Society today believes in instant gratification. We’re encouraged to chase our dreams and do whatever we want. As a result, we’ve changed the way we look at relationships. Couples might shack up together or rush into marriage without giving it a second thought.
Divorce rates are high, and the impact on families is even higher. In this post, we’ll look at how our throw-away attitude toward marriage is affecting family life.
Marriage is a Sacred Institution
What a lot of people forget is that marriage is a sacred institution. That’s not hard to understand. How could it be sacred with shows like The Bachelor being aired? The idea that you can not only find your perfect mate in such a charged setting over such a short period is ludicrous.
Unfortunately, it also gives couples the idea that marriage is easy. Considering that the average marriage lasts just eight years and only 33% of couples make it to their 40th anniversary, this is a false idea.
Unfortunately, getting divorced is as simple as getting married these days. If you don’t like your partner, you get a divorce.
Around 150 years ago, things weren’t quite that simple. If you wanted a divorce, you had to prove that your spouse had done something wrong. Divorce was far less prevalent then. If you were divorced, it caused quite the scandal.
Today, the situation is quite different. Everybody knows someone who is divorced. It’s become something of a social norm. And, unfortunately, it’s the family that suffers.
Why is Divorce Bad?
We’re not suggesting that people should stay in horrible marriages. If there’s abuse or infidelity involved, then it makes sense to remove yourself from the situation. What we’re concerned about, though, is the cavalier attitude toward divorce. We’ll use an example to illustrate the point.
Debbie and Andrew meet and fall in love. Debbie has a son from a previous relationship. Six months later, Debbie falls pregnant, so they get married. Things go okay for a while after the baby’s born. Then things go downhill.
Living with a new-born and a young child isn’t easy. Money is tight, and the couple fights a lot. Eventually, they want nothing more to do with one another and get divorced. Their son is just a year old.
What they’re forgetting is that their decision also affects the lives of both boys. The eldest child is upset because he’s never known his father. The youngest is too small to realize what’s happening.
Now, say that these two marry other people and have more kids. Debbie’s now got three kids with three different fathers. Whose rules do the kids abide by? Who do they see as their father? How do they move on to successful relationships without strong role models to grow up with? How do all the various parents work together for the good of the children?
Our throw-away culture is destroying the very idea of the nuclear family. Perhaps it’s about time that we start teaching our kids that happiness is something that you work toward. It’s not something that’s dropped into your lap.
If we can start to teach our children to honor good, old-fashioned family values and the importance of commitment, we’ll go far.
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