more on marriage

DISCLAIMER: This post is more personal than I am accustomed to writing.  If you’re here for the doctrinal/historical material or the links, feel free to ignore this. 

While browsing yesterday, I came across this

I suppose I have a real problem with “studies” like this one.  There are all kinds of conclusions that could be drawn, but what comes to mind first is this one. 

This is “science” without responsibility and without ethics, science in service to the zeitgeist.  This is the science of abortion, euthanasia and the atom bomb. 

I’m still a young man; I’ve been married only a short while (eight years, this year) and I am now the father of two little one year old girls.  All that to say that I’m not an innocent bystander when it comes to “research” like this.  Generationally speaking, I am the child of boomers (which, by the MSM’s lights, makes me an “X-er”).  I experienced first-hand the dark side-effects of the generation that had it all and that squandered it on the sexual revolution, the advent of no-fault divorce, and the drug culture.  As a child, I paid a high price as my own parents evaded responsibility and sought to pursue their passions and desires instead. 

I and others like me are left to clean up the mess our parents made in our families.  I (and many others) struggle daily to build enduring marriages (the ultimate counter-cultural act in this day and age, no?)and to raise our children in the Church (what happens though when the Church Herself is blind to these issues?), form them spiritually and with respect to their character.  We struggle to build relationships that do not have, as their foundation, a man and a woman joined only by pleasure and self-indulgence falsely called “love.”  But we cannot do that alone.  Families who are left to fend for themselves in the face of a corrosive culture and society in which many of the key pillars of stability have collapsed are likely to collapse themselves.  This is why community, to my mind, is so important.

This is the main reason why I am so insistent upon viewing the Church, the local congregation, as polis (after Hauerwas and MacIntyre) or as an alternative, counter-cultural community (see Gerhard Lohfink’s Jesus and Community for this language).  When the Church is riddled with an individualistic ethos, when it’s “every man for himself,” when there is no sense of integral (even inviolable) community, you are bound to see the surrounding culture seep in in destructive ways.  Our arguments over MDR are a testimony to this.

 I’ve said more than enough on this topic for now.  I’ll try to leave it alone for a while.

3 responses to “more on marriage

  1. Nothing could more beautifully illustrate the root of what’s wrong with America today than this MSNBC ‘study’ on marital happiness. Telling couples “don’t have kids” is the green light to hedonism in the extreme.

    Thanks for bringing this to (our) attention.

  2. Due to marital problems my wife and I have had for many years sometimes I feel like suing the church of Christ my wife and I got married in. Or at least the eldership and the preacher that married us.

    I realize I bear responsibility for the choice of mate, but looking back at it there was virtually no pastoral support or input from these men even though they knew of issues my mate had since before our engagement that have subsequently plagued our marriage for years.

    Even worse is the lack of support from these people in our marriage in the years since and the apparent lack or responsibility they feel for our situation.

  3. Ken, I’m sorry you’ve gone through that. Comfort and support are not best given in the virtual context of a comment box, but as much as possible I want to let you know that.

    I get the sense that there are others out there like you: casualties of the poorly thought out understanding of marriage that exists in many NI congregations and elders who are businessmen rather than spiritual leaders.

    I don’t say that to blame anybody in particular. I know that there have to have been preachers and elders out there in NI churches who, during the MDR debates, kept their heads and down and worked to support the marriages in their congregations. By their very humility we have never heard of them, and probably never will.

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