Friday, February 27, 2015
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Morality in America

Morality in America

When studying the founding of the United States, you can’t help but encounter the faith of the nation’s forefathers. Time and again they recognized God’s hand in the shaping of America. You will find Him repeatedly mentioned in their words and documents. And you will find Him having an active, vibrant role in the country’s early history.

Today, God continues His work in America – but it’s in a nation that has clearly lost its moral compass. Every week, “Morality in America” will address the myriad of moral concerns facing the United States and undermining its Godly heritage.  After you read, remember to intercede in prayer for America – that this nation will return to the Christian standards that once defined it.

Is Marriage Extinct?

Morality in America

Competing with Hollywood’s view of relationships

By Diann Noles

There’s an old song written by James Van Heusen and Sammy Cahn and sung by Frank Sinatra that once described the wonderful relationship between a man and a woman…

Love and marriage, love and marriage, Go together like a horse and carriage This I tell you brother You can't have one without the other

If only that were true now! However, in America today, instead of being something widely sought after, marriage is in danger of becoming extinct as more and more couples intentionally choose to abandon the institution held so dearly just a couple of generations ago.

Why the change?

For centuries, most societies recognized that marriage was a stabilizing factor, benefitting not only the individual, but the community as well. According to recent studies, married couples overall are healthier, wealthier, suffer less from severe depression and dementia and volunteer in their communities more. Furthermore, the children of married couples typically do better both academically and socially, and are more likely to succeed in their careers.

One would think that any intimate relationship – such as cohabitation – would provide the same benefits as marriage, right? Wrong! According to Focus on the Family, several studies explored whether cohabitation provided the same benefits as marriage, and found they did not. In fact, several researchers noted that cohabiters have poorer psychological well-being than married couples, “suggesting that the protection effects of marriage are not as applicable to cohabitation.”

Despite the research, there appears to be a trend, largely driven by Hollywood and “social progressives” to make marriage – the monogamous union between one man and one woman – an endangered institution. To these activists, same-sex “marriage” and pornographic entertainment are just the “natural evolution” of society. If the number of books and movie tickets sold to the erotica travesty Fifty Shades of Grey determines “natural evolution,” then they may be right!

Unfortunately, it’s not only “liberals” who have made this book and movie some of the most successful commodities on the market today. While researching for their anti-Shades of Grey website, Christian authors Dr. Juli Slattery and Dannah K. Gresh were shocked to discover that Christian women were mesmerized by the series, which “honors and glorifies bondage, dominance, sadism and masochism.”

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation just launched a new website to provide resources to oppose what they say glamorizes and legitimizes both sexual and domestic violence. “Now, with the overwhelming popularity of the book, mainstream opinion makers, the media, and celebrities are legitimizing this violence too, the Center says”

If Hollywood’s view is wrong, then what is the answer?

“While marriages are challenged by numerous trials, both old and modern (divorce, abuse, pornography, economic difficulties, etc.), the witness of married couples to the beauty of lifelong marital love remains a sign of hope and joy in our culture,” Bethany Meola, assistant director of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Secretariat of Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth told The Christian Post during the Fifth Annual National Marriage Week.

This year, National Marriage Week was observed February 7-14. A movement overseen by several groups and churches, National Marriage Week calls on pastors and priests to promote and to strengthen marriages through church resources, making marriage a priority in family care.

Why should the church be involved?

Throughout much of the world’s history, marriage has been the foundation of the family, honored and unquestioned as a God-ordained institution. For Jews, the marriage covenant symbolically represents the covenant between God and His people, Israel. It is equally symbolic for Christians; in fact, many of today’s versions of the traditional Christian marriage ceremony begin: Marriage is one of the oldest and most sacred institutions of God. It was established in the garden of Eden, graced by the personal presence of Christ at Cana of Galilee, likened by the Apostle Paul to the mystical union which exists between Christ and the Church, and is declared in Holy Scripture to be honorable before all men.”

Scripture repeatedly records the importance of marriage in all aspects of life – physical and mental health, wealth and provision and the procreation and raising of children. Through marriage, God gives a picture of His enduring love to humanity, with His plans and desires for an eternal relationship.

This week, please pray:

Diann Noles is a former editor and writer for Christian publications in Tucson, AZ and Portland, OR. She now serves as Public Relations Director for a major Christian non-profit organization. She and her husband Bill live in Tucson, AZ and have two sons and four grandchildren.

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