My son said to me the other day that he didn’t see the need for getting married. It made me feel very sad, as every mother dreams of the day when their son or daughter commit themselves to their partner for life through marriage. Sadly my son’s views are now very common with many couples living together either before getting married or remaining in a defacto relationship as long as the relationship lasts. To give you some statistics for Australia:
- The crude marriage rate (the number of marriages for every 1,000 people of the population) fell from 9.3 in 1970 to 5.3 in 2001 and only increasing slightly since then to 5.5 in 2008. Many marriages end in divorce.
- In 1975, 16% live together before marriage but by 2008, 78% of those who married had lived together beforehand.
What is interesting (and disturbing for Christians) is that whilst heterosexual couples are not running to the alter and quite content to cohabitant, same-sex couples are fighting to have registered marriages. This is a topic that is appearing across all our newspapers at the moment. In a recent poll approximately 60% of the population believed that same-sex couple should have the right to marry (44% in 2004) and I wouldn't be surprised if this doesn't keep on increasing. These couples also want to have children (through adopted or artificially inseminated) and demand to have all the same rights as heterosexual couples.
Both side of government in Australia currently oppose same-sex marriages. The Labor Party stated recently: The position. . . of the Labor Party. . .believe that the Marriage Act should stay in the same way that it is now". They do no elaborate why they believe this. Our Conservative Party basically says the same thing. However, their leader did say this "I have never made a political decision based on a religious value. I have always made my decisions as a politician based on what I think are the ordinary, rational considerations that are open to people of all faiths or none. So, the question would be, why don't they support same-sex marriage when it appears that they aren't basing their decisions on the Bible and according to the Conservative leader doesn't base any of his decisions on the Bible. I would assume that the Catholic Church has played some role in stopping same sex marriages in Australia as they are a power group in this country.
The Australian Family Association and National Marriage Coalition have called for a National Marriage Day to celebrate the joys and benefits of marriage, they would also like to see some sort of bonus given to those who have long lasting marriages as a reward to recognise their effort. I am not sure about the money side, but a day to celebrate marriage is something worth considering. However, in our secular world, I doubt it would have a Christian focus and would probably be hijacked by lobby groups who support same-sex couples.
What do you think? Is the world all upside down and doesn't have a clue? It is certainly dark days and gradually we are becoming fewer and fewer who are willing to say we don't agree because we following the Word of God. He is our instructor and guiding hand and his instruction to us regarding marriage and children are very clear.