Happy Marriage (pt. 1)

Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous” (Heb. 13:4). The following are a few exerts taken from a blog I read a few years ago. I cannot remember the author’s name, but these views are held by many today, so I want to start by quoting them this morning. “In today’s society, marriage happens when two people (usually a man and a woman) fall in love and decide to spend the rest of their lives together in monogamy. But did you know that wasn’t always the case? In fact, the modern version of marriage emerged a mere couple of hundred years ago. In the past, marriage rarely involved love (most marriages were arranged based on income and social status), and the majority of societies allowed and expected plural marriages, with either multiple wives or multiple husbands.

With today’s rate of divorce between 40 and 50 percent, coupled with the prevalence of adultery in many marriages, perhaps it’s time for the concept of marriage to continue to evolve… 41 percent of spouses admit to infidelity, either physical or emotional. This leads me to ask, “Are we really supposed to be with just one person our whole life? … Hundreds of years ago, life expectancy was a fraction of what it is today. When two people in their 20s got married, it was quite possible that one of the two would be deceased within 10-15 years… Today, however, that same young couple could be together for 60 or more years! Is it realistic to think that two people could be emotionally, mentally, physically, and sexually compatible for that long?

Maybe the tenets of a successful marriage should not be whether the couple stays monogamous for decades, but rather whether the couple openly communicates about what their unique marriage will look like, what will be deemed acceptable and what will not, and then honoring that joint decision…I always tell my clients to create a vision plan of what they want their marriage to look like and what they’d both be okay with…This will enable their relationship to grow within the confines of how they, as a unique couple, define marriage…Having that kind of openness to look at the relationship is key to happiness and reducing the shame of hiding your wants and needs from your life partner…If marriage is a sacred union, then we owe it to our partner to be honest with them, however complicated each other’s individual expectations may be.

In my work as a Hollywood life coach and spiritual teacher, I see many clients who are divorcing and cite adultery as the main factor…And when I ask why the adultery occurred, the adulterous party usually explains they felt emotionally disconnected from their partner and felt trapped — that the communication was gone…Imagine how many divorces and heartbreaks we could avoid if our culture was okay with having this type of open communication — the type of willingness to allow the marriage to evolve into something both parties can agree on, even if it’s not society’s customary image of marriage?”

For Christians, there is much wrong with what was written in the blog, but the primary one is the author’s view of who defines marriage. Marriage was not an invention of man.  Society did not, over time, establish the boundaries of what constitutes a successful one. In a more recent article by Veronica Lopez, a sex and relationship editor at Cosmopolitan quoted these statistics from their readership, “22% ‘aren’t sure’ about monogamy,” and “8,056,993: The estimated number of unmarried partnered couples who are living together.”  TBC.

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