October 27, 2006

Marriage & Hope

The latest NR mentions a problem we're familiar with but casts it in a different light:
Married couples have been falling as a proportion of all American households for years, and have now dipped below 50 percent. More people are shacking up, and singles are waiting longer to get married. The decline of marriage as a lived reality is in part the result of its strengthening as an ideal: People exalt marriage so much that they don’t feel up to it.
It's not that people think less of marriage, but rather more of it. It reminds me of a conversation I had with a couple twenty-something single young men who, with an intensity that surprised me, said they would never get divorced. The reason? They felt the wounds of divorce and would not inflict those wounds on their children.

This fear of the young not being up to marriage might ring true to youth minister Matthew J. Pinto, author of the book Did Adam & Eve Have Bellybuttons...And 199 other questions from Catholic Teenagers. Pinto says that what teenagers lack most is hope, and that adults and catechists should emphasize it since it speaks directly to their need.

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