Perhaps one of the reasons that increasing numbers of people are divorcing, or not getting married in the first place, is because they don’t understand the basic purpose of marriage. Smart Marriages has provided a concise summary of an article from the UK that describes the dilemma. As a response to that dilemma, I am providing a well-written paper from one of my students, Courtney Newberry (Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling student at Dallas Theological Seminary). My assumption is that if we knew more about what marriage is suppose to be, we would know better how to prepare ourselves for it, how to manage it better, and how to keep it together happily for a lifetime. First, the dilemma:
Helen Nugent, The Times March 26, 2008 (Click for the full article)
Mike Warburton, senior tax partner at the accountants Grant Thornton, said: There really are no tax incentives for marriage these days. Labour removed the married couples allowance and when you look at that in conjunction with the way tax credits work then you are better off being a single parent. The average age for marrying has gone up by about five years since 1991, and in 2006 the average age for a first marriage was 31.8 for men and 29.7 for women. Furthermore, since 1981, the number of unions that were the first for both partners has fallen by more than a third.
David Davis, the Shadow Home Secretary, said: This is a sad indictment of the Government¹s policies, which have penalised families and fuelled family breakdown.
UK DIVORCE ALSO ON THE RISE: Half of marriages ‘will end in divorce.’ Nearly half of all marriages will end in divorce, according to a study published today.
About 45% of marriages will not survive if current divorce rates continue – with almost half of these divorces happening before the couples reach their 10th anniversary.
The study by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) is published just a day after reports that marriage rates have fallen to the lowest level since records began.
God’s Purpose for Marriage
The health of the institution of marriage is wavering in America today. According to the United States Marriage Index, the percentage of those couples whose first marriages were still intact dropped from 73.3% in 1970 to a staggering 58.5% in 2000. A growing number of children today are living with only one parent as opposed to both parents in past decades. The reasons for getting married appear to be as flimsy as the marriages themselves. Finding a “soul mate” has become the main criteria in this generation’s quest for a partner, including a time of cohabitation to ensure sexual and relational compatibility. It is evident that there has been a shift away from the sacredness of marriage, which has resulted in brokenness and loss. This paper will seek to show that God’s intended heart for marriage is something altogether different from the world’s view. God’s purpose for marriage is to make each couple more like Christ by teaching them how to love like Christ, to submit like Christ, and to persevere like Christ.
LOVE LIKE CHRIST
God designed marriage to teach his people how to love like Christ. “Marriage creates a climate where this love is put to the test.” In Matthew 22:36-40, Jesus says that the greatest commandment in the Law is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all Read the rest of this entry »