In light of the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton yesterday, “The Heritage Foundation” published this article defending traditional marriage, especially in connection with the wedding vows. While not written from a strictly religious perspective (more socio-economic), the article is nevertheless worth the read. It also points out how marriage is now in demise among the middle class, where it has historically been the strongest. As it lays out the statistics, we may (and must!) see them in the light of God’s holy standards for marriage as revealed in Scripture. For marriage is His institution, not man’s. A reflection of His own marriage with His people in Jesus Christ. That is why the institution does and will survive, no matter what man does to it and in it.
Here are a few excerpts; read the rest at the link above.
Yet, in the shadow of the royal wedding, a worrisome class divide on marriage is emerging that threatens to make marriage more of a fairy tale than a shared ideal. Writing about a 2010 report, “When Marriage Disappears: The Retreat from Marriage in Middle America,“ author W. Bradford Wilcox and Heritage’s Donovan observe:
Marriage is in trouble in Middle America. High rates of divorce, nonmarital childbearing and single parenthood were once problems primarily concentrated in poor communities. Now, the American retreat from marriage is moving into the heart of the social order: the middle class…
What is happening today is a widening gulf between the middle class, where a sharp decline in marriage is at work, and the most educated and affluent Americans, where marriage indicators are either stable or improving.
An understanding of the central importance of marriage and realistic expectations about it will go a long way toward making the institution more durable and pervasive across socio-economic levels.
“The writers of fairy tales most commonly ended their stories about princes and princesses at the altar,” Koppel intoned 30 years ago. “These writers knew what marriage was meant to be. They were also wise enough to know that it rarely turns out that way.”
Fairy tales, however, often leave out the wedding vows that dispel the easy illusion of happily ever after, set appropriate expectations for a lifetime of commitment and connect couples to the communities of support around them. The vows begin where the ceremony ends.
With good reason, the world once again roared with joy at the universal promise embodied in William and Kate’s vows today.