National Marriage week is this week. This is a week in which the benefits of marriage for society and for the individuals in a marriage are highlighted.
Marriage comes with many inherent benefits because marriage is God’s idea and as such it is for His glory and for humankind’s good. As our Creator, God designed this relationship understanding the uniqueness of men and women and their unique procreative ability. Marriage, by God’s design, brings one man and one woman together in a mutual lifelong, monogamous relationship, generally with the ability to create new life without outside help.
Unfortunately, as we are well aware, God’s plan for marriage and family is under vicious and continuous attack. Our high court has legally redefined marriage to include two persons of the same sex. Court cases almost immediately ensued after that 2015 decision to allow for multiple people and any mix of sexes.
Recent surveys claim the majority of Americans don’t believe marriage and childbearing are priorities today. We know the average age of marriage has continued to rise over the last couple of decades, which inherently means couples having fewer children. And some married couples are deciding they don’t want children, whether biologically or through adoption.
Wisconsin’s divorce laws are some of the worst in the country. We have no-fault, no-contest, which means no spouse has to show or prove any “cause” for a divorce and no spouse can contest a requested divorce. These laws allow marriages to be pretty easily dissolved in the event that one spouse claims “unhappiness” or “irreconcilable differences.”
Divorce is hard on the man and the woman and is especially hard on children, putting them at great risk for academic difficulties, poor health, trouble with the law, teen pregnancy, drug and alcohol abuse, and much more.
Beyond all this, we know cohabitation rates are rising as people decide they don’t need the commitment of marriage to live together, and in many cases to raise children together.
All of this and more is very real. But the important message today is that we are not doomed to have marriage put on the ash heap or garbage pile of American history and to become extinct.
Christians should really be the best advocates and champions for God’s plan for marriage and family. Our churches and families should show God’s goodness in giving us this institution. Every marriage should be recognized and celebrated—new ones and long-lasting ones in particular. Churches need to provide strong premarital counseling, preferably with an inventory is imperative for engaged couples, and should establish a marriage mentoring program for newly married couples in particular. Ongoing marriage enrichment should be part of every Bible-believing church.
Families should talk positively about marriage, modeling before the next generation the beauty of this earthly picture of Christ’s relationship with His bride, the Church. One of the best ways for the next generation to want to marry and to have children is to see marriage done well in their own families.
Wisconsin Family Council believes honoring marriages that go the distance is also appropriate and helpful. That’s why we are launching a Marriage Hall of Fame as we look for the couples in Wisconsin who have been married the longest. We want to honor these couples whose marriages have weathered the storms, enjoyed the good times and have gone the distance. We want to hear the stories of these couples and get their best marriage advice. Information on applying for this Hall of Fame is available at wifamilycouncil.org. That’s wifamilycouncil.org. There’s a slide on the home page that will take you to the application form. Applications are due by Thursday, February 17. We will be happily and proudly announcing the inaugural inductees into Wisconsin’s Marriage Hall of Fame later this month.
Marriage is the foundational institution of every church, community, state, and nation. It is the institution that allows us to be self-governing, well-ordered, prosperous, and free. When marriage as God designed it is strong and vibrant, our churches, communities, states, and nation are strong and vibrant. Sharing the beauty and benefits of this unique relationship is altogether appropriate not just this week, but every week of every year.
This is Julaine Appling for Wisconsin Family Council reminding you the Prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”
Our mission is to advance Judeo-Christian principles and values in Wisconsin by strengthening, preserving, and promoting marriage, family, life and liberty.
© 2021 Wisconsin Family Council
PO Box 14440
Madison, WI 53708-0440