I love this article. By the time you have read half of it your brain hurts for all the stereotypes and variations of stereotypes of marriage discussed. And with good reason. For all of it’s refined definitions of varying marriage models I can’t help but visualize the “Fred and Wilma Flintstone” model and the “Ken and Barbie” model, the “Charles and Caroline Ingalls” model, and then there is the model like the perfect people down the street that make you look bad, and the model that reminds you of your parents, which thankfully the people down the street set a better example so you can copy them. I think this is more than a recipe for a mid-life crisis.
We’re talking about marriage here and it’s influence on lives. Real lives. But I feel like I’m playing a child’s game of pick and choose, but the catch is I can only pick and choose from the examples of everyone else’s marriages. Why is this the only option? I have to model my life after them in spite of the fact that marriage is something God established. And in spite of the fact that I really can’t know the entirety of another person’s marriage. People are complex. Married couples know certain dynamics about each other which evade observation but influence their relationship in major ways.
I think I would rather have a marriage defined by God. He’s smart. He knows the end from the beginning. He sees the whole picture. He knows the answer to population problems. He knows the answer to family finances and personal happiness. He established the purpose marriage is supposed to serve and He knows how to craft a model to meet that end. The best part is He knows us since He made us and created the purpose of marriage for us and us for it. That is the nice thing about traditional marriage. It is a perfect fit model for everyone and yet it will vary in degree as each family serves the purpose of marriage in the unique calling God gives them.
I guess since the world reasons by natural law rather than moral law, and by human observation rather than the mind of Christ, we ought to take a look inside their brains, and see if we can learn anything. So let’s take a look. Shall we? Let’s see if any of their observations intersect with the mind of God. As long as we keep in mind that if man’s logic is ever right it’s because God established what is right before man realized he agreed with God.
One thing to note is that the article seeks to establish a model of marriage on the basis of individual life context and needs. But context and needs are not a fixed standard by human reason and so what constitutes the context and need of a person’s life is shifted also. So, now the model is dependant on something that is as solid as like when your three year old threw jello in the swimming pool. It just disappeared. It served no purpose.
In traditional marriage, needs, purpose, and model all fit together and serve each other because God (a fourth element in the equation) crafted it to work that way by defining them all by a fourth element, or Himself, the Word of God. Unlike traditional marriage the new models removed purpose or exchanged it for defunct purpose and so our equation is faulty. Now take the faulty equation and remove the fourth element which made it all work together and see if it comes out better. Now that marriage no longer serves God’s purposes nor are the model, the needs, or purpose defined by His Word, none of it works and just produces more complicated equations which will never be solved by this method of reasoning.
And so we’re stuck in a humanistic loop. We’ve lost meaning all together for what our needs should be. For what our marriages should be. For what the purpose of marriage should be.
That’s how we arrive at pink sweaters. But pink sweaters will not save us. Or in other words more of our own reasoning will not save us. If we make a man more like a woman (which is what the pink sweater symbolizes) in spite of the fact that he is defined and created by God a man, will that work? Will softening him up a bit by the example of a woman make a marriage happier? The reason we say, “That’s gay” when we see a man in a pink sweater is because foundationally we’ve reasoned the same way this thinkers in this article have. We’re stealing a part of this aspect of creation and a part of that aspect of creation and creating our own design. Our own design.
The scripture has an answer for this and it’s not pink sweaters and it’s not asking a man to act more like a woman. It’s asking him to become more manly as defined in scripture. He doesn’t have to give up his manhood to get along with a woman.
1Pe 3:7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
But here we go. Let’s see if we can come up with what God already designed. The article starts…
Marriage is in trouble, and it’s not all down to the campaign to extend it to same-sex couples. It was floundering before anyone mentioned gay marriage, and continues, in the richer countries, on a path that many see as a decline. Divorce, cohabitation, single motherhood, all undermine the most basic institution of society, one still regarded by the majority of people as integral to their long-term happiness.
Not everyone takes a pessimistic view of these trends. Some scholars say marriage is not dying, just changing, although they admit that the process of change is hard on a lot of people – children who live in poverty, for example, and unemployed, unmarriageable men. They find it harder to agree, though, about what marriage is changing into. Two recent scholarly articles come to completely different conclusions about the new version of matrimony that is emerging.
Read the rest here.
Family Reformation: The Legacy of Sola Scriptura in Calvin’s Geneva
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Sex, Marriage, and Family Life in John Calvin’s Geneva: Courtship, Engagement, and Marriage (Religion, Marriage and Family Series): 1
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