A while ago, I had someone e-mail me and ask whether or not I believed the church pushes marriage. I immediately thought, yes, I think the church does push marriage.
But should it?
Do we really want the message that the church promotes to be one of marriage versus singleness?
Is marriage a sort of spiritual achievement worth striving for and if so, where does that leave all those who are single?
So yes, the church at large places marriage on a pedestal. However, I think part of the reason the American church idolizes marriage is a bit less honorable than we might suspect.
For starters, marriages produce children, and children produce families. More marriages–more children. Bigger families, you guessed it…bigger churches.
Now, please don’t misunderstand.
I do not think this is the sole reason many churches promote marriage. Not at all, but it is certainly a factor. Families are a powerful force, helping to shape the culture, from the movies that are made to the foods that are manufactured. Many churches are run like businesses, and businesses need consumers.
But beyond the need for families, the church has other reasons to promote marriage. Marriage is, after all, meant to serve as a reflection of Christ’s relationship to the Body. Yet, I doubt many pastors consider this fact when they are preaching from the pulpit about the need to be married.
Instead, it seems to me that many church leaders push marriage as a sort of excellence to be achieved– a Christian trophy to be won. They see marriage as the ultimate prize.
But is it? Is marriage really worth all the church fanfare?
Heck, yes! I love marriage and I am a huge proponent of it, as you would know if you’ve spent longer than 3 seconds on this blog.
But that does not mean that I think those who are married are somehow superior or more Godly.