FAMILY AND MARRIAGE: Principle versus Prejudice
“All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them” – Galileo Galilei
“I have chosen the way of truth; I have set my heart on Your laws.” – Bible
In our last article, we talked about the importance of the traditional family and cited several of the benefits from a marital relationship for the husband and wife and their children. Today, let’s take a deeper look at the evidence supporting God’s design for the family.
As a prelude to the comments that follow, consider a short essay written by G.K. Chesterton about 80 years ago entitled “What’s Wrong With the World?”. He talked about the difference between principle and prejudice. Principles are based on truths and don’t change. Prejudice, on the other hand, changes with the wind and the latest opinion poll.
Most of us operate our lives and our marriages based on prejudice rather than principle. If we don’t believe that God created us, has a plan for us, and intervenes in our lives, then it’s pretty difficult to establish any meaningful set of principles upon which to base our decisions. Our prejudices – and our spouses – can change with our feelings with no real basis for our conclusions.
Unlike any other living creatures, we were uniquely created by God with the ability to choose. Ultimately what this means is that we can choose to follow God, or to make man into God, and follow man’s ways. Man’s ways are many and various, however. They cannot be true in and of themselves, because man does not have that authority; only God does.
Nevertheless, man continues to try to assert his will over that of God’s.
In the early 1900s, a British anthropologist named Dr. J.D. Unwin began a study of what was behind the rise and fall of civilizations. Unwin’s conclusions were very different from the results he expected when he began the study. Nevertheless he chose to accept the truth for what it was.
In his book published in 1934 titled “Sex and Culture” Unwin evaluated 86 different societies. They included the Roman, Greek, Sumerian, Moorish, Babylonian and Anglo-Saxon civilizations and spanned hundreds of years of history.
Among the most remarkable findings of his study, Unwin discovered that, without exception, societies flourished during those times when they valued sexual fidelity and declined when sexual mores loosened. Cultures that gave priority to sexual pleasure over self-control lost what Unwin called their “expansive energy” and dwindled.
It was quite controversial at its time and is even more so now. However, it was extremely well-documented and peer-reviewed.
In an address given to the Medical Section of the British Psychological Society in 1935, Unwin said, “In human records, there is no case of an absolutely monogamous society failing to display great (cultural) energy. I do not know of a case on which great energy has been displayed by a society that has not been absolutely monogamous.”
The articles in this column are not merely a collection of ideas designed to promote one particular viewpoint among many; they are based on the premise that God does have a plan for the family and that obedience to that plan will bring benefits, whereas disobedience will bring disaster.
All the advice, self-help books and counseling in the world will be of no benefit if it not based on an absolute and objective authority. A policeman has no power in himself; his effectiveness comes because he represents a higher authority that has the ability to bring about consequences.
Just as in the old television game show “Truth or Consequences,” there is a price to be paid when the truth is not discovered.
God has given us the truth about relationships and marriage. One way of summarizing God’s truths for our marriage is as follows: 1. Love God and love husband/wife as ourself; 2. Commit to serve God and our spouse; 3. Communicate with God and with our spouse; 4. Choose carefully; 5. Understand all choices have consequences.The Family and Marriage Coalition of Aiken, Inc. (FAMCO) provides resources for you to succeed in your marriage and families. Roger Rollins, Executive Director, FAMCO, 803-640-4689, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.aikenfamco.com.