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Take a Stand for Marriage

Join in National Marriage Week!



They say Rome wasn’t built in a day, but you can do something to help rebuild marriage in just one week!

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Eric Metaxas

It’s almost become a cliché to say that marriage is under attack in America. But the trends and statistics are undeniable. Here are some data points:

Marriage rates: In 1970, eighty percent of all adults were married; today it’s only 52 percent. In 1960, the median age for a first marriage was 20 for women and 23 for men. Today it’s 27 for women and 29 for men.

Millennials: A full 25 percent of Millennials are likely to forego marriage altogether. One report says that a record share of Millennials will remain unmarried through age 40.

That Christians are concerned about the institution of marriage is nothing new. But when leading cultural gatekeepers catch on, it’s eye-opening. Sam Sturgeon, president of Demographic Intelligence, says bluntly that the United States has been experiencing a “cultural retreat from marriage.”

Sturgeon cites two factors: a stumbling economy that has hit men—particularly blue-collar men—hard, making them less likely to be seen as marriage material. A second is the growing willingness of couples to cohabitate—what used to be called “shacking up”—and even bring children into the world without benefit of a life-long marriage commitment.

The effects on such children can be devastating. Children from divorced or never-married homes are more likely to die in infancy, more likely to get divorced themselves or become unwed parents later in life, more likely to live in poverty, more likely to fail in school, less likely to graduate from college and get a good job, less likely to be in good physical health, more likely to abuse drugs as teens and adults, have lower life expectancies, have higher rates of mental illness, be at greater risk of suicide and child abuse—and on and on.

That’s why I am extremely pleased to tell you about National Marriage Week, an annual campaign in more than 20 countries to strengthen marriages, cut the divorce rate, and foster a culture that supports strong marriages. It is held every year from February seventh through the fourteenth.

daily_commentary_01_05_17Come to BreakPoint.org to learn how you or your church can get involved: host a special event, launch a marriage class, discover what others are doing. It’s a great opportunity for churches to both strengthen the marriages in their congregations as well as support families and kids shattered by divorce and dysfunction. As National Review’s David French notes, “When culture changes this profoundly, it creates wounds public policy simply can’t heal.”

My very good friend Sheila Weber, Executive Director of National Marriage Week, puts it well. She says, “For the sake of raising the next generation, we think that marriage deserves just as much of a positive campaign as does recycling, anti-smoking, or healthy eating!” And it’s hard to argue with that!

Yet it doesn’t take a village to restore marriage so much as it takes a church. French continues: “It will take a culture change on the same scale as the sexual revolution that fractured families and even now relentlessly teaches the gospel of self-indulgence. It will take a renewed love for the ‘least of these’ in our American family, and it will take men and women who care for others not just by sending money but by creating deep and meaningful relationships.”

This will also require an unflinching commitment to teaching what the Bible says about marriage as a lifelong commitment between a man and a woman under God’s loving care. Sheila Weber, by the way, is a Colson Fellow, so she knows all about the power of a biblical worldview to change lives, and ultimately, a culture.

While God gives some of us the noble calling of singleness, we can’t forget this good word from Martin Luther: “There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship, communion or company than a good marriage.” Again, come to BreakPoint.org for more on how your church can take a stand for marriage.


Further Reading and Information
Take a Stand for Marriage: Join in National Marriage Week!

February 7-14 is National Marriage Week. Check out the links below to see how you and your church can play a part in building strong marriages.  As Eric reported, our next generation needs that critical foundation.

Resources

National Marriage Week USA
website

Marriage: Differing Faith Expressions
Focus on the Family

The American Dream Is Dying
David French | National Review | December 9, 2016

Why Marriage Matters: 30 Conclusions from the Social Sciences
FamilyScholars.org


Comments:

We're gonna have to change church culture first
February 7 - 14 is National Marriage Week.
During this week, there will be much going on that is vital and valuable to our nation, but there will be no getting away from the fact that in the corrupted culture of contemporary evangelicaldom, it will be "finders keepers", and millions in faux "marriages" which are not holy matrimony, will be encouraged to stay there at the peril of their very souls.

Talking about marriage "permanence" is politically acceptable to this crowd, but it will not resolve the nation's problems because it will not touch the root issue. Rather, the message needs to be around the far more relevant and offensive topic of holy matrimony indissolubility, according to Matt.19:6,8 and #LukeSixteenEighteen. This needs to be in the heaven-or-hell terms that Jesus and Paul unflinchingly cast it.

Some crucial topics not likely to be on this year's agenda:

- When will pastors stop performing weddings that Jesus repeatedly called adulterous (and tell the congregation why) ?

- When will pastors stop signing civil marriage licenses that reflect the only unenforceable contract in American history, and which since 1970, in no way corresponds to Christ's Matt. 19:4-6 definition of marriage?

- When will pastors stop smearing and stigmatizing the growing stream of true disciples of Jesus Christ who are coming out of adulterous civil unions to in order to recover their inheritance in the kingdom of God? [1 Cor. 6:9-10; Mal. 5:19-21-KJV)

- When will repealing unilateral divorce in all 50 states become as high a moral priority as outlawing the slave trade, or repealing Row. v. Wade, or ending sodomous "marriages" ?

Given what Jesus and Paul both had to say about remarriage adultery (repeatedly by each), true revival, when it arrives, is going to look horrifying to the organizers of National Marriage Week, but it will be pleasing to God. The horror will not be due to the repenting prodigals, but due to five decades of false, hireling shepherds.
Two critiques
It's always good to read an article that affirms biblically-orthodox marriage, but I have two critiques:

1. In the fifth paragraph a study is cited that says "a stumbling economy that has hit men —particularly blue-collar men—hard, making them less likely to be seen as marriage material..." But in the next paragraph it is mentioned that, "Children from divorced or never-married homes are ... less likely to graduate from college and GET A GOOD JOB [ALL-CAPS added - zzzzz]." Unfortunately, this line reinforces the current undesirability of blue collar work which manifests itself in many ways including policy. A culture of marriage may be more important for saving blue collar families, but lets be careful to honor their work as well.

2. The last paragraph quotes Martin Luther: “There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship, communion or company than a good marriage.” But with all due respect to Martin Luther, I think this line is mostly mistaken. The Bible explicitly and implicitly says that non-sexual friendship bonds - philos - can be stronger and deeper than marriage bonds. Maybe not quite as "lovely" or "charming" as marriage bonds, but note David's lament over Jonathan.

And let us remember the Greatest Commandment which precedes the Golden Rule.
marriage is needed in our society
Great article. Marriage is essential to our society and our children and their future. And the Bible and God and His love are aso the best path for everyone. And finally God allows everyone to be free to choose the right or wrong answer for themselves. Our government should also allow people to choose the right and wrong answers where they don't directly hurt others... it is tempting and wrong to impose the right answer on everyone.
Marriage for life
Thank you for writing about and caring so much about marriage.

When the Church has the conviction and courage to preach what Jesus taught - that marriage is for life - only then will attitudes and behavior begin to change.

It's hard, but not harsh to teach what Jesus taught. It's merciful when you consider the myriad of destructive consequences for our legacy, which is the future of our country.

In addition, as we in the Church chastise those outside the church, and don't obey God ourselves, we earn the name of hypocrite and undermine the name of Christ.

We can see how only 13% of America's largest generation, the millennials, believe that any kind of religion is really important in their lives, and 7 out of 10 believe that the church is irrelevant, regardless of their religious beliefs. (The Millennials by Thom & Jess Rainer)

Since the heart of a community is marriage and the soul of a community is the Church, you can see how the two institutions that God created are intimately connected and are declining in concert.




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