Marriage is an institution worth saving. It can be the source of greatest joy and stability for the couple as well as for children. It is something that is a blessing to those inside it and for those to whom it ministers.
However, it is being attacked from every angle– internally and externally.
Externally, it is devalued by same sex unions and cohabitation. It is degraded and cheapened by these in the sense that if anyone can be partners at any time and in by whatever means necessary, why should a man and a woman feel the desire or necessity to marry?
Internally, it is attacked by the greater prevalence of divorce. Since more people are getting divorced and it has easier to follow this route, more couples are settling disagreements in court with attorneys than in their houses with love for one another seeking to place the other first.
So, how would you choose to save it?
“We need something to help people overcome these traumatic problems, and subsidized lingerie would mean women would feel a lot better, and their hubbies will feel a lot better,” Lee told Australia’s AAP news agency.
“But good lingerie is very expensive. You used to be able to buy a pair of knickers for 1 dollar, but now 20 dollars will get you very little.”
I had to laugh at the part about buying “very little” in the same discussion of lingerie, but I think this guy is missing the key part here. We’re not going to strengthen marriage through underwear.
I believe that the secret to building marriage back up has to begin with attacking what has made it weakest. I think that you have to remove the possibility of divorce. I can hear some of you now– “but what if the wife beats her husband and constantly sends him to the emergency room? Shouldn’t he have a way to get out?” In short, no– at least, not in the ways he can now.
I’m all for protecting a battered spouse and children– through the criminal system and imprisoned if necessary. But eliminating the possibility of divorce would go a long way to making marriage stronger. For one thing, you would think about who it was that you were going to marry a lot harder if you knew that there wasn’t an escape clause.
The next thing that I would do to save marriage was to stop any redefinition or copies. I would reinforce the stigma that used to be on those who “lived in sin” and state, like they did in Missouri, that they either have to get married or get out. Take away the domestic partnership benefits, the joint bank accounts for unmarried people– all the perks that those that are living together get that are breaks that used to be for married people alone.
Finally, I would offer easier access to counseling, and have some kind of monthly or yearly checkups with someone so that if there are issues that need to be worked through they can be dealt with instead of allowing them to fester.
What would you do to save marriage?