Monday, December 13, 2010

The only marriage survey that counts

There's been a lot of talk lately that traditional marriage is on its way out. A lot of the talk has been in reaction to the recently released State of our Unions study from the National Marriage Project. One of the eyebrow-raising findings is that marriage is most on the rocks in ostensibly socially conservative Middle America. It's there that divorce is steeply on the rise and unwed parenthood is becoming the new norm. If you're interested -- Ross Douthat had an interesting column on this last week.

Contra the predictions of traditional (Christian) marriage's imminent demise -- here's John Mark Reynolds writing in First Things on the only marriage survey that counts:

There is no real marriage outside the Church of Jesus Christ for this reason: God is the end of marriage, for only an eternal and infinite God can contain the explosive fecundity that can come when the two halves of the Image of God are united and made one. A great reason to become a Christian is that only in Christ’s Church can the male and the female find completion in each other.

Whatever the moral status of other forms of love may be (God alone knows for sure), nothing but a man and a woman can make a marriage, because only a man and a woman are so different and yet so human. This is not just a matter of biology, but of the spirit. Women and men have different voices and the blending of these differences creates a harmony that is like nothing else. Even when biological reproduction is impossible, there is a spiritual production that comes from joining two complementary goods in union that is so powerful it must be fecund or destructive.

The only survey that counts in marriage is between one man and one woman. In the beginning it was so and it will be until the end.

Read the whole thing.

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