Summary: Biblical look at marriage, in an effort to restore its rightful place in our thinking
I want to land on my feet in life, don’t you?
So, on big subjects that the world is really goofing up right now, we need solid answers. We need to be able to navigate the landing. I’m talking about Christian people being real and our faith making a difference in the way we approach life. So on the subjects of Truth, Ethics, Identity, Human Life, and Purity, our thinking is going to have an impact. It’s going to affect our personal lives, our homes, and we’re also going to impact our world whether we want to or not. So we’ve been looking at God’s word to help us land on our feet in a world that’s upside down. Among the many subjects that really matter today is marriage.
Today is family Sunday. Today and in the future, Family Sunday is going to mean that we’ll have whole families, children included, taking a more active role in our time of worship together, like today. And it means I’ll try to match the message on those Sundays to things that will connect with the younger set.
Guess what? Children care about marriage! Even if they don’t understand much about it, they do understand that it’s important to them, and they are watching your marriage and my marriage to see how it’s supposed to work. Bottom line is: marriage matters. To people of all ages and walks of life, marriage matters. And if you’re one of those young people who isn’t married yet, I want you to hear today how God wants people to have a good marriage, and how that can happen. I want you guys to land on your feet in life. So, today, whenever I ask, “Where are you going to land?” you shout back, “On our feet!” Let’s try that. The world is upside down on a lot of things. Where are you going to land? [On our feet!]
I want to start with just giving a brief “state of the marriage union” address this morning. Here are some current trends in marriage.
Current trends in marriage
A guy from England said, "The increasing divorce rate is rapidly making America the land of the free.” His American friend said, "Yes, but remember the marriage rate is increasing too. That shows America is still the home of the brave."
Well, he’s sort of right. The marriage rate is increasing in some ways – like the age at which people marry or the number of times people marry.
Divorce in the US nearly doubled since 1960. It reached its highest point in the early 1980s and has decreased slightly in the past 10 years.
Financially, divorce costs the nation about $33.3 billion per year. Emotionally, no one can measure it.
Americans Still Like Marriage
67% of Americans disagree with the idea that marriage is outdated, according to a 2014 report from the Austin Institute for the Study of Family and Culture. A 2013 Gallup Poll shows that 75% of Americans are either married or would like to get married.
But it’s also true that…
More Americans are Single
In 2014, the number of single American adults hit an all-time high, now at over half of the adult population. At the current rate, when today’s young adults hit their 40’s and 50’s, ¼ of them will likely have never married.
Unwed Childbearing Remains Alarmingly High
Over 40% of all births in the US are to unwed parents. The 2014 Census poverty report shows children in single-parent homes are 5X more likely to be poor compared to children in married-parent homes, costing taxpayers around $7 billion a year.
More Couples are Living Together Without Marrying
A study last year showed that 44% of Americans think that living together before marriage is a good idea, despite research that suggests the opposite is true:
The number of people who cohabit and break up is about double that of divorces, so the number of people emotionally going through a split is actually a whole lot higher than just the divorce rate. More than 80% of the people who first live together will break up or will marry and divorce. It also more than doubles the danger of domestic abuse.
Somehow, we still get eyebrows raised at us when we say that living together before marriage is damaging and wrong.
Redefinition of Marriage
God says marriage is between one man and one woman. You know all those emails you got and people that you heard, warning us not to sit on our hands and let marriage be redefined? It turns out they weren’t crazy, alarmist extremists after all.
You don’t have to hate homosexual people to love God’s design for marriage and to want to protect it. But the recent Supreme Court decision means that marriage is going to erode even more, and Christians are going to be faced with more difficult decisions because of it.