“God saw all that He had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning – the sixth day.” Genesis 1:31
If you had known Winston Churchill and his wife before they married, you would have taken any bet that their marriage would not have survived. He was a decade older than his bride. He was already well known as a hero, a statesman, and an author. She came from a quite humble background. She was an early riser who went to bed early. He never retired before 3 a.m. and slept until noon each day. She was a classic worrier while he was a risk-taker. She was frugal with money and he was a spendthrift. He enjoyed going to parties but she was more of a homebody. He was a non-stop talker and she was quiet. By any measurement, they could not have been more different. Many would have called them “incompatible.” Yet, they were married for 55 years. Even more, in his autobiography entitled, My Early Life, his closing line read, “I am married…and he lived happily ever after.”
Research shows that one of the greatest aids to being happy is to be happily married. It turns out that happiness and marriage make a great couple! A recent survey said that 36% of married people say they are very happy, while just 22% of unmarried people say the same thing. The Pew Research Center recently did a statistical analysis measuring the strength of the linkage between marriage and happiness. They found that all other things being equal, marriage increases one’s likelihood of being very happy by 12%.
If this is true, then why is marriage in decline? Sixty years ago, 75% of all adults in the United States were married. Now, just 50% are married. In fact, we are facing something unprecedented in this country. It’s not just that marriages are failing, but that the very institution of marriage is falling by the wayside. The problem now is not that people are trying marriage and failing, but it is that fewer are trying it at all. Fifty years ago, 59% of young adults (age 18-29) were married. Today, just 20% are married. Fewer people are getting married.
Why even bother with an institution that seems to be going extinct before our very eyes? Some consider marriage about as relevant as dinosaurs and cavemen. Why should Christians care about marriage? Why should these statistics burden our hearts when culture doesn’t seem to care at all? Quite simply it is because of what God thinks and says about marriage. It is no coincidence that the Bible begins with the marriage of Adam and Eve and ends with the wedding of Christ and the Church. God looked at creation and said, “This is good.” But when God looked at Adam and Eve He said, “This is very good.”
As Christ-followers, we must not let culture tell us what is good and right. God and His Word should be the greatest influencers of our values and ideas. Only then can we be His light in a world of darkness.
Dear God, forgive me for the times when I have allowed the culture around me to lead me away from you. Help me turn to you for the answers to all things. Keep me safe and protect me from those in the world that deny you exist and seek only to do harm.