Marriage is one of the great blessings bestowed upon mankind by God. God uniquely created man and woman to go together, to complete one another. It is fascinating to contemplate God fashioning the woman from a bone from the man’s own body (Gen. 2:21-23). God personally brought the woman to the man, and from the beginning that union was recognized as marriage: Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife…” (vs. 24). Marriage is not a product of some supposed social evolutionary process, it is by God’s purposeful design.
But, as wonderful a blessing as God designed marriage to be, mankind has messed it up big time. God designed marriage to be that relationship through which a couple’s sexual needs can be fulfilled in a pure and meaningful intimacy that draws husband and wife even closer together. God’s word repeatedly warns against sexual immorality, which includes sexual relations before and outside marriage (Matt. 5:31-32; 19:8-9; 1 Cor. 6:9-10; Gal. 5:19-21; Eph. 5:3-4; Col. 3:5-9; Rev. 21:8).
Nevertheless, disregard for God’s will has become so rampant that maintaining sexual purity until marriage is very unusual. Indeed, remaining a virgin even throughout one’s teenage years is an oddity. Living together as husband and wife, but without being married, even raising children within that relationship, is so common these days that it hardly draws notice. Adultery is excused, explained away, even sanctioned as a means of finding happiness. Marriage has become a throw-away commodity. The result of all this has been a catastrophic degrading of the basic family structure.
The home is at the heart of the development and maintenance of a society’s character. There is no viable substitute. Children grow up in dysfunctional homes not knowing what a solid, loving family and home look like. They don’t have the benefit of living in an environment where they can constantly observe a loving husband/wife relationship. Often, they grow up not knowing what it is to be a man, or a lady. As they become adults, it’s no wonder that their lives end up reflecting the mess in which they grew up.
The morality, strength and stability of our culture and society are spiraling downward at an increasingly alarming rate. We are moving toward a point of critical mass, if we have not already reached it, where there will not be enough stable homes training children to take their places as stable, productive adults to insure the ongoing stability of our nation.
The problem can be traced, largely, to the careless, irresponsible way we’ve come to look at marriage. If the home is at the heart of a strong culture, marriage is at the heart of a strong home. As a society we’ve taken a wonderful blessing from God and really messed it up royally…
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Gary L. Hutchens