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Marriage Still Matters

Web Article 4-16-12


Marriage Still Matters

Sometimes we are disillusioned with the institution of marriage because of its 50% failure rate.  We reason, maybe there’s a better way.  Maybe God got it wrong.  Maybe our lives (and our children) would be better off if we just forgot about marriage and cohabitated.

A 2011 research study co-authored by 18 family scholars from leading institutions released a report entitled “Increased Cohabitation Rates Mean More Instability for Children” that shows the harmful effects of cohabitation on children.  Some of the findings from the study include:

Cohabitation is on the rise.  By the time they turn 12, more than 40 percent of U.S. children now spend time in a cohabitating household.  That’s compared to 24 percent of U.S. children up to age 12 who will see their parents get a divorce.

Cohabitation is unstable for children.  In the U.S., for children up to the age of 12, the breakup rate in their homes will be 170 percent higher if their parents/partners are cohabitating.

Cohabitation is unsafe for children.  Compared to children in intact, biological-married-parent homes, children in cohabitating homes are at least three times more likely to experience physical, sexual, or emotional abuse.  Children living with cohabitating couples are also significantly more likely to be delinquent at school, fail school, or use drugs.

The report concluded that marriage is “an important public good” with a range of economic, health, educational, and safety benefits that help all levels of government serve the common good.  In contrast, “The rise of cohabitating households with children is the largest unrecognized threat to the quality and stability of children’s lives in today’s families.” 

God instituted marriage for many reasons.  It still works…it still matters.

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Pastor Duane