A few thoughts here in light of the cultural transformation in the past 50 years or so.
1. Marriage is the initial step in forming a family unit. It was generally accepted that a man and a woman entered into an institution that carried with it certain obligations that were inherent to the very essence of the union. I remind folks that I counsel in preparation for marriage that they are embracing the institution of marriage on God’s terms, because he’s the creator and Lord over the institution. Marriage, then, is not merely a human contract that is contingent on the happiness of the parties. Over-romanticized visions of perpetual bliss actually breeds a discontent among the married, whom are constantly encouraged by friends to ditch the opporesive institution.
2. The subtle enemy of unrealistic visions of romantic bliss provided an opening to an even graver threat: the mantra of the sexual revolution of free love (essentially sex without any strings attached). Once happiness became enshrined as a god over the virtue of embracing hardship in marriage (for better or worse), then the procreational aspect of sexual intimacy was detached from the institution and re-attached to the god of personal happiness. Sex was divorced from marriage. And sex was also divorced from its procreational function. I’m not arguing that sexual intimacy is only about procreation and not the mutual enjoyment of the spouses, but that it was attached solely to one’s happiness as an individual human right, without the consequences of child-bearing.
3. Since relationships are now understood as primarily serving one’s personal happiness and sexual preference, then marriage is argued to simply be the voluntary association of two adults so long as happiness and sexual desire are satisfied. I have gay friends who would take issue with that characterization and say that they actually embrace the traditional hubris of marriage as an institution, however my point is that this arrangement has only been made possible by the emphasis on personal happiness and sexual desire as the be-all, end-all of our autonomous desires – so much so that children, if an inconvenience, need not be embraced as the natural result of procreation.
4. My last point here is that children have become a commodity of sorts in this new arrangement that is mainly defined by personal happiness and sexual freedom. If you don’t want children, then use birth control or abort them. Aborting babies is okay so long as it serves the greater good of the happiness of those engaging in heterosexual intercourse. Children have become a commodity to same-sex partnerships as well. Having defied the natural order of how procreation functions, there are many same-sex partners who think that raising children is almost a right inherent in becoming a family. The fact that they can’t procreate is incidental and actually a cruel deprivation by the natural order of things, some have argued. They have a right to raise children, it is claimed.
5. Children have been relegated to the worst form of subservience in this revolution. They are the victims. They can be aborted to the god of personal happiness and free sex on one hand, while also placed in the homes of others to fulfill the desires of those who think they have a right to raise children. I’m grateful for all who wish to love unwanted children, but my criticism is of the rights-based rationale being used by some from the homosexual community. This rights-based rationale has also manifested itself in legal action to secure access to an opposite gender bathroom if a child has decided that a mistake was made in their anatomy, and a host of other examples. Rights are now being defined, not by the immutability and nature of things, but based on preference.
6. The more subtle result of children only being embraced when adults happen to will it as part of their pursuit of happiness is that they have been made idols, of course under the idols of the parents who willed their existence. We live in one of the most child-centered cultures known to mankind. How is this so? How can a culture that embraces abortion on one hand
also elevate children on the other? It’s simply amazing the amount of money being spent by some couples in order to produce a child, while millions more are also spent in destroying perfectly healthy fetuses. How can this be? Again, children have been detached from the natural ordering of society and made slaves to our happiness, whether in their death or life, through unnatural abortion or the use of scientific advances to produce a child apart from natural procreational activity. By the way, I’m not all together opposed to the use of certain technologies to help conceive a child, just pointing out the extreme measures that are often taken in either terminating or procuring a child.
What is ahead of us?
© 2013, Rick Hogaboam. All rights reserved.