Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. Genesis 2:22
Prince George is a lovely child with those dimples and wavy blonde hair. And Queen Elizabeth is showing the world that ninety can be graceful and beautiful while serving her country. It seems Americans are in love with everything royal. Of course, renowned photographer Annie Lebowitz has a knack for making everyone look flawless.
I must be getting old because I know I’m far from flawless. And so is the world around me. Things that the younger generation seem to see as normal I cringe at with remorse. I’m not claiming to be perfect, but how many were aware Prince William and Kate Middleton lived together for eight months before announcing their engagement?
Wow, attitudes towards marriage are changing. If the Queen, who attends church faithfully, listens to the teaching of Scripture, and has supreme authority over the Church of England, approves of her grandson’s cohabiting with his fiancée, who are we to question the practice if they choose to ignore what the Bible says? If the royal couple could do it, why couldn’t anybody simply live together?
I’m not trying to single out Prince William and Kate Middleton. I only cite them because of their visibility and stature on the world stage with their ecclesiastical connection and as a modern couple. But I give them credit for planning to marry, a decision that makes them seem almost old-fashioned. I never thought I’d see the day when marriage was deemed obsolete to many.
When a 2010 Pew Research Center survey asked American’s if marriage was becoming obsolete, nearly 44% said yes. The present concept of marriage and family in America stands in stark contrast to God’s design for marriage. Once viewed as a safe harbor and basic building block of a stable society, multiple causes have led to its destruction. We’ve become a prosperous, proud country led by a government that no longer defends the Defense of Marriage Act. Should we expect anything besides increasing cohabitation and divorce? Both no so widespread and accepted they seem “normal?” I’m divorced and not proud of it.
This post may not be popular with everyone, but I believe the Biblical ideal for marriage goes back to the creation of the world, when God created both male and female in His image to be the stewards of all creation. God didn’t create a social group of multiple humans and suggest they form their own order. One male, one female in that order coming together as one. A pair whose potential is greater together than if they remained single or lived together without commitment. Something stable happens when two unite as one.
The permanence enables them to build for the future, passing on their children material security, education and knowledge of God. All of which form the building blocks for a stable society. This is fundamental to how couples are to act as stewards of creation. As I see it, one central truth stands unchanged: the design for marriage originates with God and rests on His eternal principles.
I never through I’d see the day that I would say traditional marriage is in trouble. Our selfish natures, increasingly godless society and government are working against God’s first ordained institution. We can’t always control the choices of a secular society, but as Christians we can guard our marriages. And by doing so we can show the world what it’s missing.
I began this post by telling the story of Prince William and Kate Middleton living together for eight months before formally marrying. Despite their cohabitation, they were married in a traditional Christian ceremony watched by many of us. During their wedding the name of Jesus was proclaimed many times, and Kate’s brother read a passage from the Bible urging the couple to resist worldliness. Then the Archbishop prayed a prayer needed by all couples today: O Eternal God, creator and Preserver of all mankind, giver of all spiritual grace, the author of everlasting life: send thy blessing upon these thy servants, this man and this woman, whom we bless in thy name; that living faithfully together, they may surely perform and keep the vow and covenant betwixt them made, whereof this ring given and received is a token and pledge; and may even remain in perfect love and peace together, and live according to thy laws; through Jesus Christ our Lord.