Marriage has been redefined, reduced, manipulated, and increasingly ignored. Younger generations are waiting or opting out altogether. What’s happened? Since the 1960s, says attorney Charles Crismier, marriage has come under fire through the no-fault divorce decrees that hold no one accountable and leave kids hurting, in poverty, or vulnerable.
“We live in a disastrously broken world,” says Crismier, “devastatingly infected by the egalitarian spirit of the French Revolution.” Now, say Crismier and his wife Kathie, a million children each year are left as virtual orphans, fatherless, and floundering. Together they wrote Lasting Love: Enduring Secrets for Marital Success, a look at the seven elements that make for a marriage that works.
With so much research that shows how children of divorce suffer – higher rates of precocious sexuality and substance abuse, poor grades, weak relationships of their own – the Crismiers say we’ve excised God from the equation, rendering His will and purpose for marriage irrelevant. “Unfortunately, our progressively ungodly culture has been striving for two generations to remove the holiness from matrimony . . . leaving marriage only about me.” More people say the authors, don’t see the bigger picture of marriage – that it builds community, protects children, and reflects our Creator’s glory.
They offer a peek at their own seven point “Marriage Motto” which systematically helps those wanting to find marital peace. These include expressing gratitude, considering one another, preferring one another, pursuing one another, praising, protecting, and praying. In the busyness of life and fighting off our own self-centeredness it is easy to forget the ingredients that make for genuine happiness.
“Unless the family is protected, neither the nation, the city, nor institutions are safe,” say the Crismiers. “A secure home is a protected home.” And in the end, isn’t this exactly what most couples say they want for their children? But keeping the primary relationship intact creates greater security for children and produces greater happiness for couples.