Most people do not use cassette-driven answering machines anymore. Most people do not continue to use their first generation iPods, because they do not have the cool scroll wheel, enough storage, video capabilities, etc. iPods, along with iPads, computers, cars, and a lot of other technology are designed with intentional and planned obsolescence. Technology will change and people will need to buy a new gadget to keep up – it is often a matter of months before a newer, cooler, sleeker (and often cheaper) model comes out. We live in a changing world where things can quickly become obsolete.
Institutions can become obsolete, as well – not only businesses or organization, but also social institutions like marriage. Time recently published Who Needs Marriage? How an American Institution Is Changing. The article states that:
The Pew survey reveals that nearly 40% of us think marriage is obsolete. This doesn’t mean, though, that we’re pessimistic about the future of the American family; we have more faith in the family than we do in the nation’s education system or its economy. We’re just more flexible about how family gets defined.
The couple might see marriage as a jump-off-the-cliff type declaration that “we’re all in” this relationship. Or the “I do’s” are said because the person who has been reluctant to walk down the aisle finally decides that step would be less painful than losing their partner.
I am ready to see the Church care less about the civil institution of marriage and more about embracing the theological and missiological potential in a deep, rich, and radical understanding of marriage.
What do you think?