“Gay Marriage is ruining the sanctity of marriage!” …isn’t that how the narrative goes?
I’m sure we’ve all heard this before. I myself have heard it from some church-going people myself in the past. And while I will agree that the Bible does lay out specific guidelines for what constitutes marriage, the simple fact of the matter is that we’ve already destroyed the sanctity of marriage all on our own.
In America, there is statistically one divorce every 13 seconds. That’s 6,646 divorces per day, and 46,523 divorce per week.
The average length of a marriage that ends in divorce is eight years.
People wait an average of three years after a divorce to remarry (if they remarry at all).
The average age for couples going through their first divorce is 30 years old.
Roughly 50% of marriages, both inside and outside of the church, end in divorce. But the gays are ruining marriage, right? We’ve ruined marriage on our own. A lot of Christians protest gay marriage, and that’s fine if you want to do so. But where are the anti-divorce rallies?
In the early 20th Century, less than 10% of marriages ended in divorce. When we look at today’s elderly generation, we see that most of the couples are still together. To them, ’til death do us part actually meant something. So what happened? You see, prior to the 1960’s and 1970’s, if you wanted to get a divorce, you had to have a good reason. You had to show proof to the courts that your spouse had cheated on you, or that they were abusive, and so on. But them came no-fault divorce laws. And suddenly, it didn’t matter! If you got bored with someone, or things didn’t go exactly the way you planned, then go ahead! Get that divorce! America is all about what you want. Who cares what someone else wants? As long as you get what you want and feel that you deserve!
Now, I’m not trying to bash on anyone that has gotten divorced, because it does happen. And thankfully we have God’s grace that can heal and restore in any situation and circumstance. But if there is a chance that something as special and holy as a marriage can be saved, I believe every possible effort should be given to do so.
I love this picture I saw online a few times. It has an elderly couple on it with the question:
Marriage is something incredibly special. And no, it will not always be easy. But it is worth fighting for. We all live in such an entitlement society where it’s all about me, me, me. Who cares if someone else gets hurt in the way, or if society ends up being much worse because of it? As long as I get what I want! As long as I’m happy!
Where were all of the pro-marriage protests 40 years ago?
And then to make matters worse and perpetuate the myth that divorce is normal and okay, we have published news sources saying crap like this:
The logic behind the above articles is that when an economy is bad, couples tend to stay married, even if they want to be divorced, because they still heavily rely on each other financially. But when things get better, yay divorce! I can finally move out on my own because I can get that job now! And hey, when a family splits apart, there is suddenly a need for two homes for the family to live in instead of just one! Wow! We’re boosting the housing market as well!
But temporary housing economic gains aside, does divorce really improve the economy? How does the breakdown of the family impact our society in reality?
First, children from fatherless homes are:
- Seven times more likely to live in poverty
- Six times more likely to commit suicide
- More than twice as likely to commit crime
- More than twice as likely to become pregnant out of wedlock
- Worse off academically and socially
- Worse off physically and emotionally when they reach adulthood
Second, children from fatherless homes account for:
- 60% of America’s rapists
- 63% of America’s youth suicides
- 70% of America’s long-term prison inmates
- 70% of America’s reform school attendees
- 71% of America’s teenage pregnancies
- 71% of America’s high school dropouts
- 72% of America’s adolescent murderers
- 85% of America’s youth prisoners
- 85% of America’s youth with behavioral disorders
- 90% of America’s runaways
Now, don’t get me wrong here. I’m not saying that if you grew up in a divorced household, or without a father, that you are among the statistics above, or that you are somehow any ‘less’ than someone who grew up with a mother and father. But you are among the exceptions. The above are statistical facts.
When we look at the other side statistically for children who did grow up in a two parent household:
Children from natural marriage homes are:
- Seven times less likely to live in poverty
- Six times less likely to commit suicide
- Less than half as likely to commit crime
- Less than half as likely to become pregnant out of wedlock
- Develop better academically and socially
- Healthier physically and emotionally when they reach adulthood
As I said before, statistically, when a nation has strong families, the nation itself is much stronger. Think about it. When we split children apart from their parents, those children are statistically much more likely to:
– Commit crimes (which places a burden on taxpayers as they go to jail, and further harms the economy because they do not have any jobs themselves and pay taxes that contribute to the economy)
– Live in poverty (which places a burden on taxpayers as they often rely on government assistance; i.e. welfare, food stamps, section 8 housing. They also are likely not paying income tax back to the government to contribute to the economy)
– Become pregnant out of wedlock (just further perpetuating a horrible cycle that statistically continues in poverty and placing a burden on taxpayers)
– Be worse off academically and drop out of school (“Would you like fries with that?”)
And I could go on and on.
If our government was really about promoting our nation’s best interests, we wouldn’t be spending so much time fighting over gay marriage, we would simply ban no-fault divorce laws.
The fault of many people within the church is that they point out verse after verse in the Bible stating that marriage is between one man and one woman, and that homosexuality is a sin. We point out verses like:
“Do not practice homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman. It is a detestable sin.”
And on God’s design for marriage:
“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’ ? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”
(By the way, to anyone who says Jesus never said anything about gay marriage, this verse right above invalidates that view. Jesus never had to say the specific words ‘homosexual’ or ‘gay’ because he simply didn’t have to. He states right there that marriage is designed by God as between a man and wife.)
And all of this is fine and well, but much of the church conveniently forgets about what Jesus talked about a whole lot more than homosexuality. Divorce.
Some Pharisees came and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” “What did Moses command you?” he replied. They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.” “It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law,” Jesus replied. “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” When they were in the house again, the disciples asked Jesus about this. He answered, “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.”
Matthew 5:31-32“It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery.
So what can be done?
1. Stay married. We need to man up and learn to solve our problems instead of throwing them away. When life gets tough and your marriage gets rocky, put on your big-boy pants and work through it. Literally, almost every societal problem we face in our country is a direct result of people that grow up in broken homes and families.
2. Stop having sex before marriage. Statistics have proven that couples who engaged in premarital sex are much more likely to not stay committed in their marriage, and are 50% more likely to get a divorce later on in life than those who stayed abstinent.
3. Don’t hypocritically judge and be consistent. I’m speaking mainly to the church crowd here. Yes, I know the Bible says that marriage is between one man and one woman. But Jesus had a whole lot more to say on the matter of marriage in regards to divorce than he ever did in regards to homosexuality.
1 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. 3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
A big misconception most people have about what Christ said about judging is that he simply said, “Do not judge.” As in never judge anyone EVER.But we have to take the context into consideration. Read on, and we see that Jesus says to not hypocritically judge. If you want to point out the faults in someone else, you first have to get rid of your own. The Bible then says to speak the truth in love. And so if you really want to take a crystal clear stance on marriage, do it consistently. If you’re going to point out the faults of gay marriage, make sure you even more so point out the even more destructive faults of divorce. If you’re going to fight for marriage, fight for marriage in all circumstances. And to the churches in particular, make sure you have resources available to fight for marriage. Go through every possible step and counseling imaginable to help your members out.
4. Stop acting like someone who is gay is a worse sinner than you are. The reality is that we all are sinners and all fall short of the glory of God. There is not a single person alive who has never done something that God says is wrong. We are all in equal need of salvation.
There is no difference, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified freely by his grace,through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
We love to point out other peoples’ faults while ignoring our own. We say that God said practicing homosexuals are going to Hell, but forget that he also said anyone who has every been sexually immoral, placed something else as a first priority instead of God, stolen something, ever been drunk, ever told a lie, ever even simply lusted about someone or something, are also going to go to Hell.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11
9 Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
Was homosexuality singled out in that verse? No. Not in any way, shape, or form. But we act like it is. The really important verse is Verse 11, where Paul goes on to say, that is what some of you were. But that God died for everyone, and that anyone who chooses to accept Christ into their life, (no matter what their pasts, presents, futures, sexual orientations, predispositions, or other sins), can have salvation through Christ and gain eternal life.
That’s what the Gospel is truly about. An no matter what happens to marriage laws in this country, God will never change, and the need for a Savior will never change.
Change always begins in the individual home. And then the church or community. And then the city. And then the state. And then the nation. And then the world. It has to start somewhere, and it starts with you.
“Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.” – Rick Warren
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