This course has helped me to further understand and deepen my understanding of the biblical and societal views of marriage and family. I have also learned new concepts and gained new viewpoints on certain topics. I have deepened my understanding that the societal views of marriage and family and the biblical views of marriage and family differ and seem to be growing further and further apart.
I have also gained more understanding to the beliefs I have around the impact that technology plays in marriage and family as well as the impact that social and government policies have had on marriages and families.
This course has also introduced new topics to me that include the social concepts and terminology in marriage and family and the family life cycle as well as given me a new viewpoint on the shifting that is occurring in parenting methods. One of the first topics discussed in this course was the difference between the societal views of marriage and the biblical views of marriage.
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Over the years, the sociological definition of marriage has evolved. Today, most sociologist would define marriage as “a legally recognized social contract between two people, traditionally based on a sexual relationship and implying a permanence of the union” (Griffiths, 2015). The evolution of the changing societal views of marriage have had many impacting factors.
These factors were discussed in a paper titled (Re)Defining Marriage: Changes and Challenges which was written by Scott Monsma. In this paper, Monsma explains that the definition of marriage from the 1950s has evolved into something completely different due to factors that include the industrial evolution which detached the workforce from gender specific roles, and the push for gender equality. Because of these factors, a shift in family structure took place.
This lead to non-traditional family structure like same-sex marriage and the further acceptance of single family homes as discussed in the book Promises I Keep: Why Poor Women Put Motherhood Before Marriage. The biblical foundation and definition of marriage stands steady though. It does not shift with the changing times.
It remains to come from the foundations of which man was created by God as described on the book of Genesis. Man and woman were created to perfectly complement each other so that they could “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground”.
I believe that, despite the economic changes in this world, we can still progress and evolve without changing the structure of marriage. Man and woman can still exist to procreate and rule over all living things without changing the way the union of man and woman works.
However, our society does not seem to see it his way hence, the evolving definition of marriage and newly formed laws that support these changes. Another topic that I felt to be true and that was further emphasized in this course was the impact that technology has had on marriages and family. Marriages and families have experienced both positive and negative outcomes from technology.
In fact, the family I currently have may not exist had it not been for technology. I met my husband on a dating website. Technology also has a positive impact on our ability to communicate with family and friends that live far away. I frequently use phone applications like Facebook and Marco Polo to communicate with my cousin that lives in Texas and my husband’s sister that lives in Virginia.
My iPhone calendar has also been a saving grace when it comes to managing activities. The good of technology does come with some bad as well. About twenty-five percent of all couples that are in a serious relationship have reported that they have experienced tension in their relationship because of feeling that their partner was distracted by their phone when spending time together.
Because of this, I have gained a better understanding of how the seven stages in the family life cycle has and will continue to impact my marriage and family. I also can better understand the difference and the reason for the difference between the societal definition of marriage and the biblical definition of marriage. I am excited to see what this new knowledge of the societal and biblical forces of marriage and family will do for me in the future.
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