Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Is There Hope for The American Marriage from Time Magazine

Posted by Michele Olson

Sometimes in summer life is so busy we don’t have time to keep up on things like magazine reading. If you missed the July 2 Time Magazine article Is There Hope for the American Marriage by Caitlin Flanagan, it’s worth reading.

Caitlin brings up all the marital discretion in the news lately, but she gets to the heart of the article which is the question: What is the purpose of marriage?

She asks:
Is it simply an institution that has the capacity to increase the pleasure of the adults who enter into it…


Is marriage really to raise the next generation. To protect and teach it, to instill in it the habits of conduct and character that will ensure the generation’s own safe passage into adulthood?

It’s a fundamental point in the whole healthy marriage movement…what is the purpose of marriage? Maybe if we can get that right…we can readjust expectations and reasons for marriage.

As Caitlin writes:
A lasting covenant between a man and a woman can be a vehicle for the nurture and protection of each other, the one reliable shelter in an uncaring world- or it can be a matchless tool for the infliction of suffering on the people you supposedly love above all others, most of all your children.

What about you? What do you think is the purpose of marriage? Does thinking about the purpose of marriage make you view your own marriage in a different light?


M. Denise Wilmer Barreto said...

That is a deep question but one I've asked myself many times in the last year and I agree with the first definition with a few additions...

A lasting covenant (most important word to me) between a man and woman that provides mutual love, respect and protection for each other and the children they bring forth. It is to be THE most important relationship in your life besides the one with your Maker.

Just my humble opinion... said...

Thanks M for letting us know your opinion...that's what our blog is about...the sharing of thoughts!

collin said...

Well, as seen in this post I tend to favor the second.

But though I'm a long-time Flanagan fan, I don't think the second is quite correct either; a childless couple is still a couple, and according to Genesis 2, God said it's not good that the man is alone -- not "that the man has no offspring." The goodness of that marriage was evident (in Genesis 2:23-25) before children appeared in (Genesis 4). 'course Cain didn't turn out so well.

I think marriage is a picture of God's unconditional unfailing love for his people, a commitment that will never be broken despite our unfaithfulness to him (think Hosea). It's an institution needed to civilize men (males I mean) and stabilize society.

That's what i think anyway. said...

Thanks for the comments Collin.."your thoughts" is what this blog is all about!