From the BBC website:
Issues relating to the decline in marriages – it looks like in particular ‘religious’ marriages.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-12365921 (opens in new window).
Is the UK really loosing its tradition in this area? Is this at least one area where perceived tradition perhaps has a place? I think so. Is it too easy to be a ‘partnership’ or other, and traditional family unit values have been too undermined so as to almost make them un-valued, basically irrelvant in many ways – afterall, marriage is mentioned in the Bible a number of times. Sure, marriages are not perfect – but does that make the notion of getting married, and the ‘morals’ etc around it wrong?
There are two lines of thinking here as well. Marriage within a Christian context and marriage generally. In terms of generally, many would probably say that ‘religion’ or Christianity even no longer has the right to dictate how things should be done – traditionally – in todays society that we have. I for one am not convinced looking at some of the figures, that this is a good thing. In addition, many seem to recognise that ‘morals’ generally and freedom of choice / becoming more ‘PC’ have eroded a sense of stronger (often Biblcally rooted) morals that there have been in the past in a modern society which rubs like sandpaper against anything that apparently imposes any kind of ‘moral’ or otherwise boundary which it is merely even suggested not to cross.
We know that ‘immoral’ stuff has been around throughout history – we live in a sinful world, the Bible explains this too – but still the question of acceptability generally in society perhaps makes the difference (as in history, this factor still affects everything today too?) – aside from this general ‘plumbline’ of guidance, the Christian difference is that God is often quite clear in where His boundaries are in many things – and today these boundaries have been eroded so as not to be so acceptable – thus perhaps it is that as relationship individually and collectively diverges with God, the God-perspective on these things gets ignored all the more sadly by both Christians and non-Christians. The ever inclreasing result being that what’s acceptable changes and moves away from Gods will. This is perhaps one of the reasons why Christianity is receiving less and less of a priority / voice / influence along with the fact that many individual Christian no longer feel they can, or that it’s right to speak up in situations, lest the boundary be too close or rigid.
All this is related to marriage and relationships, as with many other subject and ‘hot potato’ issues. Marriage, and the erosion of the truth and reasons for why the ‘classic’ and biblical understanding of it is slowly but surely being lost. The whole area is becoming more and more of a prominent discussion right now in politics and the media, and no doubt will continue to do so as big decisions about the future and the ‘laws of the land’ are made. I fear the ‘classic’ and biblical understanding of marriage may eventually be all but lost if things carry on the way they appear to be heading – another part of Christian life generally damaged beyond repair. On top of all this, biblical marriage is not even just a ‘religious’ event – a ‘vow’ and commitment between two people and a legal signing of the register – it is actually much deeper than that for those Christians who have a personal relationship with God, it’s a covenant, with God at the heart, between one man and one woman – this level of acceptability has already been lost for many perhaps even most.
It is perhaps ironic in a ‘democratic’ society which pushes freedom of speech for all, etc, a lot of people are becoming more and more unsure what is acceptable or not to say, and so would rather not say anything in fear of saying the wrong thing. Is that true freedom? Fear is ultimately a destructive thing – again, we also know this from the Bible. It is true that finding the balance / answer for all this is perhaps pretty impossible in a world of such diverse views. Perhaps it is that ultimately mankind can’t solve this issue all by himself…marriage and relationships is just one area where perhaps it is that freedom of speech and freedom of choice are winning against fear and the boundaries that have previously been in place in history for good reason, now more and more being lost or forgotten.