With all the talk of the "octomom" in recent days, the question has arisen, "is marriage necessary?" Drawing from K-House News, the following article tells the "other side of the story"...
IS MARRIAGE UNNECESSARY? - (Print)
A woman in California just gave birth to octuplets, an amazing and wonderful accomplishment. The problem? There's no father, not for these eight nor the six children the woman already has. When Gloria Steinem said that a woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle, she voiced a feminist sentiment that would successfully unhinge the family in America and sentence millions of children to fatherlessness.
Now that the power has shifted in the White House, the feminists are filled with vim and vigor, working hard to get their goals accomplished in Congress. The National Organization for Women (NOW) has a long wish list of items to undo all the conservative pro-family work that has been done during the past 15 years. For instance, NOW wants ten billion tax dollars dedicated to public daycare, to make sure the kids grow up without Mommy too. They also want to stop funding pro-marriage and fatherhood programs, halt abstinence education in schools, and get Congress to pass the Freedom Of Choice Act, which would undo all pro-life legislation, from parental notification to the partial-birth abortion ban, in one single massive whack. The list goes on and on.
The Feminists are not alone in their efforts to destroy the Family in America. Normal Americans, who still like the idea of Mom Dad and Kids, have allowed destructive ideas into their world views, and have been digging their own marital graves without really meaning to.
Some call it "living together" or "cohabitating", others call it "shacking up." Yet no matter what terminology is used the fact remains that a rising number of couples are choosing not to get married. According to the US Census, the number of cohabiting couples in 2000 was ten times that in 1960. "In some sense, cohabitation is replacing dating," says Pamela Smock, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Michigan.
In recent years societal trends have moved away from traditional marriage. In 2005, the number of married couple households in America dropped below 50 percent for the first time. Correspondingly, the number of unmarried women bearing children rose to its highest level ever. Compare that to 1930, when about 84 percent of households were married couples.
Many young adults think it's a good idea to live together to "test drive" a potential spouse in order to insure that they are "compatible." While such logic may seem practical to some, statistics show that such relationships usually end in tears and heartache. While some of these couples intend to eventually get married, the reality is that cohabiting couples break up far more than married couples, and couples who cohabit before marriage are more likely to get divorced after marriage. Research conducted by Rutgers University's National Marriage Project indicates that couples who live together before marriage are 46 percent more likely to divorce and significantly more likely to experience domestic violence within their relationships.
The Word of God is clear: "Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge (Hebrews 13:4)." The Bible expressly condemns fornication (1Cor 6:9,18) and there are great reasons why. Sex is a physical, emotional and spiritual act of two people becoming one (Matt 19:5-6, 1 Cor 6:15-16). Any relationship will have a better start if both spouses are free of vast amounts of baggage from previous broken relationships. Besides the risk of disease, of children born out of wedlock, and other complications, it is simply spiritually and emotionally damaging to engage in a series (long or short) of sexual relationships. Waiting until marriage also involves practicing self-control, which is just as useful a virtue in the years after the wedding as it is before. Couples who have proven self-control also tend to trust and respect one another more than those who were sexually active before the wedding date.
In the scriptures husbands are exhorted to love their wives "even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it." In other words, a Biblical marriage is one rooted in God's love rather than human love. C.S. Lewis calls this kind of love a "gift of love." Whereas, human love is a "need love." God's love is a gift because there are "no strings attached" to it. There are no conditions to fill, nothing to earn, nothing to do, and nothing to be. It just loves unconditionally, spontaneously, and continually.
Marriage is one of God's greatest inventions, offering us partners in the battle through life, to encourage us in times of discouragement, to help us up when we fall. Marriage offers us a constant friend and companion, a second head in trying to solve problems and a second set of hands in doing the work that needs to be done. Marriage is the foundational structure of a whole, happy family, where children can be raised in security and love.
If all marriages looked the way that God intended them to look, the Gloria Steinems of the world would never have been given a megaphone. To save marriage, we need to give the world something better, something desirable. We need to show the world that God's way is what we all dreamed marriage could be.