(Photo: Reuters / Stefan Wermuth)
Marriage is a “dying institution,” actress Cameron Diaz asserts. Psychiatrist Dr. Keith Ablow agrees with her and to a certain extent, so do pastors.
“We go through our lives, day by day, striving to walk the walk, live like Christ, worship, pray and praise and do the right thing, yet in all honesty, our marriages are failing,” said the Revs. Mike and Trisha Fox of Marriage for Today and authors of Marriage for Today: A Practical Guide for Couples.
Diaz’s views on marriage were revealed in the June issue of Maxim magazine. The 38-year-old actress said, “I don’t think we should live our lives in relationships based off old traditions that don’t suit our world any longer.”
Ablow, a member of the Fox News Medical A-Team, supported her statement with his own commentary on Fox News last week, saying, “Marriage is (as it has been for decades now) a source of real suffering for the vast majority of married people.” He contended that the end of marriage is “only a matter of time now” and that "we should be thinking about what might replace it."
Both Diaz and Ablow’s statements, although outrageous, are “actually bringing up some very, very fundamental flaws in the way we, as Christians, view marriage,” the Foxes of Marriage for Today commented to The Christian Post.
But they shared their concern over Diaz’s comments, especially given her influence. The pastors pointed out that the actress isn’t the most qualified when it comes to marriage advice.
“We don't live that way, we strive to live to please God as well as please our spouse,” they remarked. “Would we ever take gardening advice from a shop mechanic that does nothing but fix cars?”
They encouraged people to not to be “affected by Cameron's silly statements” and to “create some new quotes of your own!”
While disagreeing, the Foxes view the recent comments as a wake-up call. “[Ablow] is waking us up! He is telling us, those who will actually listen, that we as Christians are doing something very wrong in our lives, and he along with many other are seeing it!”
The pastors pointed to a study by The Barna Research Group which showed that divorce rates among conservative Christians were significantly higher than that of other faith groups, and much higher than that of atheists or agnostics.
“[Ablow] is right that in essence, the institution of marriage is dying. But we as Christians must see this as sort of a challenge and stand up to it!” the Foxes said.
They stressed that Christians have to ask themselves, “Why is it dying? Why are there so many divorces in our ranks? Why is it, as Dr. Keith plainly explains to us, that our marriages are not a source of happiness, relief, solace and joy; but of stress and torn lives?"
The pastors noted, “God often uses counterparts to us to keep us in check; to keep us on our toes. To see if we still believe what we say we believe.”
So they asked, is marriage still worth fighting for? Are Christians going to be like the “Ostrich, and simply, virtuously, with fake piety, stick our head in the ground while [our] head is in the ground, the rest of the body sticks out like a fluorescent lunch plate for predators screaming, ‘Come and eat me! I'm not going anywhere!’”
“If anyone on Earth should have a loving, happy, fulfilling marriage, it should be God’s people,” they concluded.