What should be the “right” way to recognize marriage?
Why is this important: An a-historic decline of marriage rates is impacting society. Determining the root cause is important to understand the social change and possibly find/create a solution. Concerns over the institution of marriage can be alleviated with legal changes and novel creativity.
The Dismal State of Marriage
Regular readers are all too familiar with the raw deal that is marriage these days. Anyone who doubts this should read a few of the following posts.
- Dalrock: Marriage strike? (2010 October 19)
- Dalrock: Driving a stake in the heart of the US marriage strike myth. (2010 October 27)
- Dalrock: Clarification on my position on a marriage strike. (2010 October 28)
- Dalrock: Supply and demand in the marriage market. (2011 March 29)
- Dalrock: Evidence of a “marriage strike”? (2018 August 30)
- Rob Says: Marriage (2020 September 23)
- Marriage, Sex, and More: Marriage Has Devolved Into A Temporary Arrangement… (2020 September 25)
In sum, the common advice to young men, even Christian men, is “Don’t get married!” But in spite of the inevitable travesty, men continue to be driven into the meat grinder of marriage as it is deemed a fundamental, even necessary element of life itself.
On this point, The Shadowed Knight offered this gem at Spawny’s Space.
“Marriage is all about sex and children. No matter how rich or poor, how dangerous, or any other consideration. If a man can be sure that he will have a woman that will have his and only his children, he will do nearly anything to make it happen. Without that, men go back to the hunter gatherer ways of checking out of society, joining a gang, and meeting only basic survival needs.
Men will create civilization if the only way to get pussy is by building and being civilized. Men will tear civilization apart and raze it to the ground if the only way to get pussy is to be a conqueror. Right now, we are building due to inertia, and that inertia is just about out. Unless men go back to hard paternal control over women, the decay and wear is going to tear this down.”
Ed Hurst goes further to explain that the male drive towards marriage, sex, and procreation is an integral part of God’s plan for us as human beings.
Christians are tempted to throw stones at those men who opt out of marriage (MGTOW), or choose to cohabitate in order to avoid the risks of frivorce and alimony. But the social context of a Covenant marriage, and the resulting Shalom has been completely forgotten. This failure to recognize God and His natural ordination has rendered men as a whole, and especially Christian men, stuck in a d@mnable bind. Something must change, and soon. God Himself won’t tolerate any more.
How I See It
I have sympathy for non Christian men who desire marriage. If 50% of marriages (or more) end in divorce, and 70% are initiated by women, a man has over 1/3 chance of being blindsided with divorce at some point in his life.
Laws and court rulings only reinforce this ruination. Our government encourages divorce by allowing “no fault” divorces, by allowing partners to lie about the root cause of the divorce, and by enforcing precedent that typically works against the male, regardless of circumstances.
How can you encourage God’s institution when our civil government mocks it by allowing frivolous divorce, and punishing the male regardless of circumstances?
Should we as a society discourage divorce by eliminating the benefits of divorce (alimony, spousal support, child support, division of property)?
In the Christian community, should we suggest that if the couple chooses, they don’t have to file a marriage certificate with the county in order for God to recognize their marriage? Should the Christian community find their manhood and protest/sue States over divorce laws?
As far as I am concerned, I see no requirement in scriptures for a person to be married before the civil government (by filing documents). Referencing OT passages only muddles our understanding of this, as the government and faith were intertwined in ancient Israel. It is not clear in scripture how the surrounding nations and people groups officiated their marriages, but it was clear that marriage did exist, and there were well-defined guidelines for things of a sexual nature.
The challenge we face in implementing scripture is that the society we live in today is nothing like the Ancient Near East social structure. Even so, the intellectual problem of how to approach marriage exists, and this may be largely due to the fact that our society is so vastly different from the one our Fathers of the Faith lived in.
We have seen an influx of churches demanding to be freed from state restrictions on gatherings due to Covid. Yet we don’t see Christians protesting unbiblical family laws that result in inequitable divorce decrees and custody rulings.
I’d like for commenters to share their thoughts on the following approaches towards marriage.
- Filing/recording their marriage with the government.
- Common law marriage (legal in fewer than 15 states).
- Having a wedding ceremony in a church.
- Any other ideas???
I see several sides, pros and cons to each approach, and I am not entrenched with any one view.
I’ll probably be writing on the subject of marriage more as time progresses.
- Σ Frame: Lest we forget, Marriage was once intended to Glorify God (2019 August 8)
- Σ Frame: On the Concept of Sin and the need for Marriage (2020 April 24)
- Σ Frame: The need for Marriage Education (2020 May 15)
- Σ Frame: Only God can grant a successful marriage (2020 May 20)
- Σ Frame: Why is premarital sex a sin? (2020 August 14)