Shofet, in his most recent post, noted the dismal divorce rate in the United States today. I thought I would add to that the equally depressing statistic recently released by the Census Bureau that of all new mothers, 40% are unwed.
While a large number of these women are actually cohabiting with the father of their child, the statistic is no less to be mourned. Even when the parents are together, committed, and monogamous, their decision not to marry is unfortunate. Why? It sends a message that their love and commitment to each other, and by default, their intent to have children, are not worth celebrating.
Even when couples simply go to the courthouse to marry, they are celebrating with each other, although they are not seeking the acknowledgment of their community.
Finding one’s other half is momentous. Starting a life with that partner is even more so. Founding the next generation through that step is the fulfilment of God’s first commandment to man: “Be fruitful, and multiply.” If you don’t see these things as worth celebrating, what is? God has blessed us abundantly with the gifts of life, companionship, and procreation. He commanded us to celebrate deliverance from Egypt and his guidance of our forefathers to the Promised Land–a far less significant miracle and gift than those mentioned above. Perhaps we were not commanded to celebrate those only because their celebration goes without saying.
Valuing our own lives and the blessings thereof involves celebrating the most important happenings in that life.