white-roses

“Sex is no more a moral issue than eating a good meal. The fact that we eat most meals at home with spouses and partners does not preclude eating out in restaurants to sample different cuisines and ambiences, with friends or colleagues. Anyone rejecting a fresh approach to marriage and adultery, with a new set of rules to go with it, fails to recognize the benefits of a revitalized sex life outside the home.

I didn’t write those words. They are from an article endorsing a new moral code on affairs, and is just a taste (no pun intended) of the kind of movement our culture is experiencing in an effort for the Sexual Revolution to transcend the wedding ring.  Just consider the $1 million “ransom” offered this past spring for any woman who could provide undeniable proof that she’s had sex with football’s symbol of integrity Tim Tebow. That wasn’t just about Tim’s virginity. It was about very married, non-virgins being lured into equally sordid relationships. Set by a website that matches partners looking to have adulterous affairs—think eHarmony but minus the harmony—it was really nothing but a cheap publicity stunt.

The argument being made by those advocating a new moral marriage code is that British and American divorce rates are higher than anywhere in the world, and the problem must be the lack of freedom to experience excitement in the bedroom. What a logical fallacy that is! And if we’re to maintain the holiness of God’s wonderful picture of Christ and the Church we’d better be able to dissect it as bad thinking and replace it with something better that will, in fact, reduce divorce.

I think a better solution is to encourage our kids to get married earlier! Yup, I just typed one of the most politically incorrect things a modern mom can think up. To honor marriage to the point of actually wanting, desiring, hoping for, and planning for it with your kids is completely behind the times. (I mentioned my prayers for my 22-year-old son to find a wife to someone recently and she asked me why I wanted him to get married so young.) I think it’s very much in line with God’s wonderful plan to hope your children find their perfect match. God says that “two are better than one” and “marriage should be honored by all.” Do we express that adequately to our children when we place greater emphasis on their career path than the road to marriage?

For one thing, the incredible sexual pressure we place on our children in delaying sex (when a young woman’s biological clock is ticking and a young man’s sexual desire is at his peak) makes it really difficult for them to wait.  A lot of them won’t. And in having sex with someone before they are married, they have proven to themselves that they are fully capable of having sex with someone they are not married to. What’s the difference after a ring?

Many parents cave in to myth that marrying young will increase the risk of divorce. But research conducted at the University of Texas and Penn State University reveals that the age-divorce link is most prominent among teenagers (those who marry before age 20). Marriages that begin at age 20, 21 or 22 are not nearly so likely to end in divorce as many presume.

The average age of first marriage has risen from 21 for women and 23 for men in 1970 to where it stands today: 26 for women and 28 for men. That’s five additional, long years of peak sexual interest and fertility that we’re cheating our kids out of when we pressure them to wait. If I haven’t convinced you, read Mark Regnerus’ article entitlted “The Case for Early Marriage” before you write me off altogether.

As for me, I’m going to encourage my kids to find that special someone and spend their twenties eating hot dogs and beans to make ends meet rather than bar-hoping like those so set on delaying the commitment that comes with a ring. Maybe we could decrease the numbers of divorce by increasing the number of people who really, really love marriage!