i can remember when it wasn’t necessary to own a bunch of big stuff to somehow validate the union.
i can remember when a fat savings account wasn’t a pre-requisite for getting married.
i can remember when saving yourself for your wedding night was a treasured thing.
i can remember when young couples were fairly naive sexually before they got married.
i can remember when young couples had a lot of good marriage role models to learn from.
i can remember when the majority of my friends came from homes where their parents were still married.
i can remember when couples read books about having better marriages.
i can remember when marriage wasn’t made fun of on television.
i can remember when sexual faithfulness was honorable.
i can remember when pre-nups were not necessary.
i can remember when a marriage ceremony was more than event.
i can remember when a wedding ring was more than an expensive piece of jewelry.
i can remember when living together before marriage was called a sin.
i can remember when the wedding prayers of the pastor actually reflected the priorities of the people getting married.
i can remember when marriage was more than a civil union.
i can remember when saying you had been married for 40 years was not greeted with: “…to the same woman?”
i can remember when deception and lying in a marriage were seen as unhealthy…and not simply as normal.
i can remember when kids were seen as more than just a reason to stay together.
i can remember when sexual intimacy was a private affair.
i can remember a time when submission in marriage was not seen as a bad thing.
i can remember when a honeymoon was all about a mystery…rather than an expensive destination.
i can remember a time when being married was a symbol of real masculinity…something that men were proud of and they spoke highly of it.
i can remember when the concept of becoming one was not feared as a loss of personal identity.
i can remember when staying married was not seen as success…just normal.
i can remember when dating was looked at as preparation for marriage and not a recreational activity.
i can remember when beer commercials, risqué television, provocative movies…or even pornography… didn’t teach young girls about what guys want.
i can remember when dads were great role models for what their daughters should look for in a husband.
i can remember when married in the eyes of god meant something godly.
i can remember when keeping…and not just saying… wedding vows was a virtue.
i can remember a time when all of these characteristics of marriage were more the rule than the exception.
where did these (and tons of others) changes take place? kind of like most everything else. culture seems to have a way of slowly chipping away at the logic and practicality and sensibility of things we used to hold close.
hundreds (maybe even thousands) of hours of television watching has a way of reshaping truth…and convincing us we are becoming more enlightened.
modern psychology and pop relationship counseling has completely redefined how marriage should be done…and so many have bought what they sold.
young couples, in particular, have fewer and fewer solid marriage role models to follow and learn from. without those strong and bold marriages openly setting the example, people turn to other models.
as followers of christ continue to have smaller and quieter roles in american society, others are becoming louder and louder. kingdom values in marriage and relationship have given way to cultural values as the dominant teacher.
as more and more followers of christ become less literate biblically, the truth of the bible becomes increasingly subjective and open to personal, subjective interpretation. any behavior can be rationalized…any value can be justified.
it’s just the way it is.
…and i will gladly spend the remainder of my days helping people grow relationships and marriages that are honorable to god and good for everyone who comes in contact with them.