Essay / Uncategorized

A Tough Time to Marry

John Mark Reynolds, 2005.

I want to clarify that when I worry about the birth rate in the nation I am not suggesting that the fault is all in this generation.  Sometimes those of us who worry about this kind of thing sound like selfish Scrooges wishing for no more Tiny Tims. Our culture makes it very hard to get married. It is often impossible to make it on one pay check. Check out the taxes government takes from anyone who might be able to do so. We keep trying and failing. Student loans to get the college union card strap many young adults. My generation failed as role models. Who wants to marry when Mom and Dad are divorced or in a loveless marriage? Many young adults are harmed by the bad examples we have been. Many of us are trying to do better, but we have much to redeem.

The lack of children is a large scale problem that says more about culture than any individual. It certainly cannot be solved by individuals making bad choices for themselves. Society makes it hard to get married until late in life. To me that, not hedonism in the young or any such problem, is the root of it. Another important point to balance my worries is that not everyone is called to marriage. One of the most pious men I know is called to celibacy. Another very wonderful woman is celibate because she met no man that would have been appropriate to her gifts and calling. Her gifts and calling are very great and she is the model of a true lady. Not only is singleness a calling, but it can also be as much a bloodless martyrdom as marriage is for the married. Being single is a great gift and calling. The traditional church has a very high view of the person who is faithful to that calling and reserves its highest positions for the celibate single person.

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