Honoring and Cherishing Marriage

Helen Man

marriage today

In 2010, 39% of Americans thought traditional marriage (union between one man and one woman) was “outdated”. Since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide in 2013, American views on marriage have declined rapidly. According to Gallup Poll:

  • Americans are gradually accepting same-sex marriage. In 2011, only 48% of Americans approved of same-sex marriage but the percentage jumped up to 70% in 2021.
  • Views on the value of legal marriage have changed as well: Americans now believe that marriage is not important, and cohabitation is acceptable.
  • As for divorce, 79% of Americans now believe that divorce is normal (vs. 69% in 2011)
  • As for having a child out of wedlock, 54% thought it was morally acceptable in 2011, rising to 67% in 2021.
  • Only 29% of Americans believe that a legal marriage is needed when two people have children together (vs. 49% in 2006).

According to the United Nations statistics, the United States ranks first in the divorce rate. Half of the first-time marriages in the United States end in divorce. Many other countries follow this trend as well. 

Divorce rate rises due to COVID-19

After the outbreak of the pandemic, the divorce rates in the United States and China have risen sharply.

The reason of why divorce rates are increasing will startle you: the pandemic has caused couples to spend more time together, exposing each other’s shortcomings and detonating conflicts. Oftentimes quarrels about finance and various issues end in divorce.

The Value of Marriage

Although there could be many hardships in marriage, here are the reasons why we should value  traditional marriages:

1. Marriage is ordained by God

     In the beginning, God created all things, which include the heavens, the earth, and the first ancestor, Adam. God saw that it was not good for Adam to be alone, so he used Adam’s rib to create a woman, Eve, to help him. When Adam saw Eve, he was very satisfied, and even claimed that the woman was his “bone of bones and flesh of flesh”, which shows that the husband and wife are closely related and are an inseparable whole. Marriage is ordained by God. Therefore, it is sacred and must not be defiled.

2. Marriage is the union of a man and a woman

      God also commanded Adam and Eve to “be fruitful and multiply and fill the whole earth.” It can be seen that marriage is also a union of a man and a woman, and this union can produce children. Marriage is definitely not a same-sex union, it is something that God despises. The Bible speaks of God’s judgment of homosexuality numerous times.

3. Marriage is a lifelong union

     The stability of society depends on whether marriage and family systems are legitimate and stable.

4. The importance of a good marriage

     Marriage is a gift from God, because there is no happiness in life that can compare to having a successful marriage and a happy family. The family is a place of rest and support, and we draw strength from our family. There is no success in the world that can make up for the failure of marriage and family.

5. Failed marriage harms children

A failed marriage and a broken family can not only make both husband and wife suffer, but also bring harm to the children. A failed marriage can cause severe trauma to the children’s lives, resulting in depression, academic failure, self-abuse, indulgence, promiscuity, and even their future marriages and offspring will be negatively affected.

Now, you may ask: what should I do to have a happy marriage?

  1. Make wise choices
  2. Choose your future spouse wisely and observe carefully. One should consider the other person’s beliefs, character, physical and mental health, hobbies, work ethics, and skills to support a family.
  3. Those with bad habits (e.g. drug addiction, gambling, pornography, drunkenness) or poor character traits (e.g. being violent, selfish, gossipy, easily angered etc.), should not be considered. The differences in values can lead to a marriage crisis.
  4. Don’t get into marriage because of pressure or selfishness, and don’t overestimate the power of your love and ability to change the other person.

Fear not and pray without ceasing. Because God loves us so dearly that he even sent his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to die for us on the cross, he is a very loving and meticulous Father. The Bible reminds us: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5). When we rely on God, the loving Heavenly Father will surely guide and lead.

  • Handle marriage with care

A. Respect marriage and beware of third parties

  • The Bible says: “Marriage should be honored by all” (Hebrews 13:4). We must respect marriage and beware of the temptation of extramarital affairs, because affairs are the number one killer of marriage.
  • The place where extramarital affairs occurred the most was our workplace. In recent years, social networking sites have become the most likely place for extramarital affairs. Therefore, couples should not have their own confidants of the opposite sex, and never chat with the opposite sex on dating platforms, or meet alone. If we play with temptation, we’re bound to fall into Satan’s snare and destroy our marriages.

B. Sustaining a marriage with love

  • Leaving parents
    • The Bible says: “A man leaves his parents, and the two become one flesh”. Leaving one’s parents does not mean abandoning one’s parents and no longer honoring and supporting them. Many marriages hit the tide because of excessive parental involvement, which is counterproductive.
  • Staying together physically
    • In some marriages, the husband and wife are in difference places due to work for a long time. As a result, love could fade, and temptations could ruin marriages.
  • Self-discipline
    • You should continue to dress neatly, work hard, and be filial to the in-laws and elders when you are married.
    • Self-developments such as reading, and learning more about the world can make your spouse love you more and enhance your relationship.
  • Cherish your spouse
    • Do not replace your spouse with children, parents, work, etc. Try to cultivate common topics, interests and feelings between spouses. Giving compliments and praises will nurture the marriage.

C. Fill your home with love and laughter

  • Avoid name-calling, sarcasm, slander, and excessive complaints. These can cause miscommunication and gaps between spouses or family members.
  • Words should be tempered with kindness. Even if you really want to criticize the other party, please remember to use words lightly.
  • It’s also good for the husband and wife to cultivate a sense of humor.  Many quarrels can be laughed off.

           Lastly, and most importantly, if both husband and wife are Christians, their marriage and family are aimed at glorifying the Lord. The truth, goodness, and beauty of Christ are revealed everywhere in their lives. By the grace of God, they will keep their hearts from the temptation of divorce; they will forgive because God has forgiven their sins. They will ask God for strength to love their spouse and those around them with God’s great love; they do not overcome evil with evil, but with good; they not only love each other, but also teach their children to trust in Jesus Christ and to love others.

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