The intention is for finding a spouse, which is a brutally difficult proposition if you are serious about finding the right person — and avoiding divorce, which happens to be what I've always worried about.
See Kat's article “and thus concludes my experiment...” and “let me rephrase that...”, where she discusses her seeming failure to find Mr. Crescat.
It is tough out there. Our culture now recognizes marriage merely as a legal matter, which may or may not have some religious trappings associated with it. A wedding is often seen as a big occasion to party, and as any pastor knows, those who are most demanding regarding a wedding also happen to be those who are least seen in church at any other time. Marriage has been trivialized, something that is gotten into — and out of — on a whim. Our culture says marriage is temporary.
One of the noxious theories of political life is the analogy of a swinging pendulum, where the laws and government swing back and forth from one extreme to the other. While this is indeed seen in practice, this is due to the fact that evil is often found in opposites: the people or government tire of one vice and instead choose to embrace the opposite vice. Few people care to find the truth of virtue, nor do they steer the Ship of State in that direction. Small groups take all they can, until overthrown.
Radical feminists did indeed find vices in our culture — real or imagined — but many were actual vices. Heresies from 400 years ago crystallized in American culture, where women were seen as inferiors and laws and customs limited their livelihood. But let us consider who the core feminists actually are:
So why should these small groups have an overwhelming influence on society? That is appalling.
The former group is the most strident, but they were also harmed the most under the old régime. Consider a society that holds marriage in such high esteem that it imposes it on its members. Certainly that is an injustice; but America was a place of shotgun weddings and extreme social pressure for every woman to be married, whether or not she wanted it — and of course, many of their unfortunate husband's lives were turned into Purgatory on Earth. We had a situation where even unwanted marriages were encouraged, coupled with severe divorce laws that made getting out of marriage quite difficult; obviously that was a system that was unstable and bound to break. Please note that Feminism got its start, freely and openly, in heretical places like the United States and northern Europe, and was spread to more orthodox countries by force.
Although divorce is now seemingly easy — no-fault they call it — it encourages deception and brutally tears apart families, causing untold misery. Worse misery, in many cases, than even bad marriages? I cannot judge, but it isn't good, particularly for children.
Marriage is not for everyone, and undue pressure for marriage is harmful as we have seen. A man and woman, truly in love and with high regard for the wellbeing of the other, will naturally cleave together in a bond unbreakable by nothing but death. That is what we have to encourage, not merely the desired effect of this bond, which is a lawful marriage. We have to put first things first. Marriage is just not an acceptable option for some women, and they ought to be free to go on without having to get married.
But there are other reasons not to get married, and the highest and best reason is the pursuit of religious life. Celibacy is hated by the secular world: for example, priests were forced to marry during the French Revolution, or they were murdered with religious sisters in vile “Republican marriages”. American culture likewise does not understand celibacy and despises it, as we see daily in the secular press. The rejection of celibacy led to the overemphasis of marriage, which as we see has very bad consequences.
The push for so-called gay marriage is partially to provide a veil of respectability, but is most often due to laws which make marriage desirable, particularly inheritance laws as well as other tax benefits. But shouldn't we question the inheritance and tax laws, and not the marriage laws? Aren't the tax laws the problem here? Why should taxes be so high as to encourage people into otherwise unwanted marriage? Do members of same-sex so-called marriage really want to be in that state if divorce laws become severe again? Do they really want to be respectable?
Our society is poison, but what should someone do if they seek a good spouse? Hilary has some observations in her article “How to get married”, and her advice is that dating is stupid. She offers more concrete advice from a traditional rabbi who comes from a culture that happens to have an excellent track record for happy marriages. Catholicism, traditionally understood, has some strong parallels, but these have not yet been recovered, yet we still can have hope.