Noah Baumbach wrote, directed and produced a Netflix film that has already won 122 awards, and so far, received 247 nominations, barely a year after it’s release. The movie, Marriage Story, won the best motion picture of the year award at the 2020 Oscars. Marriage story doesn’t have the typical fairy tale ending “…and they lived happily ever after.” Quite the opposite, it starts with a divorce battle. The storyline revolves around two married couple, Nicole and Charlie, played by Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver respectively. Infidelity characterized this marriage, heated arguments and tedious legal battles, and eventually, they split up.
The Case Against Marriage
Mandy Len Catron, who writes about love and love stories, gave a review of the movie in her article The case against Marriage, “Marriage Story is actually a pretty good argument against the institution of marriage, but it’s not one against the idea of love.” Noah Baumbach presents to us good people who are mere victims of the marriage institution. Noah’s parents divorced when he was a teen. Years later, his first marriage ended in a divorce. One can quickly infer why he wrote a story that is against Marriage. Noah represents a more significant majority in the modern generation of ‘Netflix and Chill’, where so many people oppose the institution that was established by God in Genesis 2:18, called Marriage. One of our Kuza App writers just celebrated a 10th marriage anniversary. This news was quite a big deal for me, having in mind the following statistics by Daystar University, and also as a young man aspiring to marry soon. Daystar University carried out a study in 2019 that revealed 77 per cent of marriages end before the tenth anniversary. Also, 42 per cent divorce within their first five years of living together. Marriages are failing at an alarming rate in Kenya and the World at large. The institution of Marriage is sneered and fought. Such events always leave me asking, does Marriage work?
It is not in my place or power to tackle this question the way it should. However, I can afford to share my opinion on why I foresee my “Netflix and Chill” generation having issues in Marriage. The viral catchphrase, “Netflix and chill” is a slang frequently used by the youth as a euphemism for casual sex. We live in a sexed-up nation where hooking up is hyped, making relationships to become superficial with no commitments. Our future marriages may not survive because we are:
NOT COMMITTED TO GOD:
It’s impossible to have a successful marriage if you are not devoted to the one who initiated it. Job advises us, “commit yourself to God completely (Job 11:13).”
NOT COMMITTED TO EACH OTHER:
I’ve heard my friends boast how they “are not in a relationship” yet they are engaged in sex. Everyone wants the benefits of being in a committed relationship, but no one wants to commit to one person. This behaviour goes into Marriage. The vows made at the alter become empty promises.
NOT COMMITED TO OTHERS:
Joseph Okoth, the author of Redeeming Weddings, said something that has always been in my heart, “The saddest part about holding off introducing a partner to one’s parents until ‘we’re at least certain about getting married’ is that it shows a relationship was entered into without first a commitment to Marriage.” Majority of us hide those whom we are dating from our friends and family, even worse, from our fellow believers. This approach leaves us with zero accountability and in turn, no commitment. It makes it easy to “Netflix and chill” then break up.
“Netflix and Chill” may give instant gratification but leave us with long-lasting repercussions. The media want casual sex and lack of commitment to look right while they taint the holy matrimony created by God. If you want to have a God-glorifying marriage, start by committing your life to God, and he will give you the grace to make it a God-glorifying union.