Why is Marriage Dying?
According to statistics, more than fifty percent of marriages end in separation or divorce. From time to time, I hear older children from these broken marriages say, “I never want to get married.’ They see the brokenness, the fighting and the pain. They are often the real victims. Others never commit to marriage but simply live with whomever until they no longer deem it convenient.
Marriage is dying. The institution of marriage is being challenged and undermined on many fronts. I don’t think many of us will dispute this fact – whether its ‘love marriages’ or ‘arranged marriages.’ But why is marriage dying? As I was reflecting on the question, I came across a chapter in a book which addressed this question. The author says that marriage is dying because we have forgotten that marriage is always about dying. Marriage is about dying to self; it’s about sacrificing self and giving self to the other. We might say that this is how true love expresses itself in a marriage.
We noted in last month’s article that marriage is not something that man made up, thinking it was a good idea. God made marriage. We considered His three purposes of marriage: companionship, having children, and for the well-being of society.
There is a lot to think about here. Who can restore marriage and make it good again?
My son is getting married the end of this month and the vow he is making, in part, says this, “I take you, ______, to be my wife. I promise before God and all who are present here, to be your loving and faithful husband. I will love you and give myself for you, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her…. and never forsake you, as long as we both shall live.”
Likewise, his wife will say, in part, “I take you, ________, to be my husband. I promise before God, and all who are present here, to be your loving and faithful wife. I will love you and submit to you, as the church loves and submits to Christ… and never forsake you as long as we both shall live.”
The pattern and the power for a strong marriage is Christ. By trusting in Christ, we receive the strength to love the other, to forgive the offenses of the other and give self to the other.