The War on Marriage and Family

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MP3 Audio (42.79 MB)


The War on Marriage and Family

MP3 Audio (42.79 MB)

It’s often been noted, and rightly so, that the family is the central building block of human civilization. And the vital foundation of the family is the solid and secure marriage of a man and woman who are fully bonded together in mind and heart for a lifetime (see Romans 7:2). Marriage also unites parents with any children they may have, providing a solid foundation for the stable development of the next generation.

When the underpinning of the marriage relationship is strong and secure in individual marriages, it portends great blessings and advantages for the future of society. However, when the basis of family and marriage begins deteriorating, the entire society experiences the ruinous effects, threatening its very existence.

Sadly, we are witnessing this very state of affairs in nations around the world today. This is because there’s an all-out war being waged against marriage and family, inflamed by the sinister unseen spiritual forces of Satan the devil and his demons.

We are currently witnessing the greatest attempt ever made to subvert the institution of marriage, one that threatens to annihilate the traditional family. Indeed, right now multiple millions of men and women are allowing themselves—either by choice or ignorance—to fall into a nefarious trap that will bring only suffering and sorrow. The battlefields in this warfare are many, and you need to know where they are, what they portend for society and what God would have His faithful people do.

The combat zones in this war include several harrowing frontlines of advancing corruption and destruction, such as the sexual hook-up culture, cohabiting couples, the prevalence of divorce, the normalization of homosexual behavior and same-sex marriage, transgenderism and efforts to completely eliminate gender identity. We will examine each of these so you will be better informed as to what’s going on—and what God’s Word says about it.

God’s divine purposes for marriage and family

The marital union is both a natural and divine institution established by God (Genesis 2:24). He created marriage and family so that human beings could learn to love one another as He loves them (Ephesians 5:25-33).

When our eternal Creator designed sex (see Genesis 1:27; Genesis 2:18; Genesis 2:24), He intended it as a pure and wonderful way for a husband and wife to express love for each other and intimately bond together in the matrimonial relationship. It is also a means for a couple to conceive and bring children into a warm, tender and joyful family relationship (Genesis 1:28; Malachi 2:15).

Also, when God created human reproduction through sex in marriage to populate the earth, it included His ultimate intention to bring “many children to glory” (Hebrews 2:10, New Living Translation). He is in fact adding members to His family by providing the potential for people to eventually receive eternal divine life in His coming Kingdom (Romans 8:16). Further, the devoted relationship between a husband and wife is meant to reflect the loving relationship between Jesus Christ and His Church (Ephesians 5:31-32).

Therefore, considering what marriage and family portray spiritually, we should see that God has designed the sexual relationship only for a husband and wife in a steadfast, loving, lifelong marriage (Genesis 2:24). Any sexual liaison outside of what God originally intended in marriage debases, dishonors and corrupts the vitally important family relationship (1 Corinthians 6:15-20).

The troubled world in which we live

The Bible calls the acts of premarital sex and adultery sin—the breaking of God’s commandments (1 John 3:4). God will not allow into His Kingdom any who do not repent of such sins (1 Corinthians 6:18; Hebrews 13:4; Revelation 21:8). So at creation, the Eternal God set in motion His holy purposes for marriage and sex. Anyone attempting to contradict or work outside of His flawless aims will bring severe penalties on themselves.

Indeed, we see such disastrous outcomes occurring in people’s lives throughout society. The breaking of God’s holy laws involving sex and marriage has created an alarming firestorm of family breakdowns, severe unhappiness, physical and mental health afflictions and financial losses. In total disregard of God’s pure intention for sex, it has regrettably become cheap, common and anything but special in today’s world.

Movies and television shows constantly push the concept that permissive sexuality in any form is not only acceptable but desirable. Viewers incessantly receive the ill-conceived, destructive message that sex between any consenting adults is physically and emotionally enjoyable and can occur without “strings.” Sadly, huge numbers of people believe this terrible lie and are suffering intensely as a result.

Let’s examine several specific societal developments that are undermining marriage and family. Also, from the perspective of perfect Holy Scripture and helpful secular sources, we’ll assess the pernicious toll these developments are taking on individuals and society.

Today’s “hookup” culture

A hookup culture, according to Wikipedia, is one that “accepts and encourages casual sexual encounters, including one-night stands and other related activity, without necessarily including emotional bonding or long-term commitment. It has also been called nonrelationship sex, or sex without dating.”

In research on such casual sex, Kinsey Institute researcher Justin Garcia and his associates from Binghamton University stated that “hookups are part of a popular cultural shift that has infiltrated the lives of emerging adults throughout the Westernized world” (“Sexual Hookup Culture: A Review,” National Center for Biotechnology Information, June 1, 2012, p. 171).

While this has become commonplace and increasingly accepted, what are its injurious effects in people’s lives, particularly those of high school and college age? According to Dr. Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Professor Emerita of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst:

“Hookups pose a significant threat to the physical and psychological health of these young individuals. In addition to the known risks of contracting STDs, developing unwanted pregnancies, and being raped or otherwise assaulted, people who engage in casual sex may suffer emotional consequences that persist long after the details of an encounter are a dim memory. On college campuses, where brief sexual liaisons are prevalent, unanticipated results can jeopardize a student’s career. In the workplace, the results can be just as disastrous, if not more so” (“How Casual Sex Can Affect Our Mental Health,” Psychology Today, posted March 9, 2013, emphasis added throughout).

Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family, wrote: “When we discuss the growing trends of young people engaging in the ‘hookup culture’—we often speak of the damage it does to girls. There’s good reason for that, obviously—young women often feel great pressure to go along with certain behaviors and later pay a high price for it in terms of sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy and emotional wounds.

“But what about the young men? The hookup culture . . . causes them to have a low and inhumane view of sexuality (often from pornography) which then hurts their general life skills for years and years to come . . . A boy who takes part in random sexual acts doesn’t learn what is good, healthy, respectful and God-ordained. He’s being conditioned for underperformance, as he won’t be able to exercise self-control or a desire to pursue well in other areas of his life. His chances to build and lead a home later on are also negatively impacted . . . A boy’s ability to enter into a safe, trusting relationship—of any kind—is atrophied” (“The Hookup Culture Also Hurts Our Boys,” Daly Focus, Sept. 10, 2013).

Cohabitation—living together outside of marriage

Another crippling societal development subverting marriage is cohabitation, which involves couples living together and having a sexual relationship without being married. Regrettably, this has become so prevalent in society that few people give it a second thought. 

In 2001 the National Marriage Project at Rutgers University of New Jersey conducted a comprehensive study of cohabitation. Its 20-page, highly documented and footnoted report concluded that: “Despite its widespread acceptance by the young, the remarkable growth of unmarried cohabitation in recent years does not appear to be in children’s or the society’s best interest. The evidence suggests that it has weakened marriage and the intact, two-parent family and thereby damaged our social wellbeing, especially that of women and children” (David Popenoe and Barbara Defoe, “Should We Live Together? What Young Adults Need to Know About Cohabitation Before Marriage,” The National Marriage Project, 2002).

The report noted that a nationwide survey that year found that two thirds of young adults believed that moving in together before marriage was a good way to avoid divorce. The American College of Pediatricians commented on this mistaken notion as part of a comprehensive report on the overall effects of cohabitation:

“Contrary to the current perception of many adolescents and young adults who view cohabitation as a substitute for marriage or as a stepping stone to a more secure marriage, studies show that cohabiting unions are more likely to dissolve than marriages that were not preceded by cohabitation. Cohabiting unions are more likely to involve infidelity and also more likely to involve violence.

“Furthermore, children, whether born prior to, during, or after parental cohabitation, are at increased risk for negative [outcomes] including premature birth, school failure, lower education, more poverty during childhood and lower incomes as adults, more incarceration and behavior problems, single parenthood, medical neglect and chronic health problems both medical and psychiatric, more substance, alcohol and tobacco abuse, and child abuse. Cohabiting women are also more likely to choose to end their child’s life prior to birth” (“Cohabitation: Effects of Cohabitation on the Men and Women Involved,” American College of Pediatricians, March 2015).

Beyond these troublesome conclusions, it’s vital to note that God’s Word describes such living arrangements and relationships as inherently wrong and patently immoral. This is because sex outside of marriage is completely contrary to the way of life God requires of us (Matthew 15:19-20; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Galatians 5:19-21).

The epidemic of divorce

Tragically, divorce has reached epidemic proportions in many industrialized nations. For example, reports the following divorce rates for first-time marriages: United Kingdom, 53 percent; United States, 49 percent; Canada, 45 percent; France, 43 percent; Germany, 41 percent; Netherlands 41 percent.

Although the results of marital breakups differ in severity, there are similarities in the pain involved. For example, various aspects of a couple’s identity are lost after divorce—such as where one lives, what school the children will attend, and the friends, neighbors and relatives with whom the couple had associated.

Women often experience greater financial distress following divorce since they often are awarded custody of the children and are responsible for most household expenses. This may mean moving to a smaller residence, having less spending money and living paycheck-to-paycheck without an emergency fund. According to the American Sociological Review, women often do not fully recover from financial losses unless or until they remarry (“The Effect of Marriage and Divorce on Women’s Economic Well-Being,” 1999, Vol. 64, pp. 794-812).

Also, due to the emotional stress of divorce, a woman’s physical health can be at great risk from threats such as heart conditions and cancer. Divorced women often experience higher levels of anxiety, depression, anger and loneliness that can last for years.

A paper titled “The Influence of Divorce on Men’s Health,” published in the September 2013 issue of the Journal of Men’s Health, stated that after divorce men are more prone to deep depression and to abusing alcohol and drugs. The suicide risk for a divorced man is 39 percent higher than that for a married man. It was also stated that divorced men are at higher risk for physical health problems including cancer, heart attack and stroke.

Besides the aftereffects of divorce on the former husband and wife, their children will also suffer greatly. The Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development states: “Numerous studies have found that parental separation and divorce is associated with a range of negative outcomes for younger children and adolescents across various domains. Parental separation/divorce is associated with academic difficulties, including lower grades and prematurely dropping out of school, and greater disruptive behaviors. Children and adolescents who experience the divorce of their parents also have higher rates of depressed mood, lower self-esteem, and emotional distress” (Brian D’Onofrio, Ph.D., “Consequences of Separation/Divorce for Children,” 2011).

The same source goes on to state: “Parental divorce is also associated with negative outcomes and earlier life transitions as offspring enter young adulthood and later life. Children of divorce are more likely to experience poverty, educational failure, early and risky sexual activity, non-marital childbirth, earlier marriage, cohabitation, marital discord and divorce.”

Similarly, the Marriage and Religion Research Institute published a comprehensive 48-page report on the subject, stating: “Divorce . . . permanently weakens the family and the relationship between children and parents. It frequently leads to destructive conflict management methods, diminished social competence and for children, the early loss of virginity, as well as diminished sense of masculinity or femininity for young adults. It also results in more trouble with dating, more cohabitation, greater likelihood of divorce, higher expectations of divorce later in life, and a decreased desire to have children.

“Paul Amato, professor of sociology at Pennsylvania State University summed it up: divorce leads to ‘disruptions in the parent-child relationship, continuing discord between former spouses, loss of emotional support, economic hardship, and an increase in the number of other negative life events’” (Patrick Fagan and Aaron Churchill, “The Effects of Divorce on Children,” Jan. 11, 2012).

It’s no wonder that God plainly states that He hates divorce, since it’s a scourge that tremendously harms individuals, families, communities and society in general (Malachi 2:16; see also Matthew 19:3-9).

Homosexual behavior and same-sex unions

The subject of homosexual behavior and same-sex marriage (or gay marriage) has been hotly debated in many countries. Over the past several years, “marriages” of same-sex couples have been recognized by law in 25 nations. Among these are Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Certainly legislators and judges in democratic countries, under the consent of the governed, have the freedom to pass or uphold laws they believe are correct, including statutes regarding homosexual issues. However, just because something can be done does not inherently make it okay in the eyes of God. Also, just because something is accepted in society, such as homosexual behavior now is, does not mean it is in any way good, healthy or desirable.

Let’s look at it this way: When God created the earth and all life on it, He said “it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). But the perfect way in which He established things at that time is not how we find them now. Why? Because when sin entered the world through the disobedience of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, everything changed.

What was perfect became contaminated. And since then, the world has existed in a corrupted condition. Our first parents sinned by deciding for themselves what was right and wrong in eating fruit from “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (Genesis 2:15-17; Genesis 3:1-6).

From that time forward each succeeding generation has followed the same unwise and harmful example by also doing what seemed right in their own eyes (Proverbs 14:12; Proverbs 21:2). Taking that pathway throughout history has resulted in mountains of anguish and misery that the world has heaped on itself—prodded by the devil’s nefarious influence (Genesis 3:3-24; 1 John 5:19; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 2:2; Revelation 12:9). All of this must be considered when we appraise the relative “goodness” of anything, including decisions by lawmakers and judges to approve same-sex marriage as law.

The only way to know if something is truly right is to examine it in the revealing bright light of God’s Word. For example, concerning even the wording of the phrase “same-sex marriage,” we need to realize that only our Creator has the right to define the marriage relationship.

And regarding homosexual activity itself, the Bible plainly labels it as sinful (Leviticus 18:22; Leviticus 20:13; Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10). Of course, we should show compassion to those who have same-sex attraction and who struggle with temptation to pursue this lifestyle and are striving to avoid sin with God’s help.

Much research has revealed just how perilous and destructive this lifestyle can be. For example, on March 9, 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services placed the following on its website: “Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) have been rising among gay and bisexual men, with increases in syphilis being seen across the country. In 2014, gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men accounted for 83% of primary and secondary syphilis cases where sex of sex partner was known in the United States. Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men often get other STDs, including chlamydia and gonorrhea infections.”

Also, on April 5, 2018, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services posted this statement on its website: “In the United States, gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM) are the population most affected by HIV [human immunodeficiency virus, which causes AIDS]. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 67% of people diagnosed with HIV in 2015 in the United States were gay and bisexual men.”

In addition reported in July 2016: “Depression affects LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] people at higher rates than the heterosexual population, and LGBT youths are more likely than heterosexual students to report high levels of drug use and feelings of depression. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the third leading cause of death among people age 10 to 24 in the United States. Lesbian, gay, and bisexual youths in grades 7-12 are twice as likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers.”

Despite the terrible damage it brings, the homosexual lifestyle is increasingly accepted and even promoted. Television programs in the United States overwhelmingly depict it in a positive manner. Last year the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) boasted on its website: “Of the 901 regular characters expected to appear on broadcast scripted primetime programming this season [2017], 58 (6.4%) were identified as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer. This is the highest percentage GLAAD has found in the history of this report.”

A child who grows up having seen the homosexual lifestyle portrayed positively throughout his life will certainly be inclined to view it as normal and not harmful.

On May 2, 2016, international speaker and biblical scholar Dr. Michael Brown stated this on his website: “Children in elementary schools will be exposed to the rightness and complete normality of homosexuality, bisexuality, and transgender expression . . . Opposing views will be branded as dangerous and homophobic, to be silenced and excluded from the classroom. Middle schools, high schools, and colleges will go out of their way to encourage both the celebration of homosexuality and deep solidarity with gay activism . . .” This trend is certainly accelerating in schools throughout the land!

Homosexual behavior, which not long ago was labeled as immoral in many nations and subject to legal punishment, is now essentially exempt from public censure. If someone dares criticize it, he or she may be accused of promoting “hate speech.” Nevertheless, homosexual activity and all other sexual activity outside of proper marriage between a man and woman are severe violations of God’s instructions, as is made crystal clear in the Bible (see 1 Timothy 1:9-10).

Normalizing transgenderism and eliminating gender identity

The online Cambridge Dictionary says the adjective transgender is “used to describe someone who feels that they are not the same gender (= sex) as the one they had or were said to have at birth.” It essentially refers to men who view themselves as women and women who view themselves as men.

Some go even further in pressing for non-binary genderism, gender fluidity or even the abolition of gender altogether. Some activists contend that gender has no real validity—that the concepts of male and female are merely societal constructs. According to an article at “Postgenderists argue that the abolishment of gender would, in fact, be freeing, and would rid society of traditional gender roles and expectations that are largely detrimental to society” (“What Would a Post-Gender World Look Like?” March 28, 2016).

Even though some people may think or feel they are of the opposite gender from the way they were born, or desire to be something undefined in terms of gender, we again return to the fact that when God created human beings He gave each distinct sexual identity as either male or female. Good psychiatric science understands that even though people may think they hold a different sexual identity, these are really abnormal feelings and are symptomatic of deeper psychological problems.

For example, in writing about his 40-year study of people who had gender confusion issues, Paul McHugh, M.D., former chairperson and distinguished professor of the Department of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, wrote:

“Gender dysphoria—the official psychiatric term for feeling oneself to be of the opposite sex—belongs in the family of similarly disordered assumptions about the body, such as anorexia nervosa and body dysmorphic disorder. Its treatment should not be directed at the body as with surgery and hormones any more than one treats obesity-fearing anorexic patients with liposuction.”

He went on: “The treatment should strive to correct the false, problematic nature of the assumption and to resolve the psychological conflicts provoking it. With youngsters, this is best done in family therapy” (“Transgender Surgery Isn’t the Solution,” The Wall Street Journal, June 12, 2014).

In discussing the current drive in the culture to cater to transgenderism, Dr. McHugh wrote: “The idea that one’s sex is fluid and a matter open to choice runs unquestioned through our culture and is reflected everywhere in the media, the theater, the classroom, and in many medical clinics. It has taken on cult-like features: its own special lingo, Internet chat rooms providing slick answers to new recruits, and clubs for easy access to dresses and styles supporting the sex change.

“It is doing much damage to families, adolescents, and children and should be confronted as an opinion without biological foundation wherever it emerges” (“Transgenderism: A Pathogenic Meme,” Public Discourse, June 10, 2015).

Likewise, Dr. Richard Fitzgibbons, trained in psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania and serving as director of the Institute for Marital Healing near Philadelphia, wrote: “Transsexuals and sex-change operations are receiving a great deal of attention. Young people may seek treatment for transsexual attractions at an early age even though these attractions may go away on their own. Psychological conflicts have been identified in these patients and their parents and may be successfully treated.

“There are serious risks associated with sex change. They include the risk of depressive illness and suicide. Physicians and mental-health professionals should know these risks and the regrets of those who have been through sex-change operations. These patients and their families also should be informed of other treatment options” (“Transsexual Attractions and Sexual Reassignment Surgery: Risks and Potential Risks,” Institute for Marital Healing, Nov. 1, 2015).

Stand strong in a corrupt world

Our great Creator has blessed humanity with the wonderful benefit of marriage and family. When the foundation of the matrimonial relationship between husbands and wives is strong and secure, it heralds great advantages for the future of society at large. However, when the groundwork of family and marriage is destabilized, the entire society experiences the injurious effects and places its very survival at stake. Sadly, we are witnessing this very situation today in what amounts to an all-out war against marriage and family.

Since dangerous, lawless forces are at work in our midst, we must remain vigilant in guarding against an increasingly immoral and degenerating society (Matthew 24:12; Romans 1:28-32). Therefore, let us not put our trust in the words and ideas of men, but in what the Supreme Authority of the universe reveals through His Word, the Holy Bible (2 Samuel 22:31; Philippians 4:7; 1 Thessalonians 2:13).

Thankfully God the Father will soon send His Son, Jesus Christ, to deliver the world from its self-destructive path and will heal the hearts and minds of all people (Isaiah 9:6-7). As we stand strong in the truth of God’s Word today, let’s prepare for a magnificent new world ahead where righteousness will rule forever!


  • B. H. Baskin

    Great article! Our teens should be required to read or listen to this as part of group studies, at our youth camps and in our homes. It doesn’t beat around the bush. If you’re someone who believes in God and His Word you can’t argue with the proof of how He wants us to live as men and women.

  • michael9776

    Thank you for writing this article.

    As a Christian man who has been struggling to cope with homosexuality for many years, I understand the human reaction of the gay activists. They perceive Christianity as only condemning and wanting to hurt them. Although the Church of God has a responsibility to preach and live according to biblical standards - just condemning won't change things. It's easy to tell people that they are sinning. What is difficult is knowing how to help others change their circumstances.

    As you may know, this issue isn't just about immorality. It is a manifestation of an entire broken society and broken relationships. The issue of homosexuality won't be going away because pain is driving it. Treating people with cruelty (as Christianity has traditionally done) will only deepen the anger and mistrust that many gays have toward religion.

    As you mentioned in your article, it is only with the return of Jesus Christ - and His compassion and mercy, as well as tough-love correction - that will lead to the healing of mankind, as man is finally led away from sinful, destructive life-styles and into God's way of living.

    Thanks, again.


  • Ssabmit

    Anyone with sin, which means all of us, must first open our minds and hearts to honest conviction. ACCEPT that homosexuality is a sin. Just like someone else has to accept their adultery is sinful. It isn’t easy, but once you bow that low, you are in a position to be raised up. Forget what other people say. It’s between you and God ... but it begins with willing conviction.

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