Sunday, March 04, 2007

Marrieds With Children Proportion Shrinking in American Society

MSNBC News reported recently that "married couples with children now occupy fewer than one in every four households -- a share that has been slashed in half since 1960 and is the lowest ever recorded by the census."

It's an American tragedy unfolding before our eyes. Not only are unmarried couples shunning the institution that will serve them best, most are dooming the children of their union to second-best status. A great weight of social science evidence is piling up that far from liberating Americans, cohabitation provides few of the benefits of marriage at a much higher social cost for both adults and their offspring.

Lest I sound like a pharisee, I'll point out that earlier in my life, I was in a not-so-different situation. Marriage is the best physical thing that ever happened to me.

Not only is this a tragedy, it is acting to widen the divides between social classes. MSNBC again: "As marriage with children becomes an exception rather than the norm, social scientists say it is also becoming the self-selected province of the college-educated and the affluent. The working class and the poor, meanwhile, increasingly steer away from marriage, while living together and bearing children out of wedlock."

Children of married parents do better in school, socially, and economically later in life than the children of unmarried parents.

The sexual revolution has truly shot our society in the foot, and this is just one more part of the infection of that wound. We can do better than this -- we must do better than this if our civilization is to last and prevail against the competitors now gathering strength around us.

We can start by changing our laws and tax structures to make marriage more economically beneficial. In our churches and other social institutions we can work to lift up marriages and come alongside those who are struggling.

Somehow, we must change our culture back again to one that is friendly to life-long marriage. The life of unborn millions in this land depend on making right decisions now.

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