A lot of Americans believe quite deeply that many of our societal and economic ills can be traced back to the crumbling institution of marriage. But even if you take that as an article of faith, “fixing” marriage is a problem with no ready solution….
I admit I was drawn more to this article because of the graphic above than its subject but once I started reading I found that it appears no one really knows how to fix marriage. Not the Conservatives, not the progressives. To many of our millennials and beyond it doesn’t really seem to matter. They simply aren’t bothering with that institution.
I personally don’t have many ideas of how to strengthen my own marriage let alone help someone with theirs. I do love my wife of almost 30 years now but I must admit that as we age we grow further and further apart in what excites us and how we want to live out our remaining years. The old saying that “opposites attract” was certainly true for us.
I don’t know how to fix it but I certainly know how to kill the institution of marriage off very quickly and that’s to apply biblical principles to it. I know that statement might alarm my conservative evangelical readers, if I actually have any, but hear me out. I’m sure that the ending of most if not all marriage services in the evangelical community is “What God has put together, let no man separate”. If we take that approach they should be looking to outlaw divorce instead of being at the head of the list in that category.
What would happen if we repealed the idea of divorce and made marriage a very permanent thing? It would of course drastically drive down the number of people who signed up for it. No one wants to get into something that they have no possibility of getting out of! In reality, we can’t mandate that marriage be eternal anymore than we can make sex limited only to it.
One interesting statistic I came across lately is the alarming increase in Baby Boomer divorce rate. It seems that boomers are getting out of marriages at almost an exponential rate compared to previous generations during that stage in their lives. Maybe the pragmatic view that relationships are fluid instead of fixed in time will become the standard? I don’t know but I don’t think that would necessarily be a bad thing for our society.
To finish this post off I want to end with a quote from my hero Will Rogers who gives us a possible solution. Maybe he is the only one to have really figured this all out.
I maintain that it should cost as much to get married as it does to get divorced. Make it look like marriage is worth as much as divorce, even if it ain’t. That would also make the preachers financially independent like it has the lawyers.