The world seems to be abandoning marriage. More heterosexual couples are opting for cohabitation, and while homosexual couples are fighting for the right to marry, some activists claim that marriage is not their goal; eliminating marriage is.
In a radio interview, Masha Gessen, a homosexual activist stated, “It’s a no-brainer that homosexuals should have the right to marry, but I also think equally that it’s a no-brainer that the institution of marriage should not exist.”
Nigel Barber (Huffington Post) questioned the global future of marriage. As an example, he pointed to the familial habits of the Mosuo people of Southwest China where no one marries. “Their mating system is called ‘walking marriage’ where the man and woman do not live together even though they sleep together. As soon as she is sexually mature, a young woman gets her own bedroom and may invite a man to sleep with her. If babies are produced from these informal unions, they are raised by the mother with the help of her siblings and the father does not provide economic support.”
Stanley Kurtz, anthropologist and research fellow at the Hoover Institution, found a correlation between acceptance of same-sex marriage and increasing rates of cohabitation and illegitimate births. In a study of Scandinavian countries over ten years when same-sex marriage was legalized, out-of-wedlock births increased by about 30%. In more religious and conservative areas where same-sex marriage was fought, there was less cohabitation and fewer out-of-wedlock births. Where same-sex marriage was seen as acceptable, marriage is regarded as almost completely irrelevant.
Kurtz calls this phenomena, “the principle of ethical decoupling… when two goods, A and B, by nature belong together, then if society accepts that B is detachable from A, it thereby accepts that A is detachable from B.” Marriage, once viewed as being coupled with child rearing, is now just viewed as a self-actualizing activity.
What is family?
In Gesson’s same radio interview, she stated, “I have three kids who have five parents, more or less, and I don’t see why they shouldn’t have five parents legally… I met my new partner, and she had just had a baby, and that baby’s biological father is my brother, and my daughter’s biological father is a man who lives in Russia, and my adopted son also considers him his father. So the five parents break down into two groups of three… And really, I would like to live in a legal system that is capable of reflecting that reality, and I don’t think that’s compatible with the institution of marriage.”
Confused? I am. But family confusion is not exclusive to same-sex relationships. Forty percent of children are routinely birthed outside marriage in this country. (Brookings Institute Report, “Strengthening Fragile Families”)
In the late 1990s, researchers at Princeton and Columbia Universities did a study of 5,000 newborns from 20 major cities in the U.S., of whom 3,600 were non-marital births. The report found “a large majority of unwed parents have close and loving relationships at the time of their child’s birth.” A little more than half were cohabiting and 32 percent were dating.
What happened with the unwed parents after five years? “About three times as many had a previous birth with another partner, leaving many of the children in these households to deal with a parent figure (the mother’s new boyfriend or husband) inside their home and a biological parent outside the home, an arrangement that can be stressful for all involved.” Only 31 percent were still together. One quarter of the unwed mothers lived with a new partner and a fifth had a child with a new partner. Nearly 60 percent of unwed mothers experienced three or more relationship transitions over the five years. For those couples who had split, only 5 percent of the fathers saw their child even once a month.
How do these children find stability? They don’t know who is going to be living in their household or whether they have to live with one foot in two households: mom’s and dad’s.
Three divine institutions
God ordained three institutions: home, church and government, the first of which was home. In Genesis 2, God created man and woman, and said that they would become one flesh. “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply…’” (Genesis 1:22)
Why don’t we follow God’s pattern? Because we place ourselves and our happiness on the pedestal of our hearts.
What happens when we follow God’s pattern? We live longer, we are happier, and we can raise happier and healthier kids, who have a greater capacity to perform well in school, graduate high school, go onto college and find higher paying careers.
Whose plan will you choose?
Patricia Hartman: CPA/partner at Kofsky, Hartman & Weinger, PA. www.khwcpa.com. Speaker. Author of “The Christian Prenuptial Agreement” available at www.ChristianPrenuptial.com. President of South Florida Word Weavers. Board me