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The article appeared on the front page of the Casper Star Tribune recently: "Four in 10 say marriage is becoming obsolete." The article goes on to cite The Census Bureau, who reported "that unmarried couples living together jumped 13 % this year to 7.5 million... Analysts largely attributed the increase to people unwilling to make long-term commitments in the face of persistent unemployment." And the Pew Research Center, whom the Tribune quoted, found that about 34% of Americans "called the growing variety of family living arrangements good for society, while 32% said it didn't make a difference and 29% said it was troubling."
I imagine that the idea of avoiding "long-term commitments" sounds liberating, sounds like freedom, to a lot of people. But in a report to the nation by the Institute for American Values, Georgia Family Council, 2008, the fruit is not so alluring. "Research suggests that many of the social problems and disadvantages addressed by federal and state government programs occur more frequently among children born to and/or raised by single parents than by children whose parents get and stay married." (Please note: This writer misquoted the article; this edit states the sentence correctly!) That doesn't sound like freedom to me.
Listen to these statements based on their research:
- Marriage can help to reduce poverty...
- Marriage can reduce the likelihood that children will commit crimes as a teen or young adult.
- Stable marriages reduce the likelihood that juvenile offenders who become adult males will commit additional crimes, might reduce the likelihood of domestic violence, alcohol abuse, parental depression, and reduce the costs for government anti-poverty programs.
God has some really good ideas when it comes to family structure, happiness, and the well-being of family members. "Marriage must be respected (costly, precious, especially dear, held in honor) by all.." the writer of Hebrews said. Marriage is healthy. Real love involves commitment. There is a security and mutual blessing to be found in the covenant of marriage between husbands and wives, and children are among those who benefit the most.