The Messiah And Marriage An Exposition Of Matthew 19:1-6 -- By: David J. MacLeod

Journal: Emmaus Journal
Volume: EMJ 15:2 (Winter 2006)
Article: The Messiah And Marriage An Exposition Of Matthew 19:1-6
Author: David J. MacLeod

The Messiah And Marriage An Exposition Of Matthew 19:1-61

David J. MacLeod

Dave MacLeod is Dean for Biblical Studies at Emmaus Bible College and Associate Editor of The Emmaus Journal.


“Barbie,” a twelve-inch plastic teenager, is the best known and best-selling doll in history. Since its introduction in 1959 the Barbie doll population has grown to tens of millions—more than the human population of cities like New York, Los Angeles, Mexico City, London, or Paris. Little girls adore Barbie because she is highly realistic and eminently dress-upable. Mattel, Inc., makers of Barbie, also sells a complete wardrobe for her, including clothes for ordinary daytime wear, clothes for formal party wear, riding habits, Scottish kilts, skiing outfits, and swim wear. Several years ago, in the late 1960s, Mattel announced a new improved Barbie with a slimmer figure, “real” eyelashes, and a twist-and-turn waist that made her more humanoid than ever. At the time Mattel announced that any young lady wishing to purchase a new Barbie would receive a trade-in allowance for her old one. What Mattel did not announce was that by trading in her old Barbie the little girl of today would learn a fundamental lesson about contemporary society: that man’s relationships with things are increasingly temporary.

In his fascinating (and sometimes frightening) book, Future Shock, Alvin Toffler describes contemporary America as “the throw-away society.” Increasingly rapid change and mobility have brought increasing transience to a nation he called “the new nomads.” Whereas Americans once held on to their possessions as long as possible, rapidly changing fashions and the abundance of goods now mean that things like clothes, kitchen gadgets, TV sets, and

automobiles have a built-in obsolescence, for it is understood that they will be kept only a short time and then thrown away. In our highly mobile society this attitude has extended to personal relationships. We now have, says Toffler, “the disposable person.” Applying this idea to marriage, Toffler suggests that in the future a person will normally have a series of marriage partners (“serial marriage”), each one suited to a different stage of life.

According to Professor Jessie Bernard, a world-prominent family sociologist, “Plural marriage is more extensive in our society today than it is in societies that permit polygamy—the chief difference being that we have institutionalized plural marriage serially or sequentially rather than contemporaneously.” He means by this that in a polygamous society a man may have three or four wiv...

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