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Is Marriage Making a Comeback Among the Young?

This is the season of weddings. My wife and I will attend three weddings in the span of eight days this week or so. These are wonderful Christian young people who are deeply committed believers and who are taking to marriage with full biblical seriousness.

Today, The Times [London] reports that marriage, having been marginalized, weakened, and all but dismissed in some modern circles, is making a comeback among young adults — and especially among young women, who are once again demanding marriage.

Furthermore, against the background of marital decline, many of these young people see marriage as an act of social revolution. From the article:

The idea of marriage being the edgy, adventurous choice is a common theme among the young and newly married. Clover Stroud, who married at 24, when none of her friends was anywhere close to taking such a serious step, says it felt “like a brave, life-affirming choice. Anything less seemed a bit lazy”. Amy Jenkins, 39, the writer and creator of This Life, also surprised herself by bucking the trend when she married two years ago. She comes from a background where, she says, the line is “I don’t believe in marriage”, and she subscribed to it wholeheartedly, until she met the man she wanted to spend the rest of her life with. “A lot of people said, ‘Why not just live together?’, and I did find that quite a hard question to answer. I suppose there’s an absoluteness about marriage. And I think it is completely different for our generation: all the reasons why marriage was considered to be restrictive have evaporated, if you’re coming at it from the place that we are. So now it’s okay to want a little bit of that bondage, because it imposes a structure. I actually feel more empowered by being married.”

Those last lines are truly revolutionary, and this young woman articulates something essential about the moral character of marriage. There is indeed an “absoluteness” about marriage, and it does indeed impose a structure. Those are key and crucial insights.