I deeply appreciate the sociological insights that Mark Regnerus brings, but I take issue with the assumption that a decline in marriage—and corresponding rise in singleness—is cause for alarm. Our faith celebrates the life-giving sacrifice of a single man. Jesus’ life was witnessed by a lineup of remarkable single women and men, one of whom went on to write much of the New Testament. That same Scripture bears the mark of a radical shift in biblical and ancient thinking: that bloodlines and marital status no longer primarily determine one’s family, inheritance, or maturity level, but discipleship does (Mark 3:35; John 3:3–6). The Bible also suggests that the truest of all weddings—between Christ and his church—is anticipated best by celibates (Matt. 19:12; 1 Cor. 7:26–35). To be fair, a rise in singleness does not necessarily indicate a rise in committed celibacy. The church may not be able to save marriage, but it can raise disciples who—married or not—bear sacrificial witness to their bridegroom who does save.
The issue is that we as a church still do not push a close and personal relationship with Jesus and that he is the one who completes us. In all the churches I have been to, they have amazing divorce recovery, but hardly any churches support healthy marriage. Let’s work on healthy marriages and help identify what means before a couple struggles. We need to stop treating marriage as something that completes people and look at it as a partnership for life.
The restoration of a model of marriage onto a more biblical foundation is superb news, but I strongly disagree with ...1
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