What is Marriage – to Evangelical Millenials

One of the biggest problems discussing sexuality, and especially marriage, in the church is that we talk past each other. What can we say about marriage? I’m working my way through a dense article called “What is Marriage?” by Princeton University professor Robert George (et al.) in the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy. More about it when I finish.

In the meantime, the article that pointed me that way: What is Marriage to Evangelical Millenials? The author, Abigail Rine, observes that evangelicals have hardly discussed procreation:

As I consider my own upbringing and the various “sex talks” I encountered in evangelical church settings over the past twenty years, I realize that the view of marital sex presented there was primarily revisionist. While the ideal of raising a family is ever-present in evangelical culture, discussions about sex itself focused almost exclusively on purity, as well as the intense spiritual bond that sexual intimacy brings to a married couple.

As a result, her millenial-generation students (and I suspect most boomers and Gen-Xers as well) struggle to make sense of marriage:

To my students, the authors of “What is Marriage?” are making a troubling move, reducing the purpose of marital sex to its reproductive function. What they seemed less able to recognize is that they have inherited the inverse: a view of sex with little meaningful connection to procreation.


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