In the recent article Here Comes Wedding Season: How Consumers Will Pay for Others’ Big Day in 2016, the amount of money spent by people attending weddings as guests or wedding party members was predicted to increase significantly. The prevalent Christian meme is that secular society is demeaning or devaluing the institution of marriage, yet by spending more on attending and being part of the wedding, it may not be as clear cut as many Christians claim it is.
What most Christians really mean is that others do not value the exact marriage that they value. The Christian marriage is usually defined as between one man and one woman (with kids) until separated by death (as long as it isn’t murdering each other). If that is the litmus test (others do not value the “Christian” ideal of marriage), then, yes, I have to agree with the Christian meme.
The marriage that society values is a marriage in which the two people (and, yes, in some cases more than two) find mutual satisfaction and happiness. Secular society truly does value, treasure, and uphold this understanding. Let us Christians recognize that. The dilemma comes to fruition when, however, the people in a marriage no longer find mutual satisfaction and happiness in their relationship. Thus it is better to “honor” marriage by divorcing, for by remaining together, they dishonor marriage.
The logic is consistent internally. By that same logic, as long as the couple is mutually committed, what does it matter if the couple be male/female, female/female, male/male? It might even be consistent within that marriage to have open partnerships or what have you.
Another interesting article is Americans Are Becoming More Socially Liberal — Except When it Comes to Divorce. According to the author claims (with some data to back it up), that many Millennials view divorce with such distaste, that many require other milestones (establish career, home, college degree, no/low debt, even prior serious relationship and/or cohabitation) to be accomplished prior to that final commitment. The author states:
Marriage has, in other words, gone from being a cornerstone achievement to a capstone one.
The author ends the column with this “capstone”:
So keep this in mind if you ever feel the temptation to urge some broke young couple to hurry up and get hitched already: Chances are they’re dragging their feet not because they don’t take marriage seriously but because they do.
Mind blown. Before we talk about upholding marriage, we Christians had best work with the secular world to discuss what exactly it is we and they mean.