While we’re on the topic of marriage, Julia Llewellyn Smith has an article on The Age website about marriage. Aspects of it are sensible. Other are awful and entirely disheartening. It is worth reading for a few reasons.
One is that it strikes me a fairly middling sort of account of marriage. What I mean is that it seems to reflect quite well the consensus of our society: that marriage is all well and good, and has some benefits, but things have changed. It is somewhat conservative in it’s conclusion, but also very pomosexual, in that it has an “anything goes” conclusion. If you want to understand how our society thinks about marriage, this is not a bad summary.
A second reason to read it is that it raises some issues which should be more carefully considered by Christians who write books on this subject. For example, Smith says that our expectations of hot-tub-rose-petal-strewing-candle-lit-dinner-crazy-sex-romance for marriage are way too high. Indeed. Quoting another writer, she notes that “No other generation had such huge hopes invested in just one relationship and it is an enormous ask.” That is absolutely correct. The Church, and those sent out from Her each Sunday, need to shape our thinking along Biblical lines, not along Hollywood lines.
All that said, I found the article disturbing. The acceptance of divorce as a solution, the primacy of career, and the implicit promotion of extra-marital affairs, were major sub-themes. Again, this is how our society thinks. The worldview of the people around us is now shaped by things other than the Word of God. I think this means that when we read polling results which show that the majority of people support traditional marriage, we should no longer assume that they support Biblical marriage. “Traditional marriage” might still mean one man and one woman, but it’s malleable, just like one’s sexuality, and one’s religious confession, and so on.
I would encourage readers to download the latest sermon from Pastor Andrew, and take in what God has clearly spoken of marriage in His eternal and unchangeable Scriptures.
Picture credit: Maria Rosaria Sannino, some rights reserved