Freedom. We love it. We fight for it. We die for it. It is the best gift God has ever endowed upon humanity—free will. But is our free will truly free if we allow ourselves to do whatever we want? Let’s take a look at how this plays out culturally.
In the mindset of progress, social norms are being changed. Traditional family structures have vastly changed in the past 50 years. Due to a desire to be more accepting of people’s choices, I believe, we’re sending the message that ‘everything is permissible’ as long as you don’t break the law.
For example, it used to be that married couples stuck it out when things got difficult because marriage vows really meant something—it was an issue of honor and respect of a person’s faith in God that marriage was considered a holy union—a promise before the Almighty. Yet some made poor choices in spouses, and it was understandable that some divorce happened due to unfaithfulness or abusive situations. The desire to be more accepting of divorce in those situations, led to a more lax idea of why people should divorce in this first place. People began thinking it was okay to divorce your spouse for any reason—irreconcilable differences—whatever that means. It didn’t appear to be a big deal. At least that is what we thought. Soon divorce rates escalated. In time, some statistics have reported one out of every two marriages fail.
The women’s movement coincided with this casual attitude towards the marriage vows. As a woman, I’m glad that we’ve made strides in what women can do in the professional arena. I think that kind of progress is good! However, we somehow got the message that we could do it alone—that men were not needed any more (as the breadwinners, etc.). Very few women make more money than men (women are still typically paid less then men for the the same job), and piggybacking with this view was that parenthood could be done solo, too. At least that is what we thought.
With the sexual revolution of the 1960s, and easy access to birth control, women could fool around just like men did with little consequence. At least that is what we thought. Unwanted pregnancies became more frequent because no form of birth control is full-proof. Then the attitude of “this is my body and I can do what I want with it” became the slogan for the right to end an unwanted pregnancy. In 1973, the US Supreme Court listened to arguments in the Roe versus Wade case and made abortion legal. Now, a woman controlled her choices regarding careers, and didn’t have to be “held back” by small set of “fetal tissue.” At least that is what we thought.
It wasn’t until the 1980s that ultrasound was significantly improved enough to see that there was more going on inside a women’s uterus than just a bunch of cells clumping together in the early stages of pregnancy. Images began to unveil that this fetal tissue really looked like a tiny baby! What have women been doing to themselves, or more accurately, what had they been doing to that little child growing inside of them? Guilt, shame and condemnation set in—women now knew the truth—this wasn’t just a set of cells, but a baby. They had been unknowingly killing their own children!
Because of better technologies today, more women are opting out of choosing to abort their children, and abortion rates have significantly declined. Still, plenty of women abort. And those who choose not to abort often choose single parenthood—no “daddy” needed. More than four in ten births (41 percent) are to unmarried women today.
As a married woman, I can vouch for how much I depend on and lean into my husband for support raising our children. I can’t imagine being a single mother. It looks exhausting! When I attend church, I see many young mothers struggling with their babies or toddlers single-handedly, looking tired, and frustrated that they can’t focus entirely on the service because their child is acting up. I think, “If they only had a husband to give them a break.” Parenting was never meant to be done solo. Click To Tweet (Divorce forced many into single parenthood, as well.)
God’s best for us is described in the Bible through His moral instruction. This is designed to keep us from harmful circumstances that today we think are somehow ‘freeing.’ Society said we could do what we wanted (as long as we don’t hurt others), right? Then why is everything still so hard?
God’s rules protect us from our own self-destruction. Here are some of God’s rules we regularly break:
1) Don’t have sex before marriage (STDs occur only when you have multiple sex partners; unwanted pregnancies can result; and memories from previous lovers can haunt you, scarring the potential for a healthy sex life later in marriage).
2) Stay committed to the marriage vows you made (with a few exceptions for unfaithfulness or abusive situations). This protects you from single parenting or growing old alone. Remember, good marriages takes work. Get counseling if needed, but don’t believe the lie that the “grass is greener on the other side.” Make a good spousal choice to begin with; don’t just jump into it.
3) Have children together, as male and female partners who embody the complete picture of the human experience (same sex marriage cannot procreate for a reason—we weren’t designed that way). Single parenthood is possible, and certain situations leave some without a choice, but don’t make that choice on purpose.
God’s laws, as described in the Bible, are viewed today as old-fashioned, out of touch with reality, or “archaic.” Yet, just look around you—see what happens when we break His moral laws? Click To Tweet “I have the right to do what I want, and that will make me happy!” At least that is what we thought.
Divorce rates hurt everyone involved; single parents are exhausted and/or broke; same-sex partners can’t embody the fullness of the human experience expressed in a male and female relationship. Men and women are different for a reason—to complement one another in a complete picture of humanity.
“I have the right to do anything,” you say–but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”–but not everything is constructive,” (1 Cor. 10:23).
We have personal, God-given freedom to do as we wish: freedom to do what ‘we want’ that is supposed to make us happy. At least that is what we thought. In reality, we often become less free because circumstances pull us into burdens we were never meant to carry. Just take a look at our society today—it’s clear that people are not happier.