Reader Responses: Is Marriage a Dying Institution? (#101-203)

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Editor’s Note:  In the Marriage Memo of May 16, 2011, Dave Boehi wrote on “Is Marriage a ‘Dying Institution’?”  Readers were invited to respond, and included here are some of the responses we received. Click here to read additional responses.

101.  In my humble opinion, marriage is not a dying institution. We humans are more comfortable for it to be and ‘outdated’ thing than work hard to get through the problems of having a relationship. My parents have been married since college. It would be completely untrue to say that their time together has been perfect. They always have troubles and go through pain, but there is one difference between them and most people agreeing with this article. They actually try to work through the problems they encounter, and with the good Lord’s help they succeed. Every relationship created will have its hard times. Everyone will get in an argument eventually. What matters is how the people involved resolve the argument.

This weakening of belief in marriage is not a positive thing at all. What will happen when we turn our backs on something that has kept our society together for centuries? On a historical outlook, marriage is dated to go back to the beginning of creation (if you are a Christian) or since humans evolved (if you are an evolutionist). With another outlook, I’m not surprised at all that something like this has come up. Marriage is, by today’s standards, simply inconvenient!

Marriage takes away the pleasure of doing whatever you want with no one to be accountable to. If you cheat on your boyfriend, there could be some sadness. But look out if you are found with someone else during your married life, you are going to get a divorce and that happens to cost money.

When asking what should be done about this ‘problem’, there is only one real answer. People will always want to push the line farther and farther away from what people during the 1700’s would of considered against the law. The only way to resolve this giant issue is to go to what is at the heart of it; sin. You can go to a counselor. You can try and get help. If you aren’t right inside, that is not going to do anything at all.

America is in a dire situation. With people openly expressing opinions that go against our very basis of founding, what is next? It is simply a look into the future and what might happen if the world’s hearts stay the same.

102. What about the children?  Where is the consideration for them?  If we go to a temporary marriage, let’s say 5 years, the children are being exposed to at least 3 different step parents.  That sounds more like lust than love.  Lust fades, love grows.  You can not even begin to know a person in 5 years.  I am not willing to expose my children to predators.

I have been married for almost 25 years to the same man and no other.  We are still learning about each other.  Has it been a picnic everyday?  Absolutely not!  Would I trade him for another absolutely not!  He is the father to our 3 children. We have 2 girls and one boy.  The oldest are now adults.  Either one of us could have been completely selfish and looked for a fling or something new and exciting but we know that would be devastating to our children and to each other.

I believe TV, movies and today’s popular music convince people that there is always something better than what you already have so people keep looking.  These media lies show unreal perfection in both men and women.  I personally am thankful for the difficult times my husband and I have withstood because through these times we have grown closer together and closer to our Savior.


103.
 I read your article and I had seen the previous article by Cameron Diaz. In Hollywood, it is a dying institution. I hated to hear the Mel Gibson left his wife! The creator of The Passion? How can this be? But Hollywood lives in a different world than the rest of America, they don’t have a grasp of reality.

I think what is wrong with marriage, is an inherent symptom of what is wrong with society. People go into marriage young and for the wrong reasons. If you go into marriage with huge hopes and aspirations, and that another person will fulfill your dreams, it’s bound to let you down. Unrealistic expectations of marriages is a huge problem. People are not taught fundamental ways to live, cope, and tolerate differences of others. Society has put expectations on men and women that are not realistic at all and they center of marriage has to start with Jesus as its core.

Marriage is hard, it can be rocky, it has its ups and downs. It can be very stressful, but we aren’t taught how to deal with these things. We try to limp by and figure it out as we go. We need reality TV alright, but the educational kind that helps people deal with these sort of ups and downs. How about a reality TV show on marriages and how to fix them? LOL

Thanks for sharing your very important messages, I enjoy reading them.

104. I read your marriage memo and even though I would like to believe that marriage is not a dying institution when I look around me I see divorce everywhere. Not just the non Christian world but the Christian world too.

It saddens me because we have the tools to work with. The reason for all these divorces I believe is simple people have become selfish no one wants to live by the Bible and die to themselves to make the marriage work. At the slightest hiccup on the way they call it quits. Marriage is hard hard work. It takes a lot of forgiveness, understanding, patience submitting, esteeming the other better than oneself which means the big I has to die. Every verse of 1 Cor 13 needs to be put into practice but these qualities are alien to the present generations.

I have by God’s grace been married to the same man for 35 years. We have five children. One is married and has a son. It has not been an easy ride in fact it has been quite bumpy but we kept reminding ourselves for better of for worse, in good times and in hard times in sickness and in good health whether we are wealthy or not and believe me we have been tested but we just plodded on and made a go of it. There were times when we would have liked to throw in the towel but having stuck it out we are now so thankful that we did.

Today when we look back we don’t even remember what all the ruckus was about those many times we argued and fought, in fact if we do remember some of the reasons they seem so frivolous and silly now. It is sad because at the time each of us felt we were right but fortunately we both learned a long time ago it’s better to be happy than right.

The Bible was our only source of marriage counseling. We have never been to counselors, psychiatrists or any of the like. I am thankful to the Lord for giving us the strength to stay together because we see our daughter and her husband working at their marriage in much the same way and that’s one of the best inheritances we could have given our children. We haven’t left them with a fortune but we have left them an example of staying the course in a marriage which I think is more precious than silver or gold or any material fortune of this world.

I just hope and pray more pastors would speak on the dying to oneself as that was Christ’s attitude while he walked on this earth, he gave up His all for the Church His bride and He is our perfect example.


105.
 Wow! You’ve opened up the floodgates. I could write a book on this topic, but I will try to be succinct. For context, I have been saved most of my life and married for almost 18 years. I have three wonderful kids and a husband. We are both professionals and work out of the home. There haven’t been many happy days in my marriage beyond the wedding day and short periods of peace interspersed over the 18 years. My prayers for joy and contentment in my marriage “seem” to go unanswered – I know this is not possible, so I will concede that maybe I can’t hear what God is saying to me. So my comments below are based on my own human analysis of my marriage and those of several of my Christian friends.

Marriage is much more complicated now than it has ever been. In the 50’s, women had few choices. They got married, raised their kids, and kept house. Expectations of each marriage partner were pretty clear. Women stayed in marriages (even bad marriages) because they had no where else to go and no way to support themselves and the kids. Men stayed in marriages because it was an accepted practice – let’s face it, marriages have historically served men – but women were taken care, so to speak, so it seemed to be a fair exchange.

In many of today’s marriages, both parents work, yet the woman still bears much of the burden of keeping the home and raising the kids. Women have come to appreciate that they have more to offer and that they can take care of themselves. There are more pressures on marriages – due to the stress of dual incomes/work schedules, overactive kids, misaligned goals and expectations. Communication is critical, but who has time to talk, and how do you get beyond the accusations? I have a daughter and she told me once that after seeing our marriage, she didn’t want to marry. How’s that for setting an example.

I believe in marriage and I can see that if we follow God’s plan (do not be unequally yoked, honor and submit to one another, pray without ceasing, God above all else, raise the kids in the fear and admonition of God, and honor the other above yourself), but I don’t see the path to there from where I am. On the worst days, I am very aware of my options – as a professional woman I don’t need to one thing women valued from marriage in the past, security – and all the other things, love, happiness, joy, shared dreams – are elusive.

I often think if I had fewer options, I would find a way to just dig in my heels and be content in my marriage – but the reality is I don’t have to put up with anything less than what I want. I know – this is selfish thinking, but everyone wants to be happy – Christians and non-Christians, and based on my notes, many people find it difficult to find this happiness in marriage. Let’s face it, marriage is a very difficult institution!! It’s not for the fainthearted.

106.  Why would anyone be interested in what everyone “thinks” about the answer to this question? Truth is not established by surveys, votes, opinions, or popularity. So, why even ask about this issue? Do you really think you will benefit from the results of this survey? Better, seek what marriage is and why we have marriage. It is a gift from God our creator. Don’t bore me with the libertine behavior of those who reject their creator and His rules for life. I can tell you about people who are anatomically confused and don’t even understand what things are for. Would that be useful information for you? Are we having fun here? I am!

107.  No, marriage is not an outdated dying institution.  How could something created by God be outdated?  Only to those who don’t know God can anything from Him be outdated.  Those of us who love the Lord and struggle with marital issues need resources that come from those like yourselves who have the burden of broken marriages on their hearts.  Thank you for what you do through Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior.

108. I think marriage is unfortunately a dying institution among some. There is an increasing population that finds anything hard, just worth dropping. If there is something to be worked at, it is just easier not to do it. They throw things away, including people. There seems to be no sentimental value to things anymore.

For others, we see the value in family, family life, family activities and family closeness. I think it comes from, at least for me, the values my parents showed me while growing up. We didn’t fight on holidays, we needed to eat dinner together, it was not a holiday unless we were with family. Sometimes family drives us crazy, but they are family and should be forgiven. Parents fight, but they make up because keeping the family together is important.

We made traditions and memories together. These shared experiences bind us together. At certain times of the year, we do certain things. In the fall, my family expects to have candy corn on the kitchen counter to eat. My husband keeps saying how we don’t need the sugar, and I know this, but we need the consistency. the kids expect it and look forward to it. It’s what we do. If they can’t be home, I send them some. This is the same for many other small things that make each season special.

We talk about and look forward to them adding members to our family. I know things will change, but I know my kids will want to keep some traditions. My husband and I look forward to having some free time to do some things together, but I know our kids will come back to visit.

We established family time. We watched movies, played games, etc and genuinely showed our kids that they matter to us. Our marriage has worked in unison with this notion. I can’t imagine life without my husband. There is something to be said about life being exciting and life being comfortable. We need to make life exciting for us.

I believe marriage is portrayed wrong in the media. Sex in a marriage becomes a closeness between two people. It is definitely not the center of a marriage. (And I can say this, being married to my high school sweetheart for almost 23 years) Our sex life is boring sometimes, but we care about each other. Marriage is more about being compatible and enjoying spending time with someone.

You definitely can’t be selfish to stay married. You have to love/give to the other person. I think this is something people aren’t learning anymore. People want what they want and they want it now. They don’t care who they hurt in the process and they certainly don’t consider the consequences.

What should we do to save the institution of marriage? Well, I was really hoping with the bad economy, that moms would be forced to stay home again. Having that home base being taken care of and held down is important. Holding the family together goes hand in hand with holding the marriage together. People need to be shown the good things about marriage and get away from the negative associated with it. If people want the true American dream, they need what matters. If you have a great house, a high paying job, lots of friends, etc. you may feel and seem successful to many, but you don’t have what truly matters!

When you leave this earth, you can’t take any of that with you, but when you have love, real deep, over a lifetime love from someone who knows you completely and still wants to spend their days with you, you have true success. You leave behind memories for others to talk about. all of those other things can be replaced by new people and new “things”. When you can’t be replaced and you leave a void in someone’s life, you have reached true success. This is what we need to show/teach our young generation to turn things around and show them why the institution of marriage is so important!


109.
 I think marriage is a dying institution, but that it is not God’s will.  I completely believe that God has planned for a man and woman to marry and have a family and raise their children up to love and fear the Lord together.  However, I see that the culture today does not value marriage.  I see that the culture today does not value God or the Bible no matter how many churches there are.

I also think that a major problem today in marriage is that most of us in the middle age and younger age groups don’t know how to relate in a healthy way with a spouse.  It has not been modeled for us.  We don’t know how to discuss or argue in a healthy way and we don’t know what to do in times of stress.  I think better discipleship in the church would help because married couples who have at least some of it right would be mentors to those who are lost.

I have long craved to have a more mature Christian mentor to help me in my walk with the Lord and to learn from in my personal life, including marriage.  I have been seeking this but have not found it.  I believe God has directed us, maybe even commanded us, to disciple one another, but I don’t know where it is happening.  Maybe everyone else feels just as lost as I do and don’t feel equipped to disciple.  I love God, I am saved, but I am weak in my relationship with God and my marriage is a disaster and has been for 11 yrs.  I want us to have a godly couple that we can learn from before it is too late.  Then I would like to pass on our knowledge to others in a discipleship manner where there is a relationship between the couples.  Relationships is where we really learn and grow.

I guess that is my 2 cents.  But I think the weakening of marriage will be the beginning of the end.  I think the difference between right and wrong will blur even more and therefore crime will increase.  I believe children will have increased behavioral problems and will fail to meet their potential because they won’t have the support of their parents working together to support and love them.  I think that depression and suicide will increase because of the insecurity men and women will feel.  I am sure that there will be more negative consequences, but I can’t think of them right now.  I just know that what God has created is there for a reason.  I pray for marriages.

110.  Sadly–it certainly is a dying institution in most places. It certainly is a negative thing in the eyes of God & “born again” Christians trying to live according to the Bible.  Thirdly, sadly not much can be done with people who won’t read a bible, believe in the truth of the bible, don’t really believe in single holy God, Jesus, & the Holy Spirit, believe there are many ways to Heaven–except by revival & prayer by the church of God–but I can’t see that happening because the bible says sin will abound in the last days–wrong will be called right–& we’re really seeing that now! Jesus is at the doorstep!

111.  I think that marriage has been defamed by people who don’t know how to stick it out and be committed for a lifetime. There is way too much instant gratification in our culture.  They do not know the benefits of knowing someone very well and still being committed when it gets hard and then having the joy of the results of a lifetime of commitment.  Anything that is hard has greater potential for satisfaction when you have gone the distance.

The weakening of marriage has led to more poverty, more spouse abuse, more child abuse, more crime and a breakdown in our society.  We have not learned to love unconditionally and love someone through the tough times.

We need to pass laws that will make it harder to divorce and require a waiting period and solid counseling before couples are allowed to divorce.  We also need better pre-marital counseling and perhaps even classes in the schools about what a good marriage is all about.  These all need to use a biblical model without necessarily stating that outright.   That’s the only thing that works.   And then Christian marriages need to set the bar higher and show how it works.


112.
 I have married, had two children and divorced.  Let me share my life-lessons:

I have seen two boys grow up to be confused and uncertain how to be men in the society.

A mom cannot play two roles and provide the male qualities only a present, involved father can. It saddens me greatly when I think of the many children who need to overcome what they lack because of other peoples’ choices that the children had no control over.   I wonder if this has been a part of the confusion of many young people today regarding their sexuality? I wonder if the fear of relationship leads them to not attempt them?

I’m not sure what marriage between a man and a woman would be replaced with.  In our self-sufficient promoting society, women are reluctant to need a man, so I can imagine a couple of single moms, or a lesbian couple becoming a new design.  I’m scared to see the results on children of that, only time will tell.

Maybe a poll can be taken asking the children what they want in a family?    My guess is that they want the relationships with the people that they love and know as their parents.
113.  My husband and I attended a friend’s graduation ceremony and there met his 5 year old niece. She was so smitten with my husband that she asked him to marry her! You could only imagine his shock. However, this is normal behavior for a 5 year old girl. It seems like girls are wired with thoughts of marriage from birth. I know I was. I knew I wanted to be married when I was 4. Some would argue that this behavior is due to environmental exposure to a married mom and dad. I would argue that this is just how God made us.

As a society, we are trying kill off anything that resembles God. It only stands to reason that marriage would be at the top of the hit list. Marriage is only a dying institution because our society is bent its execution!

114. Marriage is not a dying institution.  Marriage, a good marriage, is very hard work, takes time, and many people today do not want to work at it.  It goes along with our culture of immediate gratification and entitlement. “I want and deserve a good marriage now and if my spouse does not make me happy I will leave”.  Unfortunately, the younger generation is not taught how to “stick with it” because with time a lot does change. I pray that we do not wear out God’s patience with our immorality when it comes to our marriage relationship.

115.  The comments by Cameron Diaz and the so-called expert reflect the self- centeredness that is growing at epidemic proportions. Every one of her comments point to her motivation to “fulfill” herself and if the Dr. was honest he would probably admit that his clients are also looking for the “feel good” path through life. Both of these people will someday bow at the feet of One who selflessly died for them!

Married 42 years, many of them tough ones, but still in love with the man I married at 20.

116.  Do you think marriage is a dying institution? I think it is in America.  Divorce rates are rising, Cohabitation is on the increase.  GBLT action groups are gaining ground.  Welfare rules are set against keeping a couple together.  Tax laws are skewed against married couples.  Social media promotes against marriage.  Principalities and powers are working hard to destroy marriage.

Do you believe the weakening of marriage is a positive or negative trend, and why? It is a negative trend because marriage between one man and one woman was established by God in Genesis.  It’s the relationship designed by God for mankind.  Marriage teaches us to become more Christ-like than any other person to person relationship.  Marriage is a representation to the world of the relationship Christ has with the church.

What do you think should be done? The truth about marriage has to start with the members in the church because believers should know better than anyone why marriage is essential to the health of a nation.  That lesson needs to be taught and caught by the children so the next generation can teach it to their children.  It is unrealistic to expect unbelievers to strive for marriage when the majority of believers fail to portray it correctly.

117.  How sad, and what a narrow view.  I believe you are correct—this guy really does need to get out of his office more!
 

118. Those are three great questions but there is truly only one answer. God said, “and the two shall become one” and “I hate divorce.” It really doesn’t matter about opinions, trends or attitudes. God created marriage and He is the only One who can remove it. Anything we do as individuals or a nation doesn’t change what God said. As for me and my “marriage” we will obey the Lord and enjoy the grace, mercy, joy and promises that he blesses us with.

The enemy has strength and power over those who don’t know they have a choice. He knows destroying the marriage means he destroys the children. What better way to discredit Christ’s sacrifice and suffering than to take away the one relationship that draws us closer to Him than any other.

Trying to stay connected and forgive each other continually takes a Savior that is powerful. Raising children in this rebellious world full of temptation forces parents to their knees to gain the strength to fight against giving in to the pressures. There is a whole lot of support out there to give up or get angry at not getting from these relationships what we want. Christ teaches us to be sacrificial. The world pressures us to make our partner and often our children take care of us.

Only by standing as firm as possible with Christ and following His lead and Word will we survive the lies that undermine our heartfelt desires. We need to stand together in fellowship to encourage each other to do what is right. Having a partner to hold us accountable is probably more important during this era of history than ever before. The enemy is moving and we need to be focused on the One who overcame Satan and won the victory forever.


119.  
Marriage when chosen is as I said, “Chosen”.   When you  meet a person you chose to like or dislike them. When you have negative thoughts of I don’t like you….etc…you psych yourself to be negative…but you also have a choice of  positive thoughts….positive thoughts and energy make your marriage stable.

I  could have chosen  when my  husband cheated on me to be negative…and yes it was work to put it positive…but I chose to do that and we are more solid then ever. At 62 we are still the playful partners. You say well he cheated…his cheating was spending to much time with another woman…who wanted  him…not her husband and he thought he was counseling her.

Men, if you spend more time with  anyone other then your wife it is cheating.  Once he realized that…he was ashamed.  But was forgiven…move on to positive things.

120. Marriage isn’t a dying institution.   People want to get married all the time. There’s a reason for that. What’s dying is the skill to maintain a long-term relationship. It takes actual work. And people either don’t want to do the work, or they have no idea how.
 

121.  I feel this is a cop out. It is a sort of apathy toward relationships in general. Why even commit to one person in a relationship if they are not even going to stick around, why not just have multiple relationships? At least in marriage you are committed to each other by law and held accountable to stick it through, as well as accountable by the law to take care of your kids. Whatever happened to “Son’t have any relationships if you can’t commit to that one person in marriage the rest of your life?” Most people don’t realize that love is not only a feeling but a decision. Most of the celebrities these days are going by how they feel a particular day, week, or year.

There are times that I don’t feel like I love something but I made a commitment to honor the “Covenant” (or contract) that I signed. Some people don’t also realize that there is a freedom in marriage in that no matter what you do that person will always be there for you, or else : )

Another way you can put it is suppose a company that hires you says “Well we will keep you employed as long as we like you” would you want to work for a company like that? Not me!

Just to let you know I waited until I was 45 years old till I found the right women to marry. She is everything I ever wanted and not only my wife but my best friend.

122. Marriage is definitely on the downward slope.  It should alarm us to the fact that there will be more children from broken homes and a shortage of role models.  I have been married 32 years and am so blessed by someone so close that I love so much.  Hollywood is destroying our nations views on marriage and what God intended for man and woman.  Now the next generation is ready to give up on marriage and not even try.  So sad.

What should be done?  First pray.  Pray a lot.  Then education and us with great marriages should be vocal about how great life is with one you can share your love with.  The other day I was thinking about how great my wife is and how I would do anything for her and God whispered in my ear, “that is what I want from you only more”   Marriage is a preview of how great our life will be with Christ.  Looking forward to the day.
123. Is marriage dying out? I don’t think so, but it is definitely in trouble. There will be marriages as long as there are God fearing believers. The weakening of the institution of marriage means we are not being obedient to God. People today are getting married, or not getting married, because they think it will make them happy.

It’s why I got married 28 years ago. I thought this women God gave me was to make me happy. When she didn’t, I blamed her and God. Almost ten years into the marriage, God got my attention and I realized I was the problem. To quote John Piper, “The design of marriage, the fall of marriage, and the implied redemption of marriage all serve to tell us what marriage is for. Marriage exists to display the merciful covenant-keeping love of Christ and the faithfulness of His Bride.”

What’s the answer? There are a lot of things we need to be doing that could change the trend, and the place to start is on our knees in prayer. I also believe men are the key to strong marriages/families. Men need to “man up”! We need to fight for our gal. Every woman wants to be fought for. It’s what most of them have dreamed since they were little girls. They may be content to have a 50/50 relationship, but I guarantee you if they gave it much thought, they would much rather have a man who would give her 100%. After all, isn’t that what Christ did for His Bride?


124.
   No, I don’t think marriage is dying, but it may be in trouble if we don’t protect it.  I and my husband are both 38 years old.  We have been married for almost 16 years.  Both sets of our parents who are in their 60’s and 70’s are alive and still married to their original partner.  My husband’s parents were not Christians when they first got married, and, if fact, married due to pregnancy with my husband’s older brother.

Has it been easy for them or us?  No. Do we have issues?  Yes.  Does God bless the families that stay together?   I believe so.  The impact on us and on their grandchildren is vital.  The examples we set for our children when we stay together and work out our conflicts are numerous.

To name a few positives of staying married are as follows:  Integrity, honesty, self-control, saying no to some of my desires, not having instant gratification, loyalty, conflict resolution, chances to tell your children/spouse you’re sorry(which can be numerous), giving your children the gift of seeing how a man is supposed to treat a woman, feelings of security, having a chance to really learn about a person deeply over many, man years, trusting in God, and not giving up!

We teach our four children that there is safety under the umbrella or boundaries set before them.  When they go outside of those boundaries, safety cannot be ensured.  There are reasons for the boundaries of marriage and why we don’t or shouldn’t be changing partners every five years.  Pain of abandonment, physical or emotional pain people suffer with divorce is now seen as “normal”, or a badge of honor.

When people live together without the commitment, they always seem to have “one eye on the door” when things get a little tough.  How does this make our children grow up feeling safe and loved?  We want to set an example to our children, our children’s friends, and anyone we come in contact with that marriage is worth it, and it is worth fighting for.  I love programs such as yours that keep fighting for the things that count, even when it seems to go against the grain.


125.
 I do think marriage is a dying institution and that is because no one takes it seriously any more. It is easy to get into and easy to get out of to an extent. It should be hard to get into and hard to get out of unless you are physically being harmed or your children are being harmed. People should have counseling and qualifications for marriage. We have to take a drivers test to get a license why not the same for marriage.

I have been married for 18 months now and I can’t tell you how often my husband drives me crazy where I think its not worth it. But both of our parents are still together and are our role models. And we had marriage counseling before we got married too. No matter how bad it gets, I still love him, I just might not like him. And I remind myself that I signed up for this and I’m not taking the easy way out. Pick your battles, remember you married the person you fell in love with faults and all and the magic marriage fairy is not going to drop fairy dust to change him just because he gave you a ring and singed a piece of paper.


126.
 Do you think marriage is a dying institution?  Unfortunately & sadly I fear that it is, but not one that we should bury; one that should be revived & resuscitated!

As a counselor, I witness everyday the effects the lack of a positive & strong marriage has on individuals and families.  I personally suffered the impact of my parents’ marital challenges when I was a child and have again as an adult in my own marriage experienced the pain & hardships of not adhering to God’s guidelines for relationships.  If not for Biblical history to remind me that individuals, civilizations & cultures have been so since the creation of man, I never would have dreamed it possible that humans were capable of such pervasive narcissism that is so widely accepted, supported, rationalized, and justified even by churches/Christians.  The negative trend is resulting in generations seemingly becoming progressively more self-centered as each generation has less role models who understand or demonstrate the concept of sacrifice.

As lifelong Christian & church attender I hold myself & fellow Christians highly responsible for watching & too often enabling fellow man to deteriorate because we too often succumb to just worrying about ourselves and failing to demonstrate the true love of Christ which is a sacrificial love.  I could have a real soap box here and I don’t want to oversimplify, but I think it really boils down to those who claim to be Christ-followers truly & humbly walking in, demonstrating, & living out the sacrificial love, grace, & forgiveness of our father to everyone we come in contact with.
127. I believe that marriage is the most intimate of human relationships, created by God to reflect His personal, intimate relationship with the church (believers).  Because of this, it is exactly what Satan would most like to destroy.  The true purpose and design of marriage needs to be taught more clearly, especially in the churches.  People who don’t acknowledge God only look at is as a human institution that could be redefined to fit their changing needs.  The comments by celebrities are very disturbing, and it’s sad how many people actually put stock in what they say-where does their wisdom and authority come from?

More people need to go to your marriage Weekend to Remember conferences. I hope to go again sometime.
 

128. No I don’t think marriage is a dying institution.  Right now I am separated from my husband.  His choice, not mine.   Throughout my marriage I was the one who mistreated him.  I came from a divorced couple at 10 years of age.  I was pretty much left to fend for myself.  My mother left us because of the abuse my father gave her, verbally and he ended up marrying another woman.  I endured a lot of neglect and it was very hard to not have my mother around.   I spent some summers with her and it always was very difficult to leave her.  Once I did leave to go home it didn’t take very long to be ok again.

I married my husband at 23 years of age.  He was really the first man who was really interested in me.   I loved that and fell in love with him.   I had never dealt with my upbringing and so I was a very controlling person in the marriage.   I would always put him down and didn’t love him the way a wife was supposed to love her husband.  He would stay later and later at work and not hurry to get home anymore.  I blamed him for that as well.  So after 21 years of marriage I told him he was afraid to leave.  He left the next day.  I did not think we were going to get a divorce.

He tells me that he thought our marriage was over!  He had an affair with another woman and filed for divorce.   I asked God to change me and he started to change many things about me that hurt our marriage. I was really feeling that God was telling me so many things.   I started to do many things for him and asked him to give us another chance.  He came back for a little while and went back to her.   I continued to do things for him and begged him to really try hard.  He came back for a while again and then left again.  That happens two more times and the last time he was home for about 4 or 5 months.

I was really trying to make him see how much I changed and I was hoping he would make the commitment to stay forever when he said he didn’t want to try anymore.  I was devastated because I really thought we were doing well.   I see now that we both were trying but not fully relying on God.   I ended up in a hospital for 5 days, distraught from everything and when I got out I still was very sad and at the lowest point in my whole life.  I was asking so many questions why this and why that.

My sister really helped me get through all of the questions and kept telling me that I had to take it one day at a time and put my faith and trust totally in God.   I started to do that and I have gotten to the point that I have joy in my heart because of what Jesus Christ has done in my life and everyday it gets a little better.

We are not divorced yet and I am putting my trust in God that he can restore our marriage but that my husband may not choose to do that.   I am ok with both.  I have the love from God for my husband now that I am supposed to have and want to please him and support him in all the things he wants to do.  We have 3 daughters together.   Like the saying in the movie “Facing the Giants”  I will praise him if he restores my marriage and I will praise him if my husband decides not to.   Either way I know I will be OK because I have fully given my life to Jesus Christ and I now live for him.  God will take care of me.

Marriage may be a dying institution for those who don’t know God but for those of us who live for him it is the best thing he has given to us.   I praise him for what I have went through because I would not be where I am today if I didn’t.

I believe the weakening of marriage is a negative trend.   Not being committed to your marriage partner is very hard on the two people who are married and the children you have together.   Our country leads everyone in the divorce rate.   We are turning away from God and the principles that he has instilled in us.  Living for God in a marriage is wonderful and God will bless those who honor marriage.

I think that we as Christians need to get together to talk about what we can do to get the word out about marriage.   We need to speak to our friends and families and any people we can tell that we have to share about our marriages, good and bad and I really think we need to get on TV somehow and talk about the sanctity of marriage and that God ordained it as good.   It needs to get in the mainstream media and the newspapers and anyway that God will help us to get the word out.     May God bring a revival in the world and may he bless the marriages of people who trust in him.   May he bring people who are married and don’t trust in him now, but will speaking out about the blessings of marriage and the commitment they have made to each other.

129. I do not think that movie stars and secular psychologists should define marriage. I don’t think marriage is a dying institution because it was designed by God and He will be the keeper and restorer of marriage. My husband and I have been married for going on 36 years and we have raised 3 sons, 2 of whom have married Godly women, one who is still waiting to meet his future wife.

We instilled God’s instructions in our children and now they in turn will pass it on to their children. The only way marriage will continue is if we do it God’s way. The closer we get to God the closer we grow together.

May God continue to do His mighty work despite those who do not revere His name.

130. Do you think marriage is a dying institution?  Marriage was created by God for man and woman to be together. Married couples need to honor God in this way.

Do you believe the weakening of marriage is a positive or negative trend, and why? Negative!  Gods plan for us won’t be fulfilled.

What do you think should be done? Promote marriage. Help couples in a troubled marriage and get married programs in our churches to promote married couples to spend time together in positive atmospheres.
131. Some of my thoughts on marriage:

Marriage may be a dying institution as our culture sees it, but it is still the best plan God has for our lives. For His way is best and His way is for our good.

It is true that marriage is not easy. But since when is something truly worth having been easy? Anything really worth having takes a lot of work! There is value in the work it takes to get there.

Marriage is still the best place in which to raise kids. Kids need both a mom and a dad. Both provide something different and valuable. This is the way God designed it.

Marriage is used by God to wear off our rough edges and improve us as people. It is also a great opportunity to realize that life is not all about ‘me’!

Marriage is a picture of Christ’s love for his church, his bride. Don’t we need to hold up this picture as being something worthy?

What about the statistics that show married individuals are generally happier and live longer than unmarried people?

As for Cameron Diaz’s view that “people get freaked about getting married and spending 20 or 30 years sleeping with the same person”, I would say, to the extent people think that casual and multiple sexual relationships are better than a lifelong relationship of intimacy, truly loving and being loved and known by another person – they are selling themselves short. These kinds of relationships are cheap and empty imitations of the real and satisfying relationships God wants us to have.
132. I speak to numerous couples that seek our encouragement and advice.  Marriage is a blessing and joy, but it can be, and often is, very difficult and I have no doubt is “a source of “real suffering” for the “vast majority” of couples.  As humans, as couples, as children of God, we grow, and it that process there normally is “real suffering”.  The “real suffering” is however “good” suffering.  It is a suffering in which we as married individuals are reminded of God, the blessing that are to be found in martial relationship, the difficulties and the joys of marriage.  To think most marriages don’t have their ups and downs (suffering) is to be just as out of touch with the human race as the article attempts to depict of Mr. Ablow.

To be frank, I was disappointed in the harshness of this editor.  A reading of the book of James, might be in line.

 

133. Yes, marriage is a dying institution. My wife and I just celebrated our 25th anniversary last winter and we can count one  of my brothers and his wife and a handful of other couples among those we are close to who are still married to their first spouse. This includes many church friends. Excepting that one brother of mine, my wife and I have a four other siblings who have been married a total of ten times. We used to think we were unusual with so many siblings on second and third spouses, but once we started counting the number of friends and extended family who were still married to their first spouse, we were amazed at the overwhelming numbers of multiple marriages.

The weakening of marriage is a severely negative trend. I feel the weakening of marriage is related some current trends:

  • “My child should never be disappointed/feel rejection/know loss/experience anything negative in their lives.” We use this approach to justify giving all athletic participants medals, whether they win or not; no longer providing high school class rankings or honors recognition for academic excellence, etc. These children have parents who are no longer married and who feel they must make up for the divorce by forcing others to provide the nurturing environment historically – and appropriately – provided by parent.
  • “My child deserves special treatment, compared to everyone else.” We see the results of this kind of thinking every day – whenever someone behaves rudely, they believe that the rules apply to everyone else, but not to them. This, too, is coming from the same mindset that declares “the world has to nurture my child because I failed/don’t have time/don’t have custody anymore.”

 

What should be done? That is a very difficult question because any solution to the problem involves changing the worldview of an increasingly large proportion of the population. We need the world to understand that no sane society can base its mores on the opinions of people who are famous for their notoriety, not their nobility. No sane society can base its mores on the opinions of those who cry “me first!” No sane society can base its moral worth on the moving target of moral relativism.

134. Thank you for your articles. I myself have had difficulty with the institution of marriage. However, it’s not by my desire. In my experience my spouses get bored or hear me say we need ground rules, direction, open communication, faith, understanding, honesty and help from our lord above all else. What I get is the cold shoulder.

It’s real easy to just walk away and call an attorney. No fault divorce.  Cut off from intimacy, no talking, lack off honesty and even sides being taken by family members because we are a blended family. I try not to speak ill of my spouse and I get peace from attending church, Bible study and my pastor give me spiritual support.

135. I do not believe that marriage is a dying institution. The current trends are definitely a blow to our culture and our nation. I think we need to restore God in our lives, our schools, and our laws as has been in the past.

136.   Wow…and that is exactly what Cameron Diaz does, date someone for about 5 years and then move on to someone else for 5 years…wonder where that will leave her when she is 60 yrs old and doesn’t have her looks anymore?

Dr. Ablow said that marriage is a source of “real suffering” for the vast majority of couples…does he think that single people or people that live together but never marry don’t ever suffer?

While I think some people truly believe it when they say they don’t need a piece of paper to validate their relationship, more often I think those people would trade their non-marriage relationship for a marriage in a heartbeat if they felt their significant other wanted that bond with them.  When you’rein a relationship and say you don’t care if you ever get married all that really says to me is you would rather settle for the relationship you have then try to pursue a commitment from the person your with and end up alone if they won’t commit to you.

For those of us who are married and happy and not under some façade that just because you’re married, you’re doomed for divorce, my advice is stay strong in your faith to God and your commitment to your spouse.   While I don’t believe there is any shame in being single or being independent, there is nothing better than knowing you are walking through life with your best friend and for me that is a daily blessing.

137. I sadly agree that marriage is not the “sacred” relationship between two people it once was. I am in an eighteen year marriage, that has been stressed from the start. The reason I think a lot of marriages do not work is   a self-absorbed attitude. After many years of therapy I realize the only person I can work on is myself.

I am married to a man who claims to be a Christian, however his attitude, anger problems, and internet porn have contaminated out relationship. I will not have a sexual relationship with him and I have stated very clearly why, and still he will not seek the help he needs. Porn has ruined many relationships, the internet changed everything.

138. Marriage is not a dying institution, morals and integrity are the institutions that are dying. People are so caught up in self and instant gratification that everything has to be now now now and if I don’t get it now then I will move on to the next thing that does it for me now!

The principle of now applies in all areas, i.e., marriage, parenting, businesses, etc. It doesn’t matter if I am married and in a committed relationship nor that vows were said before God and my family and friends. If I am not happy then I am entitled to leave, where does it say that in the vows you recite or maybe if they include that phrase then the institute of marriage will endure because then everyone will have an out.

I am guilty of being divorced myself and in my second marriage (separated) I have struggled with the issue for years of whether I was long-suffering enough.

139. Do you think marriage is a dying institution? Unfortunately and realistically, marriage seems to be a dying institution however, there has never been more people starving for relationship than in modern times.  People are trying to fill the void with imitations, but the health and connection that a godly marriage brings can never be replaced with alternatives.

Do you believe the weakening of marriage is a positive or negative trend, and why?  Obviously, it’s negative. Negative to our culture, our children, our friends, our government, the church body, our nation, and the list goes on.  We are now very often spending more time trying to help hurting marriages and turning the tide on divorce than encouraging healthy marriages.  It’s an uphill battle, but ministries like you and churches like ours and many others are in it for the long run.

What do you think should be done?  Pray like it depends on God and work like it depends on us.  We have to have the Holy Spirit to give us what we need in these times, both one on one and corporate.

Bless you guys for all you do and keep up the great work.

140. Although I totally disagree with Ablow, Diaz, and all the other modern marriage destroyers out there, my marriage has been a serious source of pain and misery for me. I have been married for 8 years this year and I am at my end.

I desperately need God to show up for me. My husband doesn’t love me, doesn’t meet my deepest emotional needs, doesn’t appreciate me for who I am, and has used porn and chat lines to meet his shallow fleshly lusts. I want him out of my life. The pain, insecurity, mistrust, neglect, and lack of love I feel is almost unbearable.

Please pray for me and others like me, who are at the end of their matrimonial rope, but have chosen to stay and honor God! It would be so easy to call it quits when everyone is telling you divorce is perfectly natural. Please keep lifting us up to the Lord!
141. My marriage to my children’s father ended in divorce. They were fairly young when this occurred. My daughter is now in college and my son about to enter high school. Neither of them seem sure they will ever enter a committed relationship. My daughter wants to, but has such a rigid set of standards that a young man must fit into that I’m not sure she will ever even have a date, much less find “Mr. Right”. I believe that the bickering and selfishness that they have seen between their parents make them wonder why they would want to do that to themselves. My daughter has said that she doesn’t want to be alone all her life, but she won’t marry someone like her father. She would rather be alone.

I hope that marriage never dies. I believe that people who truly commit to live a Godly lifestyle will continue to marry. But as long as society pushes a “Me-first” attitude and people buy into it, marriage will continue to be a casualty of this assault.
142. I do believe marriage is under heavy attack. I also believe in the scripture pertaining to a house divided will not stand. I believe that the attack is directly involved in self seeking and direction. The tide is turning to the instant gratification for self and if the needs aren’t met well then move on there’s a pot of gold out there somewhere. Forget about values, morals, out committed word. It seems to be all about focus on what we want, not what our roles are in following the grand design set before us through Christ!

Marriage is a covenant, how many times shall we forsake it? God bless you and your ministry. I am a living example of the marriage bond staying faithful and holding on with little hope in sight to my wife of 23 years, she just does not want to be married but will not divorce me. I have been doing it alone and I think that is part of my problem. Many like me reach out and either get passed on like no one cares or get dealt a lot of hogwash from a preacher that says move on and find someone else, or name it and claim it no matter who you hurt. Maybe the modern day Christian church has something to do with the decline.
143. No I do not believe that marriage is a dying institution!  I have been happily married for almost thirteen years.  Now to some that may not seem like much but to me it’s a miracle.   My parents are divorced and for most of my life I had a very negative view on marriage until I met my wonderful husband.  We were not Christians at the time but we are now and our marriage has grown from strength to strength because we both have God at the centre of our relationship.

When I look at my 8 year old twin boys I can see one of the many benefits of being married. So much so that one of my sons has decided that he cannot wait to get married….that’s a far cry from what my views were when I was his age!

All my married friends are happily married, yes we all have our ups and downs, but we are all willing to work it out.  When we don’t always understand we take it to God.  I have fallen in love with my husband over and over again during the last thirteen years.  It may just be a smile or a look…it maybe the way he loves on our sons, something that brings me back to that place and I just whisper a quiet thank you to God…..I love being married!

144. Why would our most perfect God want us to marry if it wasn’t the most perfect solution to companionship and parenting. He God says it, then I want it.

I find marriage to be both frustrating and comforting all in a day’s time.

Movie stars and people of this new generation will someday realize that sex is not all life is about. Commitment and trust are far better than all of the one night stands.
145. Actually, I think Diaz and Ablow (and others who think like them) may be right – marriage IS a dying institution – at least from a secular point of view. Statistics bear this out, with high divorce rates, etc. In the same way, the “traditional” family, with dad working and mom at home, is a passing institution – economic realities mean that many families who WANT this simply can’t make ends meet on one income.

The challenge this poses for Christians is to articulate what the Christian version of marriage (as laid out in Ephesians, etc) means in today’s world. My wife and I are happily married, and intend to stay that way – but life throws many challenges our way, and we won’t stay happily married w/o making the choice to stay committed–and often what is key to us continuing in the commitment, as remembering the Biblical vision of marriage.

“Traditions” and customs may come and go, but Christians and the church need to meet changing times with a clear Biblical vision of life (and marriage, in particular!)

146. We will end up like Sodom and Gomorrah if we continue down that path.


147.
 There is always and has always been death (since the fall).  But just because death happens doesn’t mean that life is not good.  I think the same is true of marriage.  Eventually marriages end (hopefully through the death of one of the spouses).

As a pastor I see people make poor choices and sacrifice the beauty, security and blessings of marriages as God intended in order to have a quick and easy substitute.  I also have seen a couple on the verge of divorce due to infidelity and betrayal of trust over a long course of time, come back from the brink and their marriage is becoming vibrant and whole once more – and it was due to God’s help and intervention and the willingness of people in the marriage to apply His principles.

Even if something is broken, does not mean it cannot be fixed!  It matters if we desire to fix it.  I believe God’s gift of marriage will endure for those who really trust Him.  Many in the church may go the way of the culture, but those following God in truth will cherish His values.  The culture may not embrace godliness – in fact this is just one more example of throwing away what is good.  But as long as there are people willing to surrender their wills to God (and humble themselves for one another in love) the institution of marriage will never be dead.

Some places have focused on covenant marriage–a special commitment of endurance.  These communities together have pastor coalitions that agree not to marry any couple unless they go through several weeks of premarital counseling and help the couple prepare for life.  It is worth the work.

Some believe covenant marriage degrades what would then be called “basic marriage.”  I understand the argument, but if people go into a marriage (as is unfortunately too often true today) seeing it as a marriage for now, when hard times come it becomes easy to throw in the towel.  It is like the couple who replaced the traditional marriage vows of “as long as we both shall live” with their more contemporary feelings “as long as we both shall love.”

True love was built to last by our Creator.  His love was sacrificial.  His love was enduring.  His love is unconditional.  That is the pattern for love.  I was personally startled to discover (after being married for less than a year to a woman I “loved”) that there are incredibly hard crisis points where you have to choose to roll up your sleeves and work at marriage or quit.  We chose to work at it – and it has been a precious partnership! I believe all things worthwhile will take some work.  Marriageis worthwhile!  I believe, perhaps idealistically, that if good marriages are lifted up and the blessings of good marriages that endure are honored, people will begin over time to see what they are missing by their relatively short stints with their significant others.

148. After hearing a friend talk to me about the struggles in her marriage today, I went home and called my husband. I didn’t mention anything about the conversation I had, I just told him “You know, we really do have something rare”. It saddens me to think that our relationship is a rare one.

Does it take work? Absolutely!! The Weekend to Remember marriage getaway was huge in turning our relationship around and I encourage people to go all the time. It really scares me to think that people, some like Cameron Diaz, believe that Marriage is a dying institution and make such generalized statements about marriage. It truly is sad.

For many the concept of marriage has changed dramatically. It is a legal contract. One that can easily be broken if needed. They seem to go into marriage with the idea that this doesn’t have to be forever. The commitment you are making to each other seems to be lost and certainly the commitment that you are making before God.

Divorce today is sometimes seen as a quick fix. Sometimes there is no way of escaping it. Has it become a trend? Possibly and I would absolutely consider it to be a negative one. The effects that it has on everyone involved are devastating for the most part. The more difficult question is what can we do about it?

Maybe as Christians we need to be more bold and open as we struggle and as we walk along side those who are struggling. Challenging each other and holding each other accountable in the vows we made on our wedding day. It is scary to step out and say something or even to share your struggles. You could get hurt. You could loose a friend.  But yet I think it is so important to not only be each others cheerleaders in other life situations but in this too!! Encourage, cheer, celebrate, confront, challenge, and pray for each other in marriage and in life. Isn’t that what we are called to do?
 

149. Yes, it’s a dying institution.  I’m in agreement.  How many married couples do most folks know that are truly satisfied in their relationship?  It speaks volumes to what marriage is/has become – treacherous!  It’s dissatisfying, disappointing, disheartening and doesn’t work…and yes, even Christian marriages!

I’m married to a man who has a Masters of Divinity.  Go figure how my godly standards are too much for him.  It is causing major strife.  The Word of God, which should be a common bond between us, is pulling us to shreds.   We have been to the marriage seminars, read the books, listened to the family broadcasts, attend church, and even receive counseling.  However, here we are as disillusioned as ever.  I’m to the point where even I have lost belief in it.

150. As  a woman who has spent the last five years trying to learn more about adultery than I ever hoped to and why it occurs I will say that people who disregard the instructions of the Lord about HOW to live and thus benefit themselves and all others from the intent and function of the marriage covenant are eventually “taught ‘ that God was and is right about the greatest challenge and rewarding covenant provision He has ever provided for the good of mankind.

Having discovered that over the thirty plus years of our marriage my husband was involved with several women and then ‘settled’ with a woman who agreed to being his adulteress and eventually ‘charged ‘ him with a bill of demanding he give her children in ‘exchange’ for the years she ‘spent ‘ servicing him ….all the while knowing and accepting he was married with a family and would never leave us and marry her, I have since then seen the external destruction that has finally been exposed from his fourteen years of his ‘pseudo marriage’ to this wicked woman.

This ‘doctrine’ of self indulgence fed to the general clueless public through the media and school systems has poisoned people raised to believe that they are the center of the universe and that their self esteem is all that matters for them to gain whatever immediate gratification they desire in exchange for seeing a very self involved and selfish person in their mirror and justifying it because they have failed to be willing to be taught the way of marriage and the why of marriage.

Having read countless justifications on sites that are for the mistresses to explain and lament their position of choice …and read countless upon hundreds of thousands of posts on sites for the hurting spouses of adulterers , I can attest that the harm done by these casual approaches to ‘love’ have only been touched upon lightly by industries that have made millions from the divorce courts, the social institutions ‘needed ‘ because of children being tossed around like gambling chips at a casino  and various others who ‘benefit ‘ from the money to be made by fanning the fleshly flames of lust and covetousness.

 

151. Cameron reflects a lot of what a fallen world would offer. The temporal vs. what Christ offers in a Covenant centered in the Holiness of Marriage. I see it some in the church as well when I hear someone leaving a marriage for what they perceive as what will make them happy…would say look at Cameron and her 5 year recipe for next on the happy list!

Commitment in our culture seems to be less about Covenant and more about self. A true marriage is one centered in Jesus Christ, who reminds me how blessed I am to have a Godly wife that loves me and allows me to love her well.

Marriage is not an institution or a government program, it’s about a Covenant between you, God and your spouse.

152. I do think marriage is becoming a lost institution, unfortunately.  The younger generation does not know what the word commitment is or means, the look for the easy way out of everything.  Yes, I believe that as marriages dissolve or cease to exist, mankind will make another step in a very wrong direction.  Pray, church, pray.

153.  It appears that the younger generation has different views than many of us that are currently in our 60’s plus.

I have a photo of my great-grandparents celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary (on my dad’s side). My dad’s mother passed away 5 days after his birth so his parents didn’t have that opportunity but I’m sure they would have made it. My grandparents on my mother’s side were married over 50 years. My parents were married 62 years before my mother passed away in April 2002; dad is still living alone & driving at age 93. My mother’s sister & her husband as well as her brother & his wife were married over 50 years. My husband and I will celebrate 47 years in July. Our daughter & her husband will celebrate 23 years at the end of May. My in-laws also celebrated over 50 years.

I have gone back to a few of my high school reunions (last one in 2004 – for 40 years) and I have been amazed at the number of classmates that are still married.

In my case, I feel that an active church life and a strong faith have been very instrumental in grounding us. I go to my church for the faith and beliefs of the church. I have worked and used my talents in service. I know that Christ is my friend and I have a relationship with Him..Unfortunately, many people go to a church because it is the acceptable thing to do. In some of the larger churches, they can become “lost” amongst the many. They might not have to make a real commitment. They might know Christ but not really have a relationship with Him.

Many of our generation had a tough time growing up – lack of money, toys, etc and have wanted to make it better for their children. We have created children who are now creating children that do not know what “no” means. You can hear threat after threat but never see any action. They are not having to go through the “School of Hard Knocks” or learn “Common Sense.”

Many people are concerned just about themselves. Not all, but any. Even common courtesy is lost on many. My husband drives a school bus. Last week someone ignored the stop arm and a police officer just happened to be there so they were stopped and ticketed. Today, another drive had someone blow his stop-arm but he was able to get the plate number and car description so it has been reported. A few years ago because of a broken right leg & ankle plus a broken bone in my left foot I was in a wheel chair. Wow, were our eyes opened at the number of people that never attempted to assist holding a door open. We have been parked in a handicap place (with a card from the mirror) and people came and parked on both sides of us in the yellow diagonal striped area!

There are many organizations trying to “Make a Difference” and many books on trying to be a better person. More people need to read these and get involved in making a difference.

Guess I got on my soap box! Sorry to have taken so long but this is a “hot” topic for me as well as the selfishness of so many people.

154.  It has been very hard to watch my friends divorce and see what a terrible process it is.  It is extremely difficult for women who have chosen to stay at home with their children and give up their careers.  These women are left in terrible situations and depend on support checks from their ex-husbands that often don’t arrive.  They are forced to reenter the working world in low paying jobs because they have been out of the work force for so long.

I sometimes think that it’s less about the dying of marriage and more about lack of respect between men and women and a focus on me rather than us.   Americans seem so focused on their own happiness and need for love that they forget that loving means more than a feeling.  Loving someone is much more about loving action expressed each and every day.

People don’t want to uphold the commitments that they have made to each other and to the children they have brought into this world.  They much rather focus on themselves.

Based on my own experiences and what I have seen my friends go through, I would recommend that all women maintain a career outside of the home.  It will give her more options if the worse happens as it so often does.

155. There’s a reason this is an op-ed piece and not a medical journal article. As a doctor, Keith Ablow knows his patients do not constitute a scientifically valid sample upon which to judge the health of the institution of marriage as a whole. Ablow is a celebrity psychiatrist catering to affluent, well educated professionals in and around Manhattan and the North Shore of Massachusetts; not a cross section of Americans by any means. And it stands to reason those seeking care from a psychiatrist are more likely to be experiencing relationship and martial problems as part or all of the reason they’re seeking psychiatric care in the first place. Those with healthy marriages are most certainly underrepresented in the sample he uses to illustrate his dramatic “conclusions.”

Ablow is a celebrity and celebrity seems to be at the fulcrum of our highly individualistic society. Headline grabbing foxnews.com articles grow the Ablow brand and fuel book deals and television appearances.

Research articles with statistically valid samples, scientifically sound methods and more modest conclusions do not. What’s tragic is that those who are in martial distress and relational pain may accept the affirmation Dr. Ablow is trying to give them by adopting a victim mentality (“See, marriage just doesn’t work.”) rather than surrendering to God and getting to work on true relational healing that is rooted in Christ.

As believers, our marriages do need to be examples for others. But not through the persona of the “perfect Christian family” that so many of us try to uphold for others. Whiteknuckling it through marriage for the sake of staying together in and of itself does less for the cause of Christ than our witness that comes from complete dependence on Him.

That’s what gives us the humility, openness and courage to examine our character flaws and places of relational brokenness. That’s where the willingness to confront dysfunctional family patterns comes from or the courage to conquer addiction. Ideally, that process happens in a loving, accountable small group at a spiritually healthy church, with a Christian counselor or psychiatrist and/or a ministry like Celebrate Recovery. Spiritually and emotionally healthy Christians create healthy, stable marriages that glorify God and leave a legacy. We can’t fully utilize the capacity to bring the Good News to a hurting world and fight effectively for marriage until we get serious about letting God heal each of us.

156. Don’t people just amaze you sometimes? Marriage may be a dying institution, but that is in the secular world. Among Christians, I think marriage is strong because we want to follow God’s word. He created marriage, and as in Eccl 4:9-12, He clearly states that a cord of three stands is not quickly broken, meaning that marriage only works for those who put God in the midst of their marriage.

Why do so many people think that marriage doesn’t work? They don’t know or trust God to work within their marriage. I know my own marriage would not be the strong bond that it is, if my husband and I didn’t believe in God. I think people miss that part of the relationship, and I feel sorry for them, because they are missing out on a great thing. I look forward to growing old with my husband, having a companion to talk and confide in, to travel with, who accepts me for who I am. I cannot imagine starting a new relationship every 5 years. Sounds like a lot of heartache. Cameron Diaz needs to start reading the Bible and find out who Jesus Christ is. Then, maybe, she will have a better understanding of what marriage is!
157. In response to your article written in the Family Life Marriage Memo, it does sound like marriage is a dying institution in general terms, however, I think it will always be here for those who are willing to stick it out for the long haul.  I remember having this fear 25 years ago, when I was in my teens, wondering if marriage would still be around for me to take part in it.  Sure enough, 25 years later is still is.

I believe the weakening of marriage is a negative trend.  Whether we admit to it or not, we are all looking for stability and a solid foundation.  Children need to grow up in a stable environment that has both a mother and father actively involved and committed to each other.  Unfortunately, this ideal environment is not embraced by everyone.

When a person does not have a fixed reference point of Truth, they will waver with the changing times.  Our countries, judicial principles and centers of higher learning were founded on the truths of God and throughout the ages we have, unfortunately, strayed far from these truths and so many people have removed God from the equation.  Ultimately, what needs to happen is what is stated in 2 Chronicles 7:14: “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

What needs to be done?  I’m not sure but I think the first step might be within the church.  How can we be a light to the world when families are crumbling within the church and people who call themselves Christians don’t know the truths of God and don’t have those truths as their fixed reference point?  Basically we seem to have an epidemic of biblical illiteracy within the church and this needs to change.

We need to become serious with our faith.  The church needs to be a beacon, the lighthouse on a hill pointing people away from danger and right now, in a lot of areas, churches aren’t all that different from the local coffee shop down the street.  Why would people be drawn to Christ and the church when they don’t see a difference between those who call themselves Christians and the world?  A lot of people treat God too casually, as their buddy rather than the Awesome God of the Universe.

I believe it comes down to this:  We need a renewed sense of holy reverence and fear of the Lord.  “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” – Proverbs 9:10.

158. I do fear marriage is a dying institution. Not because it’s outdated, but because our culture is becoming so “me” driven and everything is disposable.

My husband and I are celebrating our 10 year anniversary this summer and in that ten years we have gone through some extraordinary difficult times. The unexpected loss of my father, the premature birth of our daughter and the stress of having a special needs child, several job losses, medical debt, etc… Through all those trials, we have learned to die to ourselves, to be good listeners, to accept responsibility for our behavior, and to consider the others needs above our own. All this takes time to learn and it requires patience, faithfulness, and a deep understanding of Christ’s servant leadership.

In our efforts to counsel with couples in crisis marriage situations, the common thread I see is selfishness. People are so focused on how they have been hurt and what the spouse is doing to them that it becomes believable that divorce makes sense. Divorce is now a feasible, easy option.

Our society praises people for having the courage to walk away from “bad” marriages, often telling people we don’t deserve to be hurt.

I believe that the institution of marriage is the bedrock of our society. It’s an incredible tool of refinement and sharpening. It must be honored and revered. My hope is that we can teach this to our children and hopefully counsel young people while they are still dating. After a couple is engaged, the stakes are almost too high.

As our values and morals are decaying, sadly, so is our respect for the covenant commitment of marriage. Please keep the topic on the front burner.

159. Marriage is dying because people are selfish and not willing to honor their mate by dying to self. I have been married 47 years and that is because we both have a personal relationship with God and he is the focal point of our relationship and we are sold out to him. We believe that he is everything in our lives and that is the glue that keeps marriages together. Not the worlds values of if it feels good do it.

160. How could marriage be a dying institution?  It is God-created and instituted.  The issue is that marriage, to be effective, requires selflessness; and selflessness is dying in America.  How can I put others first, my spouse first or God first when I am too busy looking out for #1 (me).  Anyone who puts their own interests before the interests of God, country, family and spouse is going to have a hard time understanding marriage and the idea(l) of marrying and committing to one person for life.

161. The question of whether or not marriage is a dying institution is another indication of just how far our nation has declined morally and spiritually. It’s sad.  It’s pathetic, but the current debate doesn’t surprise me.

I just found out yesterday that another “Christian” couple I know divorced last year.  I hadn’t seen them in a while.  How did I found out?  I saw him with another woman at Starbucks and asked his son the next time I saw him what had happened. He responded by telling me his parents had divorced last year.  Yep! Another “Christian” marriage bites the dust!

No one in the church seems to speak out about divorce or the condition of Christian families any more.  Divorce seems to be acceptable, even in the church.  When a divorce occurs in my church, the man just takes his “new” wife or girlfriend to another church like it’s no big deal.  The church accepts them . . . so life goes on.

If we don’t wake up, our nation is destined to fail.  And by what I see every day as a high school English teacher in the public school system, we are in serious trouble!

May God have mercy on our nation!
162. I don’t think it is a dying institution. It has changed a lot and it is definitely suffering, but there still exists a strong core of society that believe in it and will continue’ to practice it. I just came from a wedding this weekend and what i witnessed was as beautiful as marriage gets.

The weakening of marriage is a negative trend. Marriage is “supposed” to provide a safe environment to raise balanced and emotionally stable children. Weak marriages lead to weak families and weak families lead to a break down in society no matter how much we try to lie to ourselves and think we can do life alone or without commitments and attachments.

People who have good marriages should mentor single people or newly wed couples.
We cannot fix families by force so trying to do things through the laws of the land is not the right approach.

We need to get our heads out of the clouds. Hollywood should not be setting standards for us on what romance or family life should look like. This needs grassroots effort. We all know struggling couples. It can be simple things as offering to watch someone else’s children so they can get a little break to reconnect.

Parents have the responsibility to demonstrate healthy relationships to their children. They need to talk about relationships with teenage children and young adults.

163. Marriage may be a dying institution but that doesn’t mean divorce is the right thing to do.  It has been my experience people generally want to take the easy way out.  If things aren’t going your way, dump them or leave.  Unfortunately people tend not to learn from such evasive ways.  It usually takes time and a lot of commitment from both parties to learn and change those things that are causing problems in the marriage.  If one isn’t willing to go through that process then one often takes their behavior onto the next relationship.

164. This saddens me.  I wish selfishness would become a dying institution then perhaps more marriages would “survive”.  It’s also very disheartening that “celebrities” (who by in large live very abnormal lives) get to dictate what’s for the good of all.

165. I do not believe that marriage is a dying institution. I have been happily married for nearly eight years. I have friends who are also happily married. I do find faith to be an important adhesive that strengthens marriage. I know children benefit from having married parents. I think marriage will survive, though it is in trouble in secular beliefs. I feel sorry for those who oppose marriage and never experience the bond of marriage.

166. My husband & I will have been married for 22 years on 6/10/11.  This is the second marriage for both of us.  Our first marriages ended in divorce – I was not a Christian at the time.  There were several times during this marriage that we could have been divorced if not for our commitment to the Lord & to our marriage.  We persevered through our trials and now have a wonderful marriage that is continually growing.

We have raised our children to understand that marriage is hard work, not a fairy tale that goes on happily ever after when the wedding’s over.  If people would understand that there will be mountains & valleys in their marriage, they wouldn’t be so quick to divorce when times get tough. If they would trust that the Lord provides the difficulties in order for their faith & spiritual growth, they wouldn’t be so disillusioned when troubles hit.  My husband & I both can testify to the fact that is those trials that threatened to undo us that have made us stronger & more in love than we were before.  We are so thankful that we trusted our Lord & Savior to guide us through them.

167. I wanted to comment on your questions that you asked.  Let me first say that I’m a 41 year old woman who married her high school sweetheart.  I was 18 and he was 20 and everyone said we were too young.  We have had some struggles but with God, we have remained committed to our vows.

So, when you asked if marriage is a dying institute, I initially said to myself, yes!  But when I think of all that God has done in my own marriage and when I see member’s of my church who are also committed to their vows, I can honestly say, no, I don’t think marriage is a dying institution but I do think more publicity is given to couples who divorce, than those who stay together!

From what I’ve heard and read, Christians have a divorce rate  greater than that of secular divorce rate but you rarely hear about any couples that had problems in their marriage but decide to honor their marital vows and trust God to heal their marriage.  I’m not referring to a “Weekend to Remember” because I know your success rate, I’ve read testimonials about your commitment to helping couples and because I am a Christian and I listen to Christian talk radio.
I do believe the weakening of marriage is a negative trend because the world says you don’t have to stay in your married.  The world says,  get a pre-nuptial just in case things don’t work out.  The world says, it’s not natural to be with the same person until death. But not enough people are saying what the WORD of God says!  God ordained marriage and the family but in my opinion Christians need to come out of the closet, become more vocal and share their testimonies of how God used their marital crisis for His glory.

With states re-defining marriage/same sex marriage, with gay rights on the forefront and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell being overturned, we are a country who has turned away for our Christian values.

When you ask, what should be done, we first must address the church.  We have some religions allowing for same sex marriage, we have some churches that have pastors/ministers that have been accused of adultery, we have Christian youth having premarital sex.  We must start with the church.  The church body has to confess these sins, repent and we also have to embrace those within the church body.  Not condemn them.  Love them as Christ loves them and discipline them.

And we must pray without ceasing that our nation would turn back to God!  My prayer is that God would use His people to take a stand.  A loud, public stand!

I pray for an open forum to shed light to the world that when you surrender yourself to God, and allow Him to have His way, He can restore and repair your marriage. Commercials, billboards, talk shows….all these forums should be used to take a stand for marriage God’s way!

168. Wow…I could not disagree more. And what really matters is that our opinionsdon’t matter.  God made the institution of marriage as a gift to His children.  My husband is His gift to me.  Does it always feel like a “gift”?  No.  But I am ever so grateful and take it very seriously to do as God commanded:  “Therefore a man will leave his father and his mother, and will cling to his wife: and they will be one flesh.” Genesis 2:24  “What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” Mark 10:9

God did not send his son so that we may spend 5 years with Him.  He sent His son so that whoever believes in Him shall have everlasting life.  We get to spend eternity with the Father.  God did not create marriage to be given up whenever it gets tough.  He created it so that we can have our companion to go through life’s journey together, until death do us part.  God must be hurting watching his children throw away His “rules” so that they can make up their own.  What happened to fearing the Lord?  He will make judgment and have the final say.  “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15
169. Marriage began to die when the states started to enact “no fault” divorce laws back in the sixties. Today a man can come home from work to find that both his house and his bank accounts are empty … and he has no recourse! To add insult to injury, he’ll probably be saddled with some variety of “support” payments for years to come. What young man in his right mind would want to risk such an outcome by getting married??

No, marriage is not a dying institution. It’s already dead!

170. As a God-ordained plan, marriage will never die! My husband and I have been married 21 years, and although it has been difficult at times, the blessings and benefits have far outweighed those harder circumstances. What joy to know that my husband and I have committed to spend the rest of our lives together, that we won’t simply be “dropped” in five years because of personal whims or convenience. Furthermore, children are a priceless gift from God within the context of marriage. How blessed are those children who have the love and commitment of both their mother and their father.

“And He answered and said, ‘Have you not read, that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh’? Consequently they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”   (Matthew 19:4-6)

171. My husband and I will be married twenty-one years next month. If I am to be completely honest, I will admit that it has been a difficult path; perhaps with more lows than highs. Marriage is the hardest thing I have had to do; however, I believe it has forced me to examine myself, face my flaws and find ways to grow as an individual. I do not believe a life lived for pure indulgence leads to any maturity or growth. I certainly do not think that having “disposable” partners is the way to go, particularly when children are involved.

172. I believe that people today are lazy and want something for nothing. They want the dessert and have someone feed it to them. Marriage is work that is a given and if anyone says it is not they are deceived or fooling themselves.

I have been married for fourteen years and it seems as though I work at it 24/7 but, I think to make something work you must work at it. My parents use to say if you get it for free (not working) you really don’t value it as much. Also, I use to think that marriage is a 50/50 proposition until God found me and let me see things in a different light. I work at my marriage 100% of the time sometimes it gets frustrating, but I think of my reward from my heavenly Father, “well done My good and faithful servant”.

173. No I don’t think it is a dying institution, but I do think it is getting a lot of bad press. It’s funny that the heterosexuals are trying to get out of marriage and homosexuals are trying to get into marriage.

We have lost sight of the meaning of marriage.  And actually we have lost sight of God.  Without God marriage does not mean much.  There are still structures in our society that give people financial advantages if they are married, but those are going away.  Other cultures in our world put a much higher value on marriage, if you are not married you do not have the social connections to function it their society.

There are some very negative impacts on children who grow up outside of a marriage relationship, the total impacts we have not seen yet.  I think a lot of people who think like Diaz will end up being sad lonely people in their later years.

The only solution I know is to teach people that God is about relationship, and commitment, and we all fail at both.  And that is what Jesus is all about.

Then there is the Schwarzeneggers.

174.   Although it is sad that there are many divorces happening, I do not believe marriage is a dying institution because there are couples still taking a stand for marriage for life.  The weakening of marriage is a negative trend because it breaks down the family and when the family breaks down all society starts to fall apart.  I believe young people need role models, mentors and accountability partners that will share with them the importance of taking a stand for marriage for life.  They should know that if they are going into a marriage that God has ordained it to be for life.  If you live your life based on the Word of God and seek His will daily, then you will be able to get through the hurdles and dips in marriage.

175. Do you think marriage is a dying institution? I did, when I was faced with infidelity in my marriage on both parts.  I didn’t see the point in being married to someone I was unhappy with.  Divorces were surrounding me and that was my next step. But God clearly spoke to my heart to focus on Him and fill myself with Him and He would take care of my marriage.  I prayed for change in me and to give me the strength to love my husband like never before.  To treat him like my greatest love.  It was difficult, but I trusted God.

My husband became saved a couple of months later.  It was not until I was faced with ultimate betrayal in a marriage that I realize it was not a dying institution, but one that is filled with living water if you allowed God to build it on solid ground.  My husband is my greatest friend now.  Even though there are time we want to give up we seek God and are able to humbly reconcile and show love and mercy to one another.

I am praying that my husband and I will be able to instill the values of a loving marriage into our kids.  Man was not made to live alone.  God gave us one another to love.  The world devalues marriage and commitment. It gives a perception that what doesn’t please you is no good.  Times get tough, no doubt, but God never promised to keep us happy, but to fill us with joy when we give ourselves to Him.  No one can fulfill the deepest desires of our hearts, humans will only bring disappointment when those expectations are placed on them.

What should be done? Talk to your children to prepare our future generation in a Godly way.   Continue to focus on the Lord and love Him more.  For those who are with saved spouses: you must seek God in order to become closer to one another. For those with unsaved spouses: Prayer,  prayer, prayer…that God conform you into what ultimate love is.  Treating the other as a gift from God regardless of what we see are faults. Don’t allow the enemy to take hold of your mind or heart.  It’s what he wants to continue to break homes.
176. Nothing will be as good for the children as having their parents married and together and providing stability.  Marriage is hard!  But I don’t know of anything in life that’s worthwhile and isn’t a lot of work.  I’m sure I don’t know more than God and He is for marriage.  That’s good enough for me.


177.
 If marriage is a “dying institution” it is not because the purpose for marriage is no longer needed but because marriages are lacking the foundation in which to withstand life’s challenges.   Too many people are not taught the fundamentals of why marriage exists and what that covenant means.  They have the mindset of leasing a car.  They are in this for so many miles… and then when the lease is up they can either trade it in for a new model or if they so choose they can keep the one they have.  If they feel that there are just too many things “wrong” with it they may be convinced that they got a “lemon” and take it back.  It’s the Devil’s work at altering our culture’s mindset on God’s beautiful plan.

Is heartbreaking and maddening all at the same time when I hear things like that -even from members of my own family.  We have lots of work to do to educate people differently.  It’s a shame that people are so blinded but on the other hand, it has been said that we as Christians will face many battles like this until our Lord returns.  And that is what it is.  A battle with the Devil himself.

My husband is a gift from God and I will cherish him all the days of my life, just as the Lord would have me do.
 

178. I do think that marriage is in trouble but it isn’t and shouldn’t be a dying institution. Marriage takes a lot of work and in today’s quick fix/result society people don’t want to do that work. I grew up in a divorce household and as a result of how that made me feel; I do not want my child to grow up like that. I have been with my husband for 18 years and married for 15 of those years and it is work every day.

179. My parents were in the process of divorcing when my dad died; my mom remarried and later divorced that person, too. I don’t fault her for that as they were both abusive situations, but that coupled with all the divorces around me left me with the mindset that if you aren’t happy, you walk away.

Consequently, 5 years into my marriage–past the honeymoon stage, in the midst of struggles, my desire was to leave. This was not what I signed up for (guess I didn’t really pay attention to the or worse part of my vows). Fortunately, I had a wise friend who’d been there before, but had stuck it out. I can’t tell you how grateful I am.   Today I have an amazing marriage. I almost cheated myself out of this because I was selfish and unwilling to commit absolutely.


180.
 In my opinion marriage is not an institution that will die, in spite of our best efforts to kill it off.  God is the designer of marriage, it is to reflect the Son’s love for His bride the church;  it is to glorify God.  I think ultimately God will have the final say as to whether marriage lives or dies.

Again it is my opinion that the weakening of marriage is a very negative trend but only if we wish to have children who are emotionally stable and who are raised in a home where they are taught to honor God.

Tired as you may be of my opinion, I contend until individuals get their vertical connections right with God their horizontal connections with humans will never be what it could be.

181. Hello, I head up a divorce care group at our church. I am myself a born again Christian and I was divorced. I am re-married now for over 3 years to a wonderful Christian husband. I do believe the marriage institution will die if we as Christians do not stand up for what is right.

Unfortunately a lot of Christians don’t speak up unless it involves them. I am completely convinced that the other countries that didn’t stand up for what is right are now in the situation they are because of it. There are exactly 39 Countries that no bibles are allowed or any Christian  literature!! All because of Christians not willing to fight for what is right.

The devil wants to destroy everything that God claims as valuable! And He created Adam and Eve to be married and live together for life!!! Living out of wedlock and in fornication is straight from the pits of hell. I went against Gods ten commandments when I married my first husband. I also do not believe he is a born again Christian. I straight sinned and compromised my beliefs!! I paid for it with 18 years of my life not to mention all the blessings I missed out on!

We as Christians are giving marriage a bad name. Our marriages should be wonderful and appealing to the non-believer but instead our divorce rate is just as high as non- Christians!

182. It is really funny that is question was posed on this site today the very day I am personally questioning the same thing. I do believe that marriage itself is a wonderful thing and it benefits do out way those of being single, or attached with benefits, etc…  being 37 and having been married for 14 years, yes I do think is a dying institution, due in part because of how  we pose it “Institution” does not represent anything good – it signifies bondage, confinement, lock down or jail, or nut house where crazy people go.

This day in age and time so many things have changed more women are strong and independent and do not want to be bother with the stress of bolstering another person ego,  We are educated, with many many more options and marriage is no longer becoming an option we want to choose.

I don’t want to sound bitter or mean but in the 21st   century marriage is not necessary no one really holds on to those vows they are really just empty words that are being said because it really means something and they are there for a reason. So when the going gets tough the marriage has to get going….

I hope that in time the marriage union will become scared again and people will practice the word they are actually saying.

183. My heart was grieved when I read Ms. Diaz’s comments on marriage. Like you said, she’s certainly not the only one that feels that way. So very sad. You’ve asked for input on the matter, so here’s my two cents.

First, I don’t believe marriage is a dying institution. I believe selflessness is a dying attitude that’s at the heart of the marriage problems that are rampant, particularly in our country. Everywhere you look, messages of “It’s all about me,” and “Do what’s best for yourself,” are being branded into our minds and most especially in the minds of our youth. As you well know, much of the problems that occur in marriage come down to folks having a “what’s in it for me” mindset. Selfishness has taken residency in our culture and it’s waging an all-out war on the God-ordained institution of marriage. However, just because there’s a war being waged, does not mean we ought to raise our white flags of surrender and start “…thinking about what might replace it…” as Dr. Keith Ablow suggests.

As God-fearing, Christ-following believers, we must continue to go to battle for marriage. We must be a light in the darkness and show the world, and pessimists like Dr. Ablow, that marriage is good and alive and purposeful. Organizations such as FamilyLife must continue to share their wealth of knowledge and leadership and encourage marriage strengthening through events such as the Weekend To Remember and through HomeBuilders studies in neighborhoods across the country. We must not portray an image of perfection in marriage, but allow our weaknesses to be exposed and then built upon within the safe confines of a secure marriage. Allowing the rest of the world to see that, yes, marriage is a union between two flawed people but that it can flourish when lived out according to God’s principles, brings hope to the marriage naysayers. Of course, most of all, we must pray for God’s protection of marriages worldwide. Seeking His will in all things bears more power than anything we humans can do on our own.

As a side note, my husband and I are a young couple raising three children ages 1-5. We travel the country in our motor home on a regular basis due to business demands. We choose to take our family on the road with us {homeschooling all the way} so that we can be together as a family rather than allow my husband to travel alone. I am happy to report that as we travel from RV park to RV park, marriage appears to be alive and well. We have a unique vantage point for a couple our age because we are literally surrounded by retired couples!  We meet folks who’ve been married for decades and still walk hand-in-hand each night. We talk with couples who’ve raised their children and now enjoy the special one-on-one time with each other in the loving context of marriage.

It’s an encouragement to us on days when we are up to our elbows in time-intensive care for children! There are plenty of couples who make it “til death do us part” and enjoy each day in between as a gift. Should the Lord tarry in His return, we will continue to enjoy each day we’ve been given with one another and seek to glorify His name through our union.

Thanks for being warriors for marriage. Also, thanks for allowing my thoughts to be heard. Let’s all continue on in His Mighty Name for the sake of marriages worldwide.

184. I’m always amazed at “professionals” like Dr. Ablow who are so self-absorbed in their own parochial practices that they don’t avail themselves of the huge body of facts on marriage. A simple search of the wonderful repository of information supplied by The National Marriage Project or your own FamilyLife ministry would easily refute his jaundiced view of marital success/happiness. Thank God that marriage—as God’s greatest idea other than the plan of redemption—is alive and well for many tens of millions of us Americans who know and experience this great blessing.

Thanks for your continued excellence in writing and upholding the institution of marriage.  Hang in there!
185. I am shocked that a doctor would say that marriage is a dying institution and that it should be replaced with something else. The one question I would ask him is whether or not his parents are married. I am finding that our nations next generation is being brought up in split up homes that have no solid foundation and they are confused as to how life should be lived. I personally grew up in a home that was split and it only brought hurt and confusion to my brother and I. God has intended for marriages to be for a lifetime, not only for the sake of the two individuals, but for the sake of the children as well.
186. I believe that just like any one else we all have our own opinion but God’s word will stand forever He created this union and he’s the one that can end it so until then I will continue to believe in what He(God) has created until Jesus comes back, and that’s the end of that o.k.
187. I do not think marriage is a dying institution. And yes I witness the weakening of marriage in our culture, but marriage is one of two of the greatest institutions that God developed to meet the relational needs of mankind. Beside the church, marriage is the oven by which a deepening of character and transformation is formed, when one learns to be other person centered. True love is lifting the other person higher and as a result marriage is elevating.

188. I have been married for 56 years and do not believe marriage will ever die out. It is ordained by God and I believe He has a purpose in marriage and He will not let it die out.

189. Am a Christian in Nigeria and have been happily married for the past 7 years. My opinion is that marriage is not a dying institution. Likewise weakening of marriage is negative because it promotes irresponsibility and lack of commitment. People should be educated that marriage is not a fairy tale; for there to be a happily ever after there must be sacrifices and commitments.

190. Marriage is not a dying institution, however, I believe the true source is of this dying institution is a dying “Christian country”. Marriage will never be an easy thing to do especially if Christ is not the center. The American Dream has paved the way for all Americans, Christians and non-Christians alike, to think they can do it on their own better than being joined to someone else. The American Dream has replaced the Biblical gospel.  We all need the newest, best, most glamorous, most showy, and this transfers into the marriage. When it gets stagnant or too familiar, we begin looking for a newer better model. Until Christ becomes the focus, marriage will continue to die. An article like this should be a spur to the Christians to get out and share what Christ is really about, the opposite of the American Dream.

191. Marriage is not a dying institution, obedience to Christ is the dying institution. We were not created for our own happiness but to glorify the Father who created us. The weakening of marriage is simply an indication of the “wheat and the tares” the “sheep and the goats” if you will. Sin destroys and why would Satan not attack the first union that God created? You all need to keep on doing what you are doing. The rest of us need to realize we are Christ’s Ambassadors and get to work where we are. The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. We need to do more “discipling” and less “problem-solving.”

192. I think we need some “successful” and “popular” people like Ms. Diaz, only advocating for marriage, talk about the benefits and better quality of life for those who value marriage.

193. As sad as it is to say I do believe marriage is a dying institution. I believe that in today’s society families are broken more and more because it is an instant gratification society. Our parents raised us one way and we have raised our children another. In constant fear of having our children taken away we have failed to provide them discipline when they have needed it, we have failed to raise our children in church as much as our parents did. We have failed to instill in them that no matter what every marriage has rocky spots and with time, love and communication we can get over them.   We buy our children computers, televisions, cell phones, video games all for instant gratification. They have come into a world of waiting for nothing!

I believe in the institution of marriage. I want to spend the rest of my life with my husband, who I will say is not the father of my children, he was cheating on me and I finally said enough. I believe that you have trials in marriage but you work through them. Nothing is ever without trouble, if it were we would never turn to God, we would just float through, there would be no purpose. I believe that the devil is working in today’s society and that is the main problem with people wanting to just live with this one and that one and no commitment to anyone. It is instantly gratifying, no need to wait to work things out, just move on to the next one who makes you feel good.

Marriage is the toughest job you will ever have. It takes work every day, but it is the most rewarding job you could have as well.

194. I’m happily married for almost 27 years and as we grow old together, our love for each other is growing and we’re still counting. It’s not always a bed of roses but we make it our aim to work things out and communicate and give each other the love that each other deserved. Marriage is an institution and is never going to be outdated.

I feel so sorry for those people who think that it is outdated, I think they are very unhappy people and selfish. I see so many children suffering, and they are always the ones who suffer because of divorced parents who only think of what they feel, and not considering that so many people will suffer because they refused to try and work things out, that they chose the easy way out. Well, God bless the family who love each other and everyone who’s part of it.

195. In my opinion, if marriage is a dying institution it is because of a great lack of morals in today’s society. People are very selfish and self-centered. I am married (13 years next month), and I cannot imagine ever having to date again. Part of the problem with society is that actors and actresses can throw their opinions, regardless of how wrong or negative they are, out there, and a majority of the public will take those opinions as their own. Many of those in Hollywood have become a bad influence on society. I also know that parenting is to blame for this lack of faith in marriage. Married couples who do not have healthy relationships ultimately influence their kids to see marriage as bad.

We need more positive influences on marriage to step into the limelight. We need more examples like Hal Moore, who loved his wife so much that even after she passed his love and devotion to her never died. Society needs more access to counselors that want to boost their hopes in the traditional idea of marriage.

I have been a fan of Dr. Keith Ablow, and I have read many of his books. However, I am so disappointed in his view on marriage that I do not know if I will purchase another of his books. I would rather spend my time reading and learning through those who have the same morals and ethics I do.

Marriage is essential to a healthy life.

196. Having been a Homebuilders coordinator here at the Vaughn Park Church in Montgomery, Alabama, I can truly attest to the fact the marriage is not a dying institution. In over the 3 years we have been leading/coordinating this program at our church, several couples have come to me and my wife stating they have come to have a closer/more intimate marriage together. As you would guess, it is all God.

I wonder if Cameron has had any connection to the one who makes the trees grow. We will continue to pray for her and others. I have a brother, who claimed Christ many years ago but has been living with a woman for over the last 5 years out of wedlock. I truly believe he knows in his heart of hearts he is wrong but the world continues to confirm and comfort him that he is correct in his behavior.

Thanks for allowing me to share and continue to push marriage.
197. My analogy is this: Suppose a crew of construction workers and carpenters were sent to update and maintain a physically sound house, but instead they dig around the foundation of the house and take jackhammers to the foundation. After doing enough damage to the foundation, the house begins to crack under the stressors of gravity and the environment and eventually collapses. I suspect that nearly everyone who observed the workers doing their damage to the foundation would think it ridiculous if the workers were to say, “We knew that house wasn’t worth updating and maintaining because it is now a wreck.”

In the same way, many representatives of our culture have “dug out” around the “foundation” of the institution of marriage and have been “jackhammering the foundation”. As the institution starts to show “cracks” in the “above ground structure” because the foundation has been weakened, many in our culture are concluding that the institution was flawed to being with or is bound to collapse no matter what. Yet for the most part it appears neutral observers of our culture don’t think this conclusion is ridiculous. What gives?

So, the next question is, how do we take the “jackhammers” out of the hands of the people who are doing harm to marriages and how do we shore up the foundations that have been weakened? Thank you to Family Life, America’s Family Coaches, and other similar Christian organizations that are helping to restore and strengthen individual marriages and the institution itself.

I also think that as Christians we should pray that God also works through secular efforts advocating for marriages, like the federal government’s healthy marriage initiative, which is supporting community based and faith based organizations to build healthy marriages. See http://healthymarriageinfo.org/.

198. Do you think marriage is a dying institution? Definitely no. It is true that there are many broken marriages because of the works of darkness…Divorce or separation is new trend for many but not for the Christians like us.

Do you believe the weakening of marriage is a positive or negative trend, and why?That’s a negative trend because it is against the will of God. For me, marriage is a commitment to love and for our love to God. Marriage is sacred and gift from God that we have to embrace wholeheartedly. Marriage is where he can please God.

What do you think should be done? First of all, we really have to pray for the couples and for the single people out there.   And of course, continue evangelizing to the couple the good news of God about marriage.

199. Marriage is awesome when live and based on God’s Word and as He designed it to be.

Even though who don’t think it necessary any longer, still seek the benefits of marriage–just on their selfish terms and until it no longer makes them happy. Clearly they believe marriage is about themselves & for themselves and thus the 5 year break up option.

200. I don’t believe for one moment marriage is dead or anywhere close! I have been married for 12 years and going strong. We need to change the mindset! I think Mrs. Diaz is saying those things because she has been hurt and wants someone to grow old with but is afraid to admit that since that will make her vulnerable to those she truly loves.

Having said that, we need to continue to stay strong in our own marriages and be good examples to our children. We have three, and I want them to be married one day! To have them embrace marriage and know it’s for good!

We pray for their spouses almost as much as we pray for our children. We teach them what love looks like. It is not a feeling, it is not a “look”, and it is not always pretty! But it is worth fighting for, working for! We are teaching them to pick a mate that believes the same thing!

Our children may not marry someone who comes from a squeaky clean background, but if they have Christ in their heart and live for Christ daily as we strive to in our home (we don’t always succeed) then we have a chance to overcome the culture through His love. The power of Christ is what will change our culture: one family at a time! If Christ Focused homes see children as blessings, not burdens and they lean on Christ to rear them, we have hope to redirect our culture!

“They will know us by our love.”

201. Marriage is instituted by God so it can never die out. The weakening of marriage is a negative trend because God said it is a good thing. Anytime we go against God we hurt ourselves. Many studies have already shown the negative effects on children’s development and academic success when their parents divorce.

The church had better start talking about it because where I’m from there seems to be an epidemic of divorce in our evangelical churches. The churches need to pray for deliverance from this deadly family calamity. I personally have tried to talk to three people who were moving on that path and they all carried through with it. We need to intercept earlier than after we find out they are planning a divorce. I really don’t have the answer, but God does.

202. I am a born again Christian, married to an unsaved man and separated after 16 years. We have two children which I am very thankful for. This is the thing with unsaved people; people who don’t know the God who created them in His likeness. 1. They have no integrity, 2. No sense of values – as in the value’s of friendship, a person, people emotions, because it matters to Jesus how we hurt.

I truly pity Cameron Diaz because she doesn’t know or never experience the Love of Almighty God. “The old proverb says it well: Actions speak louder than words. Somebody with a family needs to take her in and let her experience what family feels like.

203. It truly feels so bad that the devil has attacked the marriage institutions, and many families are breaking up. I believe that marriage will never be a dying institution. Simply because it was ordained by God. And the Bible assures us in Jeremiah 29:11, that He alone has the best plans for us! He wouldn’t have ordained marriages if He knew they would make mankind suffer. All we have to do as Christians is to get on our knees and pray for our marriages and families.

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