Who Cares What God Thinks, Anyway?
Current data may not yet identify our feelings as a so-called trend, but they certainly show we’re on to something: the percentage of married Americans has dropped each decade since the 1950s, and the number of unmarried-but-cohabitating partners has risen 1,000 percent over the last 40 years. At 28 for men and 26 for women, the median age at which Americans are marrying is at its highest point ever – and even higher among our cohort of urban and educated. Turns out that waiting is a good idea: for every year we put off marriage, our chances of divorce go down.
Which brings us to this question: if you’re going to wait, why do it at all?
Like a fifth of young Americans, we identify as secular. We know that having children out of wedlock lost its stigma a long time ago: in 2008, 41 percent of births were to unmarried mothers, more than ever before, according to a Pew study. (Older, educated mothers make up the fastest growing percentage of those births.) And the idea that we’d “save ourselves” for marriage? Please. As one 28-year-old man told the author of a new book on marriage: “If I had to be married to have sex, I would probably be married, as would every guy I know.”
⎯ Newsweek, June 21, 2010
Many Americans these days are rejecting the teachings of the Bible concerning marriage and sexual activity. When I read sentiments such as this recent Newsweek article, I think back several years ago to a billboard in Oklahoma City that read:
Who’s the father?
The target audience for this was women who are pregnant and are not sure of their child’s paternity, or are trying to prove paternity: Either way, everytime I recall this ad, I feel sad for several reasons:
1. Sexual activity and marriage are seen as independent of each other.
God has reserved the sexual relationship for a husband and wife who are married to each other. Instead, our society views sex as an amusement park ride to be enjoyed by everyone physically mature enough to participate. Our young people are told that “safe sex” should be practiced. The Bible says, “Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.” (1 Cor. 6:18)
2. Promiscuity has replaced fidelity as a way of life for many.
One dilemma pointed out by this sign is the woman who has so many sexual partners that she can’t be certain which one impregnated her. This pathetic scene is likely to become more commonplace as virtues such as monogamy and fidelity are declared outdated and irrelevant. Jeremiah would say, “The land is full of adulterers.” (Jer. 23:10)
3. Men are forsaking their responsibilities as fathers.
Those who impregnate women and run away are on same level as dogs that roam the streets. The term “Deadbeat Dads” is all too familiar to a society where children are abandoned, neglected, and ignored by the men who brought them into this world. Bringing children into the world requires providing for their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs: “If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” (1 Tim. 5:8)
Society can continue to mock God and his laws, but those who live according to the teachings of the Bible will not wonder “Who’s the father?” or have to call 1-800-DNA-TYPE.