This post is a continuation of my Market Analysis series, which began in my post Market Watch. In today’s post I want to examine and discuss in greater detail this observation that I made:
Too many people are doing too little to make marriage happen these days. Marriage needs to be a matter for the whole community.
I have two general areas I want to examine here. The first to look at is the community angle. The second is about making marriage happen.
Starting with community, there is a saying about how “it takes a village” which I think is appropriate here.
Marriage is a communal effort. Everyone in the community is involved in ensuring that it works. When the community isn’t supportive of marriage in general, and marriages in particular, then you get what we have today: tons of divorces and a crashing marriage rate.
Looking back at my quote, I had it wrong. I shouldn’t have said “Marriage needs to be a matter for the whole community,” but instead should have said “Marriage is a matter for the whole community.” Whatever we say or think about it, that simple fact cannot be changed any more than human nature can be changed. We are social beings, and our social environment impacts all of our relationships.
The marriage market cannot be healthy unless the community is supportive of it. When that support is withdrawn, then our baser natures will assert themselves. Thus we end up with the sexual marketplace instead. I suppose, to continue with market metaphors, that the marriage market can be described as a fairly regulated market which, absent those regulations, will quickly turn into a real mess.
Let’s expand that first sentence somewhat. What does “make marriage happen” actually mean? I can think of a number of things:
- Encourage young people to marry verbally- that is, talk to them and spur them towards marriage if that is their calling.
- Publicly talk about the benefits of marriage and how wonderful it is or can be, especially around young people.
- Stop badmouthing marriage- eliminate the griping and negative attitude that is so often expressed. [At the same time efforts need to be made to address the source of these woes. But keep it below the radar]
- Provide financial support and incentives to young people to marry.
- Discourage and admonish against individualist attitudes which lead young people away from marriage (careerism, travelism, etc.)
- Rebuke and punish those who break up marriages or treat them flippantly.
- Reassure young people that the community will have their back during rough spots in the marriage.
- Promote life and the unique blessing that is children.
Those are just a few ideas I have come up with while thinking about it. I invite my readers to offer their thoughts on the subject. This post is less developed because I am hoping many of you can propel the discussion forward, hopefully towards directions I haven’t thought of.