK at their relationship and actively seek mentors we believe they have a better than average chance. We and they do not take the marriage commitment lightly and bathe it regularly in prayer and are willing to invest time, money and "sweat equity" in this relationship.
That is the kind of investment I believe needs to be made in marriage as a whole in order for it to survive as an American institution. Thank you!
88. After reading this I was saddened. I sure hope marriage is not a dying institution. I believe people think this way today because they don’t understand what marriage is all about. The biblical aspect of marriage. In today’s society everyone wants everything their way now. It is always me, me, me and in marriage that does not work. You have to be willing to make sacrifices, agree to disagree and love unconditionally which includes forgiveness just as our Savior did. I pray that everyone will begin to put God first, their families second and everything else after.
I see the fallout of broken marriages daily while volunteering at a local Little League Baseball field. 90% of the kids on my son’s team are being raised in broken homes. They do not have the stability of having a Mom and a Dad there to catch them when they fall. They crave attention and attempt to get it in the wrong ways with no parent to show them what is right. So many parents are teaching their children that when things get tough just walk away. The grass is greener on the other side. The truth is that the grass isn’t greener over there just different. So the giving up and walking away continues. What these parents don’t seem to realize is that these children need stability, love and God.
When a man and woman are joined in marriage they need to understand exactly what the Bible says about marriage. Really listen to the vows they are repeating and commit that divorce is NOT an option. If both individuals serve the Lord, respect one another and follow the guidelines they find in the Bible we will not see an end in the traditional aspects of marriage.
Don’t get me wrong marriage is HARD but I chose to enter in this covenant with God as my witness. I will look to my Savior for advice when times get tough not the other side of the fence. This has worked for me for a little over 13 years and the birth of 3 beautiful children.
89. No I do not think marriage is a dying institution…it isn’t an institution at all. Those that think this way have a selfish mentality. That is a huge problem in this country, too much selfishness…that in itself causes a huge amount of heartache. Marriage was never said to be easy, but many choose what they think is the easy way-to get out…that has brought our country to it’s sad state of today, as well as messing up generations of children to where they do not have a good concept of marriage, family, and ultimately, God. If they can’t trust their parents to take care of them, are they going to be reachable to teach them to trust in the one they should but cannot see with their eyes?
If you take God out of marriage it will surely fail and fall apart. I believe whole heartedly that is what has been taking place for generations.
90. No I do not believe that marriage is a dying institution. I believe that marriage is difficult because it is lived out on earth. Marriage challenges our selfish ways and forces us to be considerate of others even when we do not want to be!
91. Could you at least end on a positive note? I clicked on this message to look for something to uplift my morning. Think I might not waste my time doing that.
No I don't think marriage will die. God will always preserve a remnant. Check out Isaiah and the rest of the Bible.
92. If Cameron Diaz, or anyone else who thinks like she does, has children I truly feel sorry for them. What security do they feel if Mom or Dad changes spouses, who they claim to love, every five years because their relationship is boring or sometimes challenging? A child might worry if they become challenging or too time consuming, would they also be discarded physically or emotionally? This “all about me” attitude and the narcissism rampant among celebrities should be a real concern for all parents and especially Christians who are trying to teach godly values to the next generation. Only HIS values lead to true joy and contentment. The TV room and theaters are becoming dangerous places to be.
93. Sadly enough, I do believe that marriage will become a dying trend. I do not think that is a positive thing. I feel that people “give up” at the 1st hint of trouble, or the 1st sign of work in a relationship. Therefore, it will be easier for people to just be in a relationship without marriage until they decide to move on to the next best thing.
94. A personal relationship with God is the only thing that will change that, and unfortunately, there are too many who will hear and never listen.
95. I believe our society in general is not interested in engaging in anything that requires real work or sacrifice. We are very selfish and only interested in what is good for number one. Because of this, I see marriage becoming less important to our society. Despite the proven benefits of raising children in a stable household, many parents aren’t willing to really work on their differences in order to better provide for their children. What they don’t realize, I think, is that once hard work is done in an area of a relationship, the relationship becomes stronger.
There’s no doubt the weakening of the institution is a negative trend. It will only result in more dysfunction and more degradation of our society. I don’t know what could be done to reverse this selfish trend we have going. Popular culture (ads, movies, etc.) tells people to live life for themselves, and many famous people reinforce the idea of doing what makes you feel good despite consequences. Too many people are easily influenced by such forces. Perhaps all we can do is live the life God intended and hope we serve as testimony to those chasing easy satisfaction.
96. I think that our country has stopped believing in marriage because they have stopped putting God first!! Our religious beliefs are what set the standard for our life. Marriage is a love commitment to each other in sickness and health, for better or worse. It is in this institution that we are to bear children and raise them according to our religious convictions. When you connect people together that do not believe that is when the failure starts. How can we expect people to stay together through all the difficulties of a relationship when they do not hold the moral values of Christ and his teachings! When we do not take our vows seriously to honor and cherish to death do us part people will take the easy way out when they become disillusioned in their relationship! If we all lived our lives believing in God, his son Jesus and the teachings of the scriptures then we would live trying to be more like God. All the beautiful traits of unconditional love and forgiveness would play in to all our relationships. We would honor and respect each other and in turn care with so much love that we would be unable to desert our spouses and families! That is the kind of love we need to make it in this life! Unfortunately many people do not even have an idea of God’s love!
97. It is so disheartening to hear people say marriage is dying. These people (like Cameron Diaz) are people who can have a powerful impact on our society and it is so sad to think us "common-folk" will believe in what they say because of the people they are. I've also heard the term "starter-marriage", much like a "starter-house" that a person/family grows out of and then moves onto a bigger/better marriage/home as it suites them. I personally do not believe marriage is a dying institution - I will celebrate my 10-year anniversary in November this year, we have 2 children and are happier than we have ever been - but it was not without struggle, for sure. If I did not have a firm foundation in Christ, I think I could have been swayed to believe all the new trends out there. And this is where I believe the majority of those subscribing to this trend are dis-swayed; led to believe that the grass is greener in the other pasture. It genuinely hurts to hear couples (even good friends of ours) who just give up on their marriage because they don't want to work hard to maintain it. The weakening of marriage is absolutely a negative trend - I work at a university and see the effects it has on all kinds of college students who don't have the support of a solid family foundation. They suffer from mental illnesses, anxiety, inability to effectively cope on their own... the list goes on. I fear for the future of these students and students to come.
I think now, more than ever, our churches have a responsibility to provide the tools for couples to build their foundation on Christ and invest in their marriage. Our own church holds a similar conference to Weekend-To-Remember, but I think we could go even farther in holding small groups specifically for couples, focused on marriage, and by reaching out to married couples in our surrounding neighborhoods.
Thank you for bringing this trend to the light!
98. I do not know Cameron Diaz life before stardom but I could guess that she has never had a spiritual relationship in Christ. Regrettably she probably has not been able to trust anyone with her heart. She also seems to connect sex with marriage where sex is just a small part of marriage! Marriage is so much more than just sexual activity! The psychologist who wrote that article again is basing his ideas off of his experiences in his practice and those of his colleagues. I again would guess that God is not a priority in most of these people’s lives. So do I believe marriage is a dying institution? I believe that this nation under God needs to get back to the basic inspiration of life. We need to get back to God in all walks of life! We need to be more Christ like in all we do! We need to remember when we get married we take our oaths before God. We need to honor our oath!
99. I believe that society treats marriage as an ELECTIVE to our life; I don’t even think marriage is treated as an institution.
100. I do think it is a weakening trend but only b/c so many people cannot make commitments to anything. I think they think they are happy when in reality we are the some of the loneliest people that have ever lived on earth. I have been happily married for almost 16 yrs. Both of us waited until marriage to have sex. And both of us still fell like our sex life is very satisfying. Neither one of us have ever been tempted to look outside of our marriage. I'm scared about this new trend b/c I feel like children born outside of a marriage/family that God intended is creating kids that have low self-worth and are also growing up searching for something they are lacking. Our kids are very fortunate that they have a mom and dad available for them. They may not always see this. My husband was affected by divorce even though he was 19 yrs. old when his parents got a divorce. No matter what the age....a kid longs for his parents to be married. Although, they are both happily remarried there is always consequences to bad choices. But, I would just like to say that I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with my husband. He is my best friend. There is no jealousy or insecurities within our marriage. We still make is a priority to go on dates or little get-a-ways. So, it is possible to stay together and it is possible to save yourself for that special person!!