Literature is saturated with articles describing the plight of the American style of marriage and family. From many different sources editors, educators, sociologists, anthropologists, politicians, and ministers are voicing their concern. If one is not convinced that difficulties exist, he has not been reading, or has not been in touch with people, or is an idealist!
People today are concerned about marriage and the family. Changes are taking place in the family structure and in the permanency of marriage. It has been said that “throwaway marriages” have become part of the fabric of American society. Divorce is now in the background of most people.
The attitude that many take toward marriage was heard in the office of a marriage counselor when a young woman said, “When I got married I was looking for an ideal, but I got an ordeal and now I want a new deal!” A cartoon in the Los Angeles Times pictured a preacher performing a wedding, and instead of the usual, “till death do you part,” he said, “till divorce do you part.” This is not entirely unreal.
As a consequence of the breakdown of this social institution, people are groping, more or less blindly, to find alternatives to marriage. Living together without marriage, living in communes, extensive child care centers, serial monogamy (with one divorce after another), new divorce laws which do away with the concept of guilt – have all been tried as alternatives and, alas, have been found wanting.
The problem is not with the institution of marriage; it lies with the individuals who enter that relationship and their attitudes toward it and one another. There is another alternative to the problems of marriage other than the ones which have already been suggested and it is this, “Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it” (Psalms 127:1). Building our marriages on the principles set forth in the Bible will contribute to the permanency and joy of the home. For too long many have turned to other sources than the Bible for guidance in the establishment and maintenance of the home. Read the Bible, pray, and worship God together.