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∙ If, on the other hand, marriage came about as a human expedient, devised by man, and all of its terms were of human origin, then it certainly may be abolished or its terms may be altered by man for whatever reasons he wishes.
Young people in our churches do not have a strong idea of the divine origin of marriage. The church naively assumed that they understand this teaching and has not adequately taught them the biblical facts. The home has been equally deficient. How will young people learn? Not from the propaganda they read and hear in the media or in school. There they will be told just the opposite. If they are constantly bombarded with the message that marriage but a human expedient, they will eventually believe it and, holding to this low view of marriage, will act accordingly. That means that biblical terms for marriage will tend to strike them as irrelevant or at best an optional viewpoint. It means that they will build their marriages out of wrong materials and will aim for something far beneath biblical standards. The result will be the destruction of society.
Over three decades have passed since the divorce rates began to escalate. The statistics are in. We can now make some definitive statements about the impact divorce has had upon our culture and especially upon our children. In an article entitled, “Dan Quayle Was Right,” The Atlantic Monthly published their findings:
According to a growing body of social-scientific evidence, children in families disrupted by divorce and out-of-wedlock birth do worse than children in intact families on several measures of well-being. Children in single-parent families are six times as likely to be poor. They are also likely to stay poor longer. Twenty-two percent of children in one-parent families will experience poverty during childhood for seven years or more, as compared with only two percent of children in two-parent families.
A 1988 survey by the national Center for Health Statistics found that
∙ children in single-parent families are two to three times as likely as children in two-parent families to have emotional and behavioral problems.
∙ They are also more likely to drop out of high school,
∙ to get pregnant as teenagers,
∙ to abuse drugs,
∙ and to be in trouble with the law.
Compared with children in intact families, children from disrupted families are at a much higher risk for physical or sexual abuse. . . . Contrary to popular belief, many children do not “bounce back” after divorce or remarriage.
Children in this country are in trouble because families in this country are in trouble. And frankly, many families are in trouble because a lot of churches are in trouble.
II. The Purpose of Marriage, 2:18
We hear, even in truly Christian circles, some of the strangest ideas about what the purpose of marriage is supposed to be. Unless both spouses understand and set their hearts upon realizing the true purpose of marriage, their marriage will fall far short of what it should be.
What is the purpose of marriage?
The answer to that question is set forth by God Himself in Genesis 2:18: “And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be
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