We live in a world with a high divorce rate, many children born out of wedlock, teenage pregnancy, marital unfaithfulness and premarital promiscuity. People are still getting married, but they are getting married later, less frequently, more hesitantly and less successfully. A prenup contract is the norm, as often we expect divorce. A large number of people, Christians and non-Christians, are realising that there is something seriously wrong.
We know that we live in a fallen world and sin pervades every aspect of our society, including our relationships and marriages. Here are some ways, I think, sin has affected society and caused the failure of many marriages*:
1. Evolutionary theory
We are taught unproven evolutionary theory as fact. That we are random product of time and matter, with no greater goal or purpose or destiny. Why not then enjoy maximum short term pleasure, even at the expense of others? Survival of the strongest! A recent New York Times bestseller teaches that men are, like other animals, polygamous by nature, and therefore we should not even expect lifelong, monogamous marriage.
2. The sexual revolution
In the 1960’s the Pill was discovered and as a result marriage became less and less the place for sexual activity. Now you could have sex without the baby and other consequences. Sex was separated from child-bearing and became “easy”, with seemingly no repercussions.
By the way, he first rubber condom was discovered in the 1850’s .They were reusable and expensive. But between the availability of condoms and the Pill, society had a sexplosion: A massive spike in sex before marriage and sex outside marriage.
God’s wisdom, however says that if you’re not ready for children, you’re not ready for sex; and if you’re not ready for marriage, you’re not ready for children. Therefore, the best place for sex is marriage!
3. Bad sex education
The following appears on the LoveLife SA website:
“If you’re thinking of getting some loving, it’s time to get serious about contraception. Guys and girls are equally responsible when it comes to protection… most contraception is for the ladies, but equality is the name of the game so you both have to Make Your Move to avoid pregnancy and catching an STI.”
Organisations generally teach techniques for safe sex, instead of abstinence. Pregnancy and STI’s are placed in the same category as avoidable side affects of sex. We are teaching children that premarital sex is the norm and needn’t have any consequences.
4. Erosion of shame
Sexual immorality is no longer offensive to us, in fact we enjoy it. We watch it in movies, on TV and especially in MTV videos. Adultery is no longer seen as a sin, in fact its preferable to an unhappy marriage.
5. Self-Empowerment, including feminism**
Feminism says that men and women are not different even though we might look a little different. Feminism says that men and women do not have different roles and responsibilities in society, church and family. Traditionally feminist have argued that women should shake off the shackles of motherhood and role of nurturer, and enter the work place in order live out their true potential.
Of course, I’m all for equal education and equal opportunities, and I believe we are all made in image of God! I also believe that women can work outside the home!
But let’s remember that motherhood is great calling and once you become a mother nurturing your children becomes one of your primary goals. Its no longer what you want, but what’s best for the child. Motherhood and work may go together, but Motherhood and Careerism don’t. Feminism, however, says: Its all about you, your potential, your money, your intellectual stimulation.
Guys, we’re not off the hook!
Now a guy turns fifty (or forty), buys Harley Davidson, divorces wife and marries a younger model, all because “I deserve to be happy!” Self-empowerment results in a lack of faithfulness in marriage. Instead of persevering, persisting and stubborn sticking to it, many men leave or have an affair.
Lack of faithfulness includes faithfulness before marriage. If you were not faithful before marriage, why would you be after? No magic faithfulness fairy at the alter.
Faithfulness is especially important for Christians who date. Imagine you’re a Christian couple, you’re dating and you’re having sex. Yet you pretend to be the mode couple and the picture of purity, but in reality you’re deceiving others, lying to your parents and misleading the whole church. What are you demonstrating to your future spouse? That you’re a good liar! That you’re capable of deceptive behaviour! Not a good start to your marriage.
Contrary to Melrose Place, sex before marriage (with your partner or another person) creates just all kinds of issues like jealousy, performance anxiety and secret bitterness.
6. The dream of eternal youth
People don’t want to grow up, especially guys. Our popular culture celebrates youth. Youth, independence and irresponsibility isn’t seen as a temporary stage en route to adulthood, but the goal of adulthood available to all ages.
We all want to be free, independent, irresponsible and “have the time of our lives”, with no devotion to family or to God. Many live with the eternal desire to be free, to enjoy the pleasures of life, and to travel the world.
And so we all wear trendy jeans and try and look like teenagers. I’m exaggerating. Of course we should enjoy life and travel if we can. But many people don’t want to accept adulthood and responsibility, and would prefer to stay immature, childish and selfish.
Faithful, godly, good marriages are scarce. Too scarce. We need to make a plan. Actually, there is a plan. God has given us the plan. We just need to follow it.
* These thoughts are not original, but the takings of the fruits of a little research.
** To all feminists: please be kind in your comments.