Marriage in America is on the way out. According to one study from the Pew Research Center, “The number of American adults who are married has fallen from 72 percent in 1960 to barely 51 percent, and the number of new marriages fell 5 percent between 2009 and 2010.” And with 95 percent of Americans engaging in premarital sex, it’s no wonder so many babies are born out of wedlock—a whopping 40 percent.
The increase in babies conceived out of wedlock also lead to higher abortion rates: About 85 percent of women who seek an abortion are single.
These distressing statistics are the inevitable result of the total breakdown of the family. “Yes, there is a war raging in households across America and throughout the once-mighty United Kingdom,” Trumpet columnists Joel Hilliker and Stephen Flurry wrote. “After decades of surrendering ground to a violent and fanatical enemy, what once was a solid family structure is now struggling for survival.”
These declining statistics are indicative of the times in which we live, and were actually prophesied to occur in the last days before Christ’s return. The Trumpet article continues,
Everything about our modern-day dysfunctional society is exactly as the Prophet Isaiah said it would be: with women ruling the homes, children oppressing society and behaving arrogantly against their elders, and people parading the most heinous of their sins with pride (Isaiah 3:12, 5, 9). The Apostle Paul prophesied of our epidemic selfishness, preoccupation with material things, disobedient children, loss of natural familial affection (such as is manifest in the appalling abortion rate), and other rampant problems (2 Timothy 3:1-5).
Rising divorce rates, falling marriage rates and more children growing up without two parents in the home all fall within this prophesied family breakdown. Too often, however, we don’t see the loss of a complete family unit for the deadly cancer it truly is.
Marriage and family are institutions unique to mankind. They don’t exist anywhere else in creation.
“Human men never did think out, devise or institute the relationship of marriage, with family and home life. Marriage was ordained by God—not by man,” Herbert W. Armstrong wrote in Why Marriage! Soon Obsolete? That is what makes marriage and family so special—and what should make us so determined to preserve them. “There can be no more wonderful physical blessing in this mortal human life than a happy marriage, based on true love, honor, integrity and faithfulness—especially when there are growing children to love, care for, teach and rear in the nurture and admonition of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
God intended marriage and family to be a blessing for mankind, to teach us to love and live in harmony with each other. Even more than that, He patterned the structure of the family unit after the God Family.
That is why the institution of family is so important to God, and why He finds it so reprehensible when it is destroyed. Marriage and family, when they exist as God intended, teach us spiritual lessons about our spiritual family (e.g. Ephesians 5:31-33). They have everything to do with the gospel and are a critical part of God’s plan for mankind. Read our free booklet Why Marriage! Soon Obsolete? for a more in-depth explanation of these critically important and endangered institutions. ▪