The Worthwhile Work of Marriage

Anything worth having in this world takes work.

We work to get better at our careers so we can make a living; to keep our bodies in shape to stay healthy; to fulfill our own desires and interests through our hobbies. We work around the house to keep it clean and presentable. We even work at our play, to compete in whatever sport we choose at a higher level than yesterday.

Our work is planned, strategic, purposeful. We wish for a desired outcome and, if we choose not to be lazy, we stay at it until our goal is accomplished.

So many people, however, seem to take for granted one of the most precious gifts God has given us: Something as important and foundational as marriage, the bedrock of civilization itself, also takes work.

Photo credit: Shutterstock
Photo credit: Shutterstock

Progressives have certainly taken advantage.

We live in a society where marriage is cheap, not just because a majority of Americans have chosen to reject God’s original blueprint (one man, one woman) altogether, but also because we’ve made divorce as easy as a piece of paper.

It’s no surprise, really, that the concept of “no fault” divorce, one which can be granted at the request of either party and doesn’t require any showing of wrongdoing, started in Russia just after the Bolshevik Revolution. Its purpose was to, at every level, completely revolutionize society.

Well, mission accomplished.

According to Nikolai Krylenko, a chief architect of the Soviet law, “Free love is the ultimate aim of a socialist State; in that State marriage will be free from any kind of obligation, including economic, and will turn into an absolutely free union of two beings.”

Other countries, including the United States starting in California from 1969 onward, began instituting similar laws. In the span of just a few years, divorce has gone all the way from a civil action where one of the parties in a marriage had to actually be at fault to the altogether opposite extreme. There’s no bother, no stigma and, unless there are kids involved, little baggage.

And so divorce becomes an “easy” solution to an “unhappy” marriage, much easier than actually putting in the effort it takes to make a marriage work. Happiness is, after all, just like love, a choice we make.

Progressives from the Bolsheviks onward have marginalized, attacked, and now have managed to redefine the institution of marriage until it has become little more than a mutually beneficial contract between two people. If one person doesn’t deem it beneficial, why the solution is simple, right?

It’s up to conservatives, particularly Christian conservatives, to not just protest loudly, but to lead by example, and to put in the WORK it takes to be a light that shines to the world on the issue of marriage.

Conventional wisdom has for years maintained that the overall divorce rate, Christians included, is 50 percent, thus relegating Christians to the unenviable position as hypocrites on one of the most important issues of our time. But the news isn’t as bad as all that.

According to Harvard-trained researcher Shaunti Feldhahn, whose books “The Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages” and “The Good News About Marriage” have shattered conventional wisdom about Christian marriage and divorce, the overall divorce rate in the United States is around 31 percent. For those who regularly attend church, however, the rate drops to 15 to 20 percent!

The rub here is that “nominal Christians,” or those who consider themselves Christians but aren’t actively engaged with the faith, are actually 20 percent more likely to get divorced than the general population.

Perhaps the lesson here is that working on our relationships with God is truly the first step toward working on our marriages. According to Feldhahn’s research, 53 percent of couples who consider themselves “happy” also consider God to be at the center of their marriage. Might one be directly tied to the other?

Marriage isn’t just a piece of paper the State gives us to approve our mutually agreed-upon contract with another human being. Rather, it is a holy, sanctified, Godly institution designed not just to bring future generations into the world, although that is certainly critical, but also to facilitate our happiness as we celebrate each other and a God who loves us and is at the center of our unions.

It takes work – a lot of it – but isn’t that the case with anything worth having?

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