Is Marriage A Dying Institution?


A couple of years ago a famous actress was asked if she thought marriage was a dying institution. She responded, “I do. I think we have to make our own rules. I don’t think we should live our lives in relationships based off of old traditions that don’t suit our world any longer.” In essence, she was saying that marriage is an “old tradition” and that it is outdated. Which also implies that the family unit is “outdated.” Why marriage as an institution ‘doesn’t suit our world any longer,’ is puzzling as solid marriages produce sound families, which are the bedrock of our nation. However, I wonder if this actress would have liked to have been brought up in a stable family environment by a couple who coveted to be true to one another, or would she have preferred to have been raised by a couple, or group, who do not fully engage themselves in the union. A marriage contract does show some sense of committment by both parties. On one point she is correct, marriage is an “old tradition.” In fact it is the oldest tradition in history. We find evidence of it from reading in Genesis.

As soon as God created Eve, he married her to Adam. Then charged them to “multiply and replenish the earth.” (Genesis 1:28). This marriage tradition truly is “old;” as is the family unit. It was set up by God and solemnized by Him. It is the oldest and most important union. Marriage, with all its challenges, develops in its participants the attributes of unselfishness and love unfeigned, which are attributes that build up and enhance a society; If practiced properly, it provides stability and the best environment for raising healthy children.

I guess we can “make our own rules” and try something “less Godly” in how we perpetuate and protect our species; but why? The example is set and the commandment was given. We have thousands of years of history bearing testimony of the powerful good fruits of marriage. To change it is simply a social experiment. To abandon this God-given institution has the potential in creating a social disaster, the results of which will not be known for decades. And then, well…its consequences are set!

Is marriage as an institution dying? I guess time will tell. But if we, as a society, decide to discard it as something that ‘doesn’t suit our world’ anymore, we should take into account the potential consequences it will have on our family structure, or way of life, and if it is an improvement on how we sustain our nation. Because if we want to live in a society that favors its death, what else might die with it?

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