by Jimmy Evans
Marriage is the most important institution is society. We know this because it is the first thing God created in Genesis chapters one and two. It pre-dates religion, government, education and any other establishment that seeks to serve humanity. Marriage is the foundation and no other institution can remain strong without the underlying strength of marriage in the culture around it.
The quality of marriage determines the quality of society. Great nations never rise from weak marriages and families. And nations that were once great will fall if they disrespect the institution of marriage. This reality was documented in 1947 by Harvard sociologist Carle Zimmerman.
After exhaustive historical research concerning the great world empires of the past that fell from within – Assyrian, Babylonian, Greek, Roman, and Sumerian, Zimmerman found that they all followed the exact same path. He documented his findings in a report he published called Family and Civilization.
Here are the eight traits he found that all doomed empires of the past had in common. He called these the Eight Symptoms of an Atomistic Age.
1) Marriage loses its sacredness, as it is frequently broken by divorce. Such divorces do not consist of guilty parties, but simply two people who wish to terminate a relationship.
2) The traditional meaning of marriage is lost. Alternate forms of marriage arise and individualized marriage contracts are advocated. Pseudo-intellectuals (his words) begin to theorize that in order to save marriage, its form must be changed to a less strict, looser, more companionate structure.
3) The feminist movement abounds. Women lose their inclination for childbearing and rearing and the birth rate decreases.
4) There is an increased public disrespect for parents. Parenthood and authority in general is undermined, so that parenting becomes harder for those who still try to rear children.
5) There is an increase in juvenile delinquency, promiscuity and rebellion.
6) The hostility of pseudo-intellectuals to the traditional family soon spreads to the common people, sealing the doom for the society.
7) There is an increased acceptance of adultery.
8) There is a tolerance for sexual perversions of all kinds. This generally marks the final stage of societal disintegration.
Does any of this sound familiar? Of course it does! This is exactly what has been happening in America and many other nations around the world for the past fifty years. And did you notice the first symptom that begins the downfall of nations? Marriage loses its sacredness.
God knew in the beginning that marriage had to be present for Him to be able to build a society that would last. And just as He created marriage as the foundation of human culture – Satan attacked it in Genesis chapter three when he tempted Adam and Eve – the first married couple.
The result wasn’t just their fall – it was the fall of the entire world. By Genesis chapter six the earth was full of immorality and violence – just like our world today. And it began with an attack on marriage.