The State of Marriage

Marriage was God’s idea! He is the Master Designer of this sacred livelong union between a man and a woman. Its origins rest not in creation, not in the natural or the social sciences and certainly not is us but in the very being of God Himself. We can only understand this relationship of sacred oneness as we understand the relationship of the Godhead to each other. Marriage and the resultant family it creates is a “divine pedagogy” to teach us what it means to be made in the image of God and how to experience true communion and intimacy as we live with someone and for someone.
Unfortunately, the average person in American culture does not look to the Master Designer for their understanding of marriage. They see marriage as nothing more than a social convention that can be changed to fit the demands of the prevailing cultural norms. This view of marriage can be both confusing and overwhelming. It is confusing because the present culture sends out contradicting and varying messages about marriage through books, magazines, movies and music. It can be overwhelming because those messages cause people to ask of marriage what God never designed it to give – perfect happiness, conflict-free living, and idolatrous obsession with sex.
When a culture ceases to view marriage as God designed it, it will be marked by the distortions and perversions of that culture. For today’s American culture, that means marriage that is nothing more than a civil arrangement for the highly individualistic purposes of any two parties – male or female. This distorted view of marriage explains why most Americans have grown comfortable with divorce as a natural, maybe unavoidable, part of life. It explains why co-habitation is growing in popularity as an acceptable living arrangement and why same-sex marriage will not only be tolerated but ultimately embraced as normal.
What is the state of marriage in America? Surveys reveal the following:
• 4 out of 5 adults in America have been married at least once (78%)
• 1 out of 3 has been divorced at least once (33%)
• Couples who are active in their faith are much less likely to divorce. Catholic couples were 31 % less likely to divorce; Protestants couples were 35% less likely to divorce; and Jewish couples were 97% less likely.
• Nominal Christians who do not actively engage their faith are 20% more likely to divorce than the general population.
• The more religious a couple is the less likely they are to divorce and the more secular a couple is the more likely they are to divorce.
• 53% of highly happy couples agree with the statement that “God is at the center of our marriage.”
• The normal lifestyle for American young couples is to live together for a period of time in a type of informal trial marriage. However, these relationships frequently do not last.
• 646,464 — Same-sex-couple households in the United States in 2010, according to the Census Bureau.
• 80.4% — Percentage growth of same-sex couple households in the U.S. between 2000 and 2010, according to the Census Bureau.
• 25.3 — Percentage of same-sex couple households in the United States in 2012 with children living with them, according to the Census Bureau.

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