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Disposable Culture

As family and friends gathered in our kitchen before a meal, my wife pointed to the paper plates on the counter and explained this was ‘standard operating procedure’ in our home since we don’t have a dishwasher. One guest stated that he has made a practice of not using disposable products and instead offered to wash dishes during his stay with us. To say we were surprised is an understatement…who doesn’t use paper plates?! It’s a concept that is foreign to many of us.

We live in a disposable culture. It seems that not just paper products, but everything, is practically disposable. For example, I’m embarrassed to say that I’m on my fourth iPhone. A combination of the contracts, the marketing, and the new phone’s bells and whistles are usually too much for me to resist. So, like most people I upgrade to the next best thing and discard the old. Cars are another example. How many of us buy a car new and drive it until it conks out 15-20 years later? Almost no one. It’s human nature to want the newer, the shinier, the “better”. TV’s, computers, bags, shoes, razors, and even our homes are just a few more things we dispose of so we can upgrade for newer and better – the list could go on and on.

Unfortunately, this concept isn’t that random either. It is a business strategy called ‘Planned Obsolescence’. Here’s the definition: a policy of producing consumer goods that rapidly become obsolete and so require replacing; achieved by frequent changes in design, termination of the supply of spare parts, and the use of non-durable materials. So there you have it. This is intentionally planned by businesses to get us to buy more – to get rid of the old and upgrade for new. And it works! Our economy is fueled by it therefore keeping the system going round and round.

The problem is that this disposable mentality has crept into many marriages, as nearly 50% end in divorce. This statistic is almost identical inside and outside the church walls. It’s heartbreaking when you stop and think about that for a minute. That means one out of every two marriages are not going to make it until ‘death do us part’. While extenuating circumstances are occasionally present, let’s work hard to make divorce an exception, not the rule in our relationship. Resolve today to resist the cultural norm and commit to love, to cherish, to protect and to forgive until ‘death do us part’. Let’s change the stats. Let’s turn the tide. And with God’s help, let’s not throw away his idea that marriage is meant to last a lifetime!

Matthew 19:4-6 ~ “Haven’t you read the Scriptures?” Jesus replied. “They record that from the beginning ‘God made them male and female.’” And he said, “‘This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’ Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together.”

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