Matrimony Meltdown: A Guest Post By Mdavid

Or Marching to the Beat of the Sexual Revolution’s Drum

[Today’s guest post is brought to us courtesy of reader/commenter mdavid. It is presented as it was given to me. I have a few comments on it, but I will save them for the comments section, and leave them out of the OP.]

When considering present-day moral inconsistencies – and they are legion – the tolerance of divorce is one of the most indefensible. Yet we excuse it with surprising uniformity. Liberal and conservative, Christian and agnostic, black and white – we are all unified in our rejection of indissoluble marriage.

This evolution of marriage is not due to an economic cycle or an odd social phase that will be reversed in time. It is a permanent shift away from the religious culture that no longer exists in modern Western society except within isolated, and decisively unmodern, pockets. Consider: a majority of US citizens who marry will experience divorce themselves or have a close relative who does. Divorce is now completely acceptable, often celebrated, and sold as liberating. In fact, the only thing moderating divorce rates today is the rejection of marriage itself. This makes sense: why get married at all if divorce is so common? Why become a statistic? Why not stay free?

It’s important to understand that our acceptance of divorce is merely a logical response to changes in marriage law. What sort of contract can be abolished at the whim of either party – anytime, anyplace, and for any reason? If only one’s student loans were so flexible! The legal hypocrisy is rich; we hold young adults fully accountable for their college debt forever, regardless of means to pay or future life events, while simultaneously allowing marriage to be dismissed without cause. This is truly strange. Marriage used to be the most important contractual obligation one could make, certainly not second to personal debt. And rightfully so. It impacts the well-being of children, extended family, and finally society itself. Even a throwaway comment that you will pay for lunch has more legal accountability than a wedding ceremony. It’s bizarre.

It’s much worse than all that, however. Not only is divorce allowed, it’s encouraged by the law itself. Serving divorce papers to a family breadwinner is typically an immediate financial windfall for caregivers, creating a strong incentive to divorce or at least start thinking about it. And unsurprisingly, women initiate the vast majority of divorces. But nothing is steady-state. As any economic supply-and-demand model would suggest, the supply of quality male (or female) providers willing to marry under such conditions will, over time, become strained. This supply-and-demand concept was seen most dramatically in the now-defunct USSR, where laws provided little reward for productive workers. This created a painful lack of goods, to be followed by long queues of people facing empty shelves. This model applies to the family in the West today.

While people do still like the ideal of marriage, both for themselves and for society at large, the risk-reward imbalance, now enshrined into law, is simply too great for marriage to stay intact. This has midwifed a new era of cohabitation, one that is increasingly childless. While not ideal, this structure makes the risk of companionship acceptable to a growing number of people, especially productive people who are at the most risk. Back to the USSR analogy, cohabitation is the necessary “black market” of today’s marriage economics. Raise the price too high, and people will seek an alternative product.

Easy and common divorce means every marriage now operates under the legal sword of Damocles, where either party is at least subconsciously prepared to cut the thread if it benefits them personally. If you doubt this, just ask your typical bride or groom a few uncomfortable questions: What will you do if your spouse abuses you? Becomes an alcoholic? Quits their job? Realizes they made a mistake and can do better? Truth be told, those approaching marriage today are generally playing the odds that none of these things will actually happen. But when they do (and they do nearly half the time) the whole farce of modern marriage is exposed. And as families continue to shatter, the quality of potential partners in the next generation necessarily shrinks. Broken homes today beget broken homes tomorrow.

So what’s the answer? Should couples stay married in all cases? No matter what happens? Regardless of what they want? Yes. Yes. And Yes. Now, this doesn’t prevent an abused party from moving out. But separation is not divorce; it’s not even close. It’s as far from divorce as sleep is from death. If separation equaled divorce, our servicemen would be mailed divorce papers with their mobilization orders. It is understood people will often act like fools, but why should the law acknowledge their folly by allowing them to dissolve their family upon demand? Is this freedom to remarry really in the best interest of society?

Sadly, modern Christianity has been a somber but key facilitator in the game of marriage Russian roulette (if only the odds of survival – 20% – were so good!). Every major Christian denomination – Lutheran, Anglican, Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist, Episcopalian, even the sacramental Eastern Orthodox – now allow for the abolition of a legally enacted marriage (the lone holdout is the Catholic Church, which has responded to the times by creating an even larger problem by winking at invalid marriages and then offering the resulting annulments like candy). What makes the abandonment of marriage by Christians so astonishing is the clear biblical testimonial by Jesus himself that “what God has joined [in marriage], let no man tear asunder.” And lest we forget, He then warns that remarriage after divorce constitutes adultery – and the Apostle Paul flatly states that adulterers will not inherit the kingdom of God. Have Christians read the bible since the sexual revolution?

Until modern marriage is replaced with something more rational, the intact family will continue to fade as a mainstream institution. The resulting decline of male investment in children will lead to less productive and less well-adjusted children. This will be a fearsome political, social, and economic change agent. Family change is multi-generational, so the consequences of modern ideas about marriage and family, which were fully in place by the 1980’s, should become more and more visible throughout our communities every day going forward. And most importantly, young people – but breadwinners especially – should approach marriage and family with extreme trepidation, if at all. This trajectory is now set; only the extent of the damage remains to be experienced. My mind is prepared. How’s yours?

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62 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Churchianity, Civilization, Courtship, God, Marriage, Marriage Market Place, Moral Agency, The Church

62 responses to “Matrimony Meltdown: A Guest Post By Mdavid

  1. @ Anne

    See that’s an example of the general problem right there. When you expect Christians to follow a certain standard of behavior, but don’t hold non-Christians to the same standard, you handicap Christians in the SMP/MMP.

    Not saying I’m against at-fault divorce (I’m all for it), but if you’re going to consider it wrong, you’ve got to consider it wrong for everyone. Or isolate your community from the rest of society, which you clearly aren’t doing.

  2. trugingstar

    Okay, this is everything that I believe about the heritage and Universality of the Church in one very long, very complicated blog post. Take it or leave it! The End.

    http://trugingstar.wordpress.com/2014/11/21/who-and-where-is-the-real-church-romans-11-and-remnant-theology/

  3. trugingstar

    Nemesis & all: sexual immorality was a problem with the early Church as well. It was called-out and people within the Church were told to leave for fornicating. But former high n-counters were told to marry. The question for the modern Church is more “who do we let back in?” There needs to be some accountability for people who start-out Christians and then leave and then come back, or people who are not really Christians who sleep around.

  4. It’s not that we don’t want you to follow God’s ways, it’s just that we know you aren’t going to. We can’t very well cast you out of the church, you aren’t in it.
    Paul gives permission for Christians not to fight a divorce when the non-Christian initiates it. This doesn’t mean he liked the divorce, he just couldn’t influence the non-Christian to stay in the marriage.

  5. I am anti catholic in part because I have read the history of the church

  6. @trugingstar
    I remember young widows being encouraged to marry, but not high n- counters. Could you provide a reference for that please?

  7. @SirNemesis
    My comment from last night was for you as well.
    I just figured out what you are saying. You are saying Christians are directly competing with non- Christians for the same people. You are right, this should not be so. Christians are instructed not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers, and should therefore not be dating or marrying them.
    Ideally, Christian men should only be competing with other Christian men for Christian women. Similarly, Christian women should only be competing with other Christian women for Christian men.
    As a non- Christian, you shouldn’t be in the Christian MMP at all. (Of course there shouldn’t be a Christian SMP — unless I am misunderstanding that term.)

  8. trugingstar

    Anne: They came from a sexual pagan culture.

    1 Corinthians 7:1-2 – “Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” 2 But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.”

    1 Corinthians 6: 9-11 – “Don’t you know that unrighteous people will have no share in the Kingdom of God? Don’t delude yourselves — people who engage in sex before marriage, who worship idols, who engage in sex after marriage with someone other than their spouse, who engage in active or passive homosexuality, 10 who steal, who are greedy, who get drunk, who assail people with contemptuous language, who rob — none of them will share in the Kingdom of God. 11 Some of you used to do these things. But you have cleansed yourselves, you have been set apart for God, you have come to be counted righteous through the power of the Lord Yeshua the Messiah and the Spirit of our God.”

    (I used two different translations, oops!)

  9. trugingstar

    Paul was very gracious about people’s pasts, and used marriage to deal with temptation, but he also cracked-down on the fakers and made them leave. People nowadays don’t seem to care whether someone’s faith is coming from somewhere genuine or just an act. It’s the whole “free gift” mentality. It’s not a free gift. Lol, you have to act like a Christian after you accept Jesus. Congratulations! You just won a free cross.

    Pastors need to be better at looking at the heart of someone. What churches do nowadays is encourage people to be fake.

  10. trugingstar

    One last thing before I permanently leave blogging. I’ve been looking for a website like this with some sound theology. It’s probably better than I can do explaining things. It’s funny, because his latest post is about the root and branches and so forth, and I just found it today. Bear in mind, that I question everything I hear, but as long as there are no major theological flaws, I feel fine recommending it. He presents some solid arguments.

    http://messiahsmandate.org/#sthash.0wixItjQ.dpbs

  11. @trugingstar
    Permanently leave blogging? Do you mean stop reading and commenting on blogs, or do you mean stop writing essays on your current blog?

  12. trugingstar

    Anne, I should probably stop doing both for a while. I might comment now and again, but I’m at a time in my life where it’s going to be a bad use of my time to dwell on blogging. I actually really like the people I’ve met/ chatted with on here. You generally don’t get to go this in-depth with people offline. It’s refreshing, and it’s nice to hear what’s actually on people’s minds. It’s been a lifeline for me in a lot of ways (I’ve been in the manosphere total 8-9 months, commenting under a different name at one point). Anyway, I’ve always enjoyed your comments. It was nice getting to know you, even if it was just a little! 🙂

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