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Is Marriage Obsolete?  

I’m not exactly on top of the news here, but there has been a lot of speculation in the media about the end of marriage as we know it.  In November of last year a Time/PEW poll suggested that 40% of Americans thought marriage was obsolete.  A more recent PEW survey of the millennial generation (currently 18-29) found that 52 % thought being a good parent was one of the most important things in life, whereas only 30 % thought the same of having a successful marriage.  A gap of 22%.  Thirteen years earlier, the same question to the same age group (Generation X) had only a 7 % gap.

Ideas about marriage and family are changing as well.  For instance, there has been radical growth in accepting gay relationships and some movement toward the idea of gay marriage. 

With all this change, perhaps marriage is obsolete.  What is so special about getting married? 

On the one hand, I kind of like the idea that marriage is obsolete.  On the other hand, the day I got married was the happiest day of my life.  How can I make sense of those two seemingly opposite ideas.

It could be said I’m not a big fan of marriage but I am a big fan of relationships.  The commitment of the people involved and the quality of the relationship is much more important than whether the couple has a marriage license. 

A marriage is a fine thing but is not very meaningful if it doesn’t surround a solid relationship.  I’m sometimes disturbed by the resources poured into weddings (over $71 BILLION a year) compared to the attention paid to the marriage.

My wedding day wasn’t the happiest of my life because we had a rockin party at our wedding—which we did—but because it was a statement of my commitment to my wonderful wife.  

I suggest we worry less about whether marriage is obsolete and more about creating the best possible relationships we can.