In today’s modern society, marriage is as divided a topic like politics. I see many young men unsure of what path they need to take to achieve a meaningful and purposeful relationship that leads to marriage and a family. I, for one, believe that a young man and a young woman should get married early.
We seek the advice of the older generations and many things, including marriage, and one thing that I hear quite often is that half of all marriages end in divorce. While that is somewhat true, we need to dive into the facts and statistics around divorce.
A study done in 2019 showed that divorces are on the decline. The divorce rate of young people between the ages of 15 and 25 dropped 43% from 1990. Gen X and millennial generation seem to be much more prone to making a marriage work than previous generations.
So, while we look to our elders for many things, marriage may not be one of them. The baby boomer generation leads the charge in divorces. The baby boomer generation has had the highest divorce rate of any generation in American history. Divorce rates are dropping all across the board except for one generation, and that is the boomers who are still increasing their divorce rates. You now have almost a 75% chance of getting divorced if you are over the age of 55. That is right, divorces have doubled for the baby boomer generation—way to go, boomers.
It is getting better
Of the generation X crowd born between 1965 and 1980, 80% of all marriages reached their 15th anniversary. That is a 65% increase from the baby boomer generation. To quote a divorce lawyer in one of the studies that I was reading, “the baby boomer generation was born into the greatest economy and greatest America that ever has been.
They developed the idea of the American dream. With them came the rise of suburbia, the two-car garage, the manicured lawns, and of course the desire for a divorce, all in an attempt to make themselves live the happiest life they could live. “
While this seems harsh, as I am a millennial, I can’t help but see where the downfall in many parts of our society, including the family, began with the baby boomers. Now, this is not my attempt to bash this generation or to throw all of our problems on them. Rather, this sheds light on the generation of Americans seeking their path away from the past to carve out something new for themselves.
After the baby boomer generation, divorce rates have declined, but marriage rates have also declined. By age 25, 48% of all boomers had been married. 36% of all Gen X had been married, and only 24% of millennials had got married. One study I read on this spoke about Gen X and millennials, and the most common reason stated for not marrying was they did not want to live through the misery that they watched their parents live through.
We can easily say that a bad taste was put in the mouth of the next generations. But a new generation, Gen Z, seems to be showing a higher rate of desire for marriage at a younger age. From a social standpoint, the millennial generation and Generation Z seem to hold divorce as an unacceptable idea in today’s society.
Part of the reason for the low marriage rates in millennials is that they do not believe in divorce, therefore taking less of a risk in marriage altogether.
Several research papers that I read stated that the most common causes for divorce are,
limited education and income,
living together before a commitment to marriage,
no religious affiliation,
coming from a divorced family,
and feelings of insecurity.
For several of these reasons, it seems that society is moving away from the biblical standards of marriage. I have personally been married and divorced and remarried. In my short 37 years on earth, I have concluded being both single and dating and married and divorced. That one of the biggest problems with relationships as you get into your mid-upper 20s and 30s is that many people have developed their own lives tailored to themselves by this point.
What is desiered
While this seems appropriate for someone single, I dare say that it is only appropriate if your life goal is to remain single. One of the hardest things to do is to take one person who tailored their lives to surround their world and take a second person who has done the same and mash them together in hopes of a cohesive union.
You’re trying to mix oil and water at this point. Another research article that I read showed that the highest success rate in marriages is from people who lived their single lives so that they planned for including a partner in the future. So, let’s break that down.
If you are a young man, and your desire is marriage, you need to learn from married men what marriage expectations are. And not just any man, but men in successful marriages. You should be performing or developing habits for your health and your finances. Learn to budget and learn to include others.
Biblically speaking, the man is the head of the home. The Bible says that man is subject to God, and the woman is subject to man because from God came man, and from man came woman. But the Bible also says that a husband’s body is not his own, but the wife’s, and her body is not her own but her husband’s. You see, marriage requires a mindset that you are not an individual person any longer.
As a man, you give up the right to your individuality just as a woman gives up her right to individuality for the sake of the holy union. In marriage, and especially when there are kids, the notion of “me time” goes out the window. Life is not about you like it was when you were single, it is about your wife, and it’s about your children, and most importantly, it’s about your God.
If you think back to the story of creation when God created Eve, he put man to sleep, removed a rib, and formed the woman from the man. You see, God took a piece of the man and formed the woman. I will repeat, God took a piece of a man and made a woman. The Bible also says when a man and woman are married that their two flesh has become one.
In marriage, the man is being reunited with his missing body part. A woman is receiving an entire body. Two flesh become one because we are joined together back into a whole creation once again. God has this amazing way of designing everything as poetry.
War of individualism
With all that said, if a man has attempted to be his own being, and a woman has attempted to be her own being, you are trying to cram two individual people into one person. So now, instead of complementing each other and a healthy relationship, there’s a clash from the beginning.
I think that my generation and one after me have been programmed to believe that we are our unique individuals for our entire lives. And while yes, we are unique individuals, that mentality does not play well in relationships.
The danger of developing yourself into your late 20s and 30s is that you have become your own unique individual person, thereby making it harder for you to mesh with and blend with another person to form a healthy and meaningful marriage. The Bible tells us that we are to leave our fathers and mothers and cling to our spouses. It is a natural and God-ordained way for us to live our lives. We spend our childhood with our parents and our adulthoods with our spouse.
Matthew 19:4-6 “He answered, “Have you not read that he who created the, from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined, let not man separate.”
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