Between social media, smartphones, and the breakdown of the family, myths about marriage are constantly bombarding us. Just scroll through your Facebook page and see the comments, articles, and updates people post about love being a “feeling”, how divorce is the answer to all their problems, how excited they are to be moving in with their boyfriend/girlfriend, that “gay marriage” is a right, or that having no children makes their relationships better. Many people have been brought up believing that these views are the truth, without examining the overwhelming evidence in favor of a covenant marriage, which is the lasting way to true happiness.
For people who want to look at the evidence for this counter-cultural expression of love, we highly recommend the book The Seven Big Myths about Marriage by Christopher and Jennifer Kaczor. This work explores some of the most interesting and vexing problems in contemporary life. Appealing to reason rather than religious authority, the book tackles the most controversial and talked about positions of the Catholic Church – on contraception, on marriage, on reproductive technologies, on cohabitation, and on divorce – arguing for the reasonableness of the Church’s views on these issues.
Jimmy Akin, author of the book The Fathers Know Best, explains, “Movies, television, and other forces have teamed up to deceive Americans about marriage–the institution that is very basis of society. They’ve done a spectacular job! They’ve sold myth after myth to the American people, and it’s no wonder that marriage is in crisis today. That’s why Chris Kaczor’s new book, The Seven Big Myths about Marriage, is so timely. Only by learning to see through the lies can we build happy and healthy marriages.”
The renowned philosopher Dr. Peter Kreeft has the highest praise for The Seven Big Myths about Marriage, claiming, “If I were a pastor, I would make this book required reading for engaged couples in all my marriage classes.” So what is so special about this book?
The book’s interdisciplinary approach is what makes this book unique. Following the precedent of Thomas Aquinas, this methodology looks to human happiness and fulfillment, properly understood, in seeking the answers to questions about how to live. It aims to show to skeptical readers that what the Catholic Church teaches about controversial issues is rationally justified by considering evidence from psychology, sociology, and philosophy.
Blogger Stuart Dunn explains how this book is organized, “Each myth has its own chapter devoted to it and begins by telling you the myth, which is immediately followed by ‘the reality.’ For example, the myth ‘Marriage is a Fifty-Fifty Contract,’ is rebutted with, ‘Marriage is a 100 percent-100 percent covenant.’ Since I’m already married and a firm believer in Natural Family Planning, I was not the intended target for some chapters, i.e., cohabitation, premarital sex, or reproductive choices. The first three chapters all spoke powerfully to me though and are ones that I have considered both on a superficial level and a deeper level at varying points in my life…they really helped make things click.”
When it comes to marriage, everyone can agree on one thing: we all want to be happy. Every day, in whatever we do, we seek this goal. But what exactly is happiness? And how can we find it? The saints and psychologists agree: there can be no real happiness without authentic love-erotic love, friendship love, and self-giving love.
From this foundation of happiness, Christopher and Jennifer Kaczor explore the nature of marriage, and the married couples promise to each other, which is agape, a self-giving love that is the choice to do good for the other. This is a hopeful message that is sorely lacking to our self-centered society of social media addiction and selfies, and The Seven Big Myths about Marriage will give you the tools you need to share this message with your family, neighbors, friends and co-workers. It’s time enter into the discussion and shatter these myths about marriage.
If you value the news and views Catholic World Report provides, please consider donating to support our efforts. Your contribution will help us continue to make CWR available to all readers worldwide for free, without a subscription. Thank you for your generosity!