We all know that traditional, heterosexual marriage is under assault in America. It has been for some time now and continues to be the object of insult from homosexual and lesbian groups, movie and television producers and, sadly, even some clergy. Traditional marriage as defined as marriage between one man and one woman has gone from a godly institution built upon love, trust and time-proven principles to fodder for reality television portraying marriage without an ounce of respect for its sacredness.
“Married at First Sight” is a new “social experiment” show from A&E’s new FYI network, (based on a Danish version of the show) that pairs three couples who agree to marry upon their first initial meeting. That’s right; the very first date for these couples will be when they actually walk down the aisle to join together in matrimony. The show “will follow the classic lifestyle stories of newlyweds – from the honeymoon to early nesting to other relatable events of married life. After several weeks together, the couple must make a decision: Do they remain together or do they separate?”
Wow. Just wow.
This is a slap in the face to the sacred institute of holy matrimony. (But I suppose in this instance the matrimony is not holy, is it?) Which poses the next question: Is anything in America even sacred anymore? Apparently, not marriage. Marriage is now reduced to couples blindly marrying upon meeting and then figuring out in a few weeks if they can make it work.
Naturally, there’s a distorted method to this madness, a screening process of sorts that attempts to offer the couples a measuring stick by which they can believe that the marriage might just work. According to A&E, the show “will also include four specialists who will create what they believe are three perfect couples based on scientific matchmaking.” See? There’s the assurance that instead of dating and talking and spending time with family and friends – all factors that contribute toward a healthy marriage – couples can easily find love and romance through scientific matchmaking, meet at the altar, and call it a day.
“[T]hree perfect couples based on scientific matchmaking.” Just who are these “specialists” who pretend to be all-knowing and sign off on who should marry whom? I mean, even God himself doesn’t preselect our marriage partners – he’s the only perfect one who could, but he doesn’t! “Perfect couples,” as in they will never argue with one another, never have a difference of opinion, never feel superior, or ignored, or even remembered by the sheer honesty of those types of feelings. What about true love? How can these couples experience true emotions if they are perfect for one another, precisely designed to be in sync at all times according to “specialists”? This social conduct test sounds like a bad laboratory trial and robs these duped couples of the time it takes to invest in a relationship. Studies by marriage coaches show that couples considering marriage should ask at least 100 questions over the course of their relationship, covering topics ranging from children, religion, extended family and money to name just a few. The couples should then spend time together – as well as time alone – to process, discuss and honestly share their feelings about these topics. If everything shakes out well, then couples usually make an informed and heartfelt decision to spend their lives together. That’s basically the process among normal people, not ones duped by “specialists.”
Based on their experimentation, can these “specialists” really determine who will win the first argument? Oh, silly me; since the couples are perfect for one another, there won’t be any arguments, right? But … what about the in-laws? What’s the experimentation fix for that?
There’s so much that is over-the-top wrong with setting people up for failure in marriage like this. These couples will suffer emotionally, mentally and perhaps even physically. Marriage in this context is being touted as a “reality show,” except there’s nothing realistic about it. An age where Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries spend millions only to divorce in 72 days leaves our culture with little respect for marriage. But even Britney Spears trumped Kim when she married and divorced Jason Alexander within 55 hours! Marriage is a joke in our society, either a show-stopping event or a nonchalant activity by celebrities that don’t take it seriously. And now it’s become nothing more than a disposable commodity for reality television.
If we follow the example of the Danes regarding marriage, we are headed for trouble. Denmark is high on the divorce-rate chart; it’s No. 4 on the European list: 42 percent of marriages there end in divorce. The divorce rate is so high that there are trains full of kids of divorcees who shuffle back and forth without adult supervision between parents on the weekend.
The producers of “Marriage at First Sight” might think that experimentation amounts to entertaining reality television, but the truth is that marriage is anything but an experiment.
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