Is marriage on the way out? Is adultery still wrong? Is the institution of the home, with its family life, to disappear from society? How and when did the institution of marriage originate? Does it, after all, serve any necessary purpose?
Herbert Armstrong asked those questions well over 40 years ago in a booklet that he produced titled Why Marriage! Soon Obsolete?
The title of that booklet flashed before my eyes when I read a headline from Thursday’s Washington Post using the exact same terms!
In a piece headlined “Four in 10 saymarriage is becoming obsolete,” the Post stated, “As families gather for Thanksgiving this year, nearly one in three American children is living with a parent who is divorced, separated or never-married. More people are accepting the view that wedding bells aren’t needed to have a family” (emphasis mine).
Well, happy Thanksgiving, America! As the Virginia Slims ad used to say, “You’ve come a long way, baby!”—I think NOT!
I think not because I know the negative statistics surrounding the families that are not embedded in the tradition of monogamous marriage. And I have, over the years, worked with people who have shattered their lives as a result.
I know and have studied for years the figures surrounding the devastation caused by single-parent, broken families, families produced by couples not having the courage nor the sense of responsibility to make a lifetime binding commitment to a married partner. Not to mention the terrible psychological damage done to those who deign to establish a “family” within a homosexual relationship.
But more, I know, from an adult lifetime’s experience, the very opposite—the unspeakable blessings, the peace, the happiness and the security that come from being bound in marriage to one wife for almost half a century, and the tremendous stability such a relationship produces in a second and on to a third generation!
I know because I’ve simply lived it!
I’ve heard every argument over the years from the feminists, the leftists, the so-called swingers of the ’70s, and the morally deprived generations produced from the beatnik to the rap generation. Most all had an argument against marriage as the ideal state for the establishment of family relationships upon which a healthy society is built. And with most all, the argument they held to was used to justify their own chosen immoral lifestyle, just as the Bloomsbury set of another era had done so, using godless Freudianism, Marxism and Darwinism as their justification to overthrow the eternal absolutes of truth.
Well, I’m thankful that amid the search for the absolutes as a young seeker after truth crossing the threshold from teens into young adulthood, I came across one who preached the truth, no holds barred, and who challenged his listeners to prove he was right!
I took the challenge and proved it!
As a young married parent of two at the time, I read Herbert Armstrong’s booklet prophesying of a coming generation which would see marriage as largely obsolete. That was 42 years ago. Yesterday I read the headline that spoke of the fulfillment of that prophecy.
As we have declared on occasion in this magazine, the sure thing about prophecy, despite the gainsayers, is that all you have to do is wait, and one day it will be fulfilled. It’s as sure as the rising sun tomorrow.
“About 29 percent of children under 18 now live with a parent or parents who are unwed or no longer married, a fivefold increase from 1960, according to the Pew report being released Thursday. Broken down further, about 15 percent have parents who are divorced or separated and 14 percent who were never married. Within those two groups, a sizable chunk—6 percent—have parents who are live-in couples who opted to raise kids together without getting married” (ibid.).
When I attended elementary school from the mid-1940s to early 1950s, I did not know the meaning of the term “divorce.” I was the only child in my class from a single-parent home. My mother was widowed. I consciously felt my status diminished by not having a father like all my peers.
Of my peers at high school I cannot remember one that came from a single-parent family.
By the time my eldest son reached high school, half his peers came from either single-parent homes, or homes that had suffered the identity trauma of divorce and remarriage.
Oh! We pride ourselves on just how we have “matured” as a highly developed, politically correct society. But in reality, our society is rapidly devolving back to the pre-Flood Noatian era. Back to a time akin to that of Noah, when all moral standards and absolutes had been trashed to the point that all types of perverse human relationships were being tolerated and encouraged. The result was the almost total annihilation of civilization!
Well, believe it or not, your Bible prophesies of those times repeating themselves today. Prophesies of times that would become identical with the morally bankrupt pre-Flood era (Matthew 24:37-38), times of mass carousing, times when the God-given laws of marriage would be trashed as obsolete!
The prophecies for our time forecast a prevailing era when rampant lewdness would take hold of a society that would eat, drink and generally consume to excess. An era knowing no moral bounds, with rising health problems akin to those of the ancient diseased society of Egypt. An era when society would suffer diseases that waste away the human body as a result of self-inflicted illness stemming from perverted diet, perverted interracial breeding practices and perverse sexual relationships (Deuteronomy 28:60; Leviticus 26:14-16).
It is such a society that now prevails within the Anglo-Saxon nations in particular. And we are about to reap the whirlwind as a result!
“Indeed, about 39 percent of Americans said marriage was becoming obsolete. And that sentiment follows U.S. census data released in September that showed marriages hit an all-time low of 52 percent for adults 18 and over.
“In 1978, just 28 percent believed marriage was becoming obsolete” (ibid.).
But the deepest concern surely ought to be for the extent to which society has lost the vision of the meaning of the term marriage as it is revealed in the Scriptures as applying alone to the monogamous relationship between one man and one woman (Genesis 2:24).
“When asked what constitutes a family … four of five surveyed pointed … to an unmarried, opposite-sex couple with children or a single parent. Three of five people said a same-sex couple with children was a family” (ibid.).
Should the trend continue exponentially, then within another lifetime, two thirds of society would believe that marriage was obsolete—if in fact the marriage institution itself was able to survive as an entity till then. The reality is that if marriage as an institution does not survive, then civilization as we know it will literally collapse!
Thank the Eternal Creator of man and woman, the Creator of the institutions of marriage and family, that we will never reach that stage! For the Son of God, the Savior of mankind, has declared when we see society degenerating back to its pre-Flood condition, that is a potent sign of the imminence of the Creator’s intervention in the affairs of man. The direct intervention of the Creator to put a defining stop to humankind’s rebellious, anti-God ways, and usher in the establishment of His very own government on Earth!
“But of that day and hour knoweth no man …. But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” (Matthew 24:36-37).