Keeping Matrimony Holy Starts with Singles
- Tuesday, January 17, 2012
EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is the latest installment of Solo Zone, a monthly article series focusing on believers who have taken advantage of serious opportunities God has laid in their faith walks—and whose singleness actually works to their benefit, as well as God’s glory.
The institution of marriage.
Governments issue marriage licenses, tax people according to their marital status, grant divorces, identify children by their legally recognized surnames, and allow residency based on a spouse’s citizenship.
Yet in actuality, don’t governments borrow their authority over marriage from God and his church? Shouldn’t believers in Christ actually serve as stewards of this holy covenant?
After all, governments didn’t invent the concept of marriage; God did. Marriage, and the family a marriage immediately creates, serve as society’s basic building block by virtue of its, well . . . virtue. Virtue as a prized set of interpersonal relationships in which exclusive rights and responsibilities are shared and guarded.
Virtue, however, cannot be encoded into law. Neither can the logic and pragmatism of marriage and the family unit, even though governments recognize them as efficient ways of managing populations. To the extent that the virtue of marriage originates with God, then, we people of faith bear the primary obligation of serving as its advocates by modeling it well and preserving its purpose.
For the most part, unfortunately, Western thought has parted ways with matrimony’s virtue and pragmatism. Witness our evolving age of divorce, cohabitation, and gay marriage, all destructive forces working against biblical provisions for marriage and the family that no amount of legislation can preserve. Perhaps now more than ever, those for whom marriage and family were originally designed need to renew our commitment to them.
Whether we’re married, or not.
In fact, the responsibility of keeping matrimony holy starts with us singles.
As media and society invite non-marrieds to march with them towards an increasingly individualistic nihilism, featuring the purported irrelevance of marriage as its centerpiece, single believers are in a unique position to champion both what we may hope for ourselves someday, and that which God is currently withholding from us.
Single for All the Wrong Reasons
Part of our struggle involves the warped perspective our culture holds of singlehood. Perhaps you read Kate Bolick’s sprawling cover story in The Atlantic last November, “All the Single Ladies,” in which this post-modern feminist writer gives an epic narrative of why at 39, she’s still single.
Like many today, Bolick pretends to esteem matrimony, but she makes no pretense of considering it holy. She’s bitter over not finding a man who’s the perfect blend of arm candy and aggressive careerist. She’s decided that America’s new feminism has finally conquered the anachronistic baggage of conventional wedlock, and too many of the self-centered men she’s met are only too anxious to oblige her misconception. Indeed, her hobby these days has become successfully feigning respectability despite years of gratuitous sex which, to her credit, she admits has actually been stripped of all its eroticism.
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