Beta Marriage: Another Bad Idea


“Getting married is so much more weighted today, I get the impulse to want to test it,” says Hannah Seligson, the 31-year-old married author of A Little Bit Married, about 20-somethings and long-term unmarried relationships.

Now there’s a new solution.  Beta Marriage!

Oh, you’re behind the learning curve on the latest assault on the vows “until death do us part”?  According to a Time Magazine post on their website Beta Marriage is the newest alternative to Millennials saying “I do” forever.

A team of trend researchers in conjunction with the new USA Network drama, Satisfaction, surveyed 1,000 people between the ages of 18-34  about their attitudes and expectations regarding marriage.  Also they offered several “marriage models” as an alternative to traditional marriage.  Basically these models were contracts between couples.  They included: 

Presidential: Vows last for another four years, but after 8 years you can elect to choose a new partner.

Real Estate: Marriage licenses are granted on 5, 7, 10 and 30 year terms, after which the marriage must be renegotiated to be extended.

Beta: The union can be formalized or dissolved after a two-year trial period.

Multiple Partner: Marriage can be with more than one person at a time, each of whom fulfill a specific need in your life

The results?

21% said they would be open to the Presidential Model.  36% liked the Real Estate option.  10% actually thought that their Multiple Partner idea was a viable alternative.  However, the most popular choice with those surveyed was the Beta model–46%.  It is argued that the Millennial generation has been raised on technology, choice and options in every area of life, why should marriage be any different?

Of course this is nothing new. Famed anthropologist, Margaret Mead predicted in the 1970’s a rising popularity in what she called “serial monogamy” which is a string of monogamous marriages.

In view of all these experiments, surveys, and proposed changes, let me recommend the “God-model” of marriage!  It comes directly from the Author of Holy Matrimony Himself–Jehovah God.

While on earth, Jesus endorsed the God-model.  Of course, he never did any surveys, or produced any TV shows!  But he did come with some pretty serious credentials!  Son of God.  Creator.  Wonderful. Counselor. Mighty God.   And Author of our eternal salvation.  He said to the Pharisees, and to all Millennials today:

“Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” 

The Bible teaches that God “hates divorce,” and he will judge “fornicators and adulterers.”  Yes, sex outside of marriage is still a sin!  Even in our enlightened, tolerant 21st century!

What anthropologists, sociologists, and survey-takers miss, is that marriage is not the product of Western civilization. Marriage was not man’s idea.  It was God’s holy decree. He put the “Holy” into wedlock.

Marriage is about commitment.  Loyalty.   Dedication. And devotion.

Marriage is about a covenant relationship.  It is more than just a social contract.  Or an experiment.  Or a Beta test!  It is a covenant between three parties.  You.  Your spouse.  And God (Mal. 2:14-15).

Marriage actually depicts the relationship between Christ and His church (Eph. 5:22-23).  The church is the “bride” of Christ. He loves her. He gave Himself for her. His relationship with her is holy, hallowed and sanctified. It is special. Unique. Matchless. Marriage is not to be cheapened by a beta trial. It should reflect the glory and grandeur of Christ’s love for the church.

On a personal note, Norma Jean and I will be married 46 years in August.  We vowed our faithfulness to each other for “as long as you shall live.”  I’m glad it wasn’t a Beta test!  We’ve learned that marriage takes work. Requires effort. Demands commitment.

Presidential marriage models?  Real Estate marriages?  Multiple-partner?  Beta test marriages?  They won’t work. They will hinder relationships. Further undermine the moral fabric of our country. And most importantly dishonor God.

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman


Filed under Marriage

3 responses to “Beta Marriage: Another Bad Idea

  1. Interesting survey results – I hadn’t heard of them! Thank you for sharing.


  2. John

    Ken you did a good job with Nancy and myself. We’ve been married a little over 38 years. You may not remember but you married several couples in Palmetto in about a 1 to 2 year period. It may have been due to a young adult class that you taught!!!


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