Is marriage now just like a phone contract?
A new poll suggests there is little support for marriage amongst young people.
According to the figures released this week 24 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds think there should be temporary marriage contracts similar to the ones handed out by mobile phone providers.
A third of the age group also backed polygamy – being married to more than one person at once –while 30 per cent support “fluid” arrangements whereby people can move easily between different partners.
These results are partly reflective of an age-group that does not have mature views on a number of topics but also not a great surprise as previous generations have already dismantled the notion of marriage and the family as the default option. The whole process of civil partnerships through to gay marriage has relegated marriage to nothing more than a social construct, one of many temporary or permanent lifestyle options. Also, sex has been relegated to a biological function that may or may not be attached to a lifelong commitment.
Whilst not surprising, this should be a great spur for prayer and action amongst Christians. We need to pray that God would stir up in this generation such a hunger for meaning that can only be satisfied by him and not through a series of temporary relationships.
Sex is a gift from God, but it is neither consequence-free nor responsibility-free. Furthermore, consent alone between two adults is never a sufficient basis for justifying sexual intercourse. Such behaviour, whether among those married or not, whether occurring in private or public domains, has a rippling effect that poisons a whole pool of current and future relationships. By contrast, relational order fosters wholesome personal development and social stability. This is the Christian response to our sad, sex-obsessed, commitment-averse world.
In such a context, we need to urgently and enthusiastically teach and model the goodness of marriage as God intended, especially to our children and young people.