Letter to the Editor: Marriage protects the dignity of men and women

     The destruction of marriage is not the student “who has subconsciously decided that marriage is the ticket required to have sex unapologetically.” The destruction of marriage is the result of the licentious license given to young men and women to have sex “unapologetically” outside of marriage. Taking Ms. Plimpton’s prescription (viz., have sex before marriage) is a sure way to keep women isolated and taken advantage of by men and to allow young men to behave self-indulgently and immaturely, with no interest in marriage. In fact, a myriad of studies confirm this. A 1994 study conducted at the University of Chicago discovered “those who are virgins at marriage have much lower rates of separation and divorce.” In 2006, another study (Clark and Crompton) observed how “living common-law is also strongly associated with a first marital breakdown. In fact, the risk is 50 percent higher among people who lived with their partner before the wedding than among those who did not.” The Church is one of the last institutions on earth that truly protects men and women alike from degrading each other and leaving women lonely and men evermore predatory. The inherent dignity of men and women is completely obscured when sex is not viewed within the loving commitment of marriage.

     But what is this institution of marriage that Ms. Plimpton seems to understand far better than the naïve college Christian? Is it, as she claims, a “constraint” or just a matter of having “signed some documents and said some vows”? Or is it a matter of sacrificial love and honor to show the further mystery of Christ and his spotless Bride, the Church? The Christian worldview certainly affirms the latter. The love and honor inherent within marriage is predicated on the commitment of marriage—in fact, having sex with someone who is not your spouse does not only dishonor the sacredness of your own body but the sacredness of theirs as well. If you truly love someone, you will wait to have sex.

     Sexual attraction is a wonderful impetus to encourage marriage. But what is this attraction really meant for? Perhaps children? Indeed, sex is intrinsically tied to procreation. If a couple is not open to having children, they should not have sex and should not get married. An archaic principle, I know. If a couple is serious about getting married, they should be serious about having children. This has useful implications as it raises many important tangential questions regarding marriage—e.g., finances, careers, church and familial well-being: these questions apply to those seriously considering marriage as well as to the misguided “Ring by Springers.”

     The young evangelical who believes sex outside of marriage is a serious offense to God is not naïve; indeed, the only naïve individual is one who thinks trespassing the Law of God is a good idea (and especially one who encourages it [Matthew 18:6]). It not only warrants God’s wrath but makes a mockery out of the only pure and perfect marriage: Christ and His Church. While my wife and I certainly fall short of this one Holy Marriage of Christ, it is precisely because of this Marriage that we are able to find the grace and forgiveness needed to love and cherish each other.

     Sources: Laumann, Gagnon, Michael and Michaels, 1994; Clark and Crompton, 2006

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