Friday, September 24, 2010

It is a true fact that marriage in America is in deep trouble. For the first time in our nation's history, a child living in a single-parent family is just as likely to be living with a never-married parent as with a divorced parent. We can see that not only the fact of marriage break-up in our society; even the definition of marriage is changing. Just about any configuration of people living together can be called a "family." All they need to say to call themselves a family in our liberal society is to say they "love" each other.

In the past, divorce was the primary engine driving family breakdown, and it still serves as a major cause. The Census Bureau explains, "the fastest growing marital-status category (over the past 25 year period) is dovorced persons. The number of currently divorced persons quadrupled from 4.3 million in 1970 to 17.4 million in 1994. The scale of marital breakdowns in the West since 1960 has no historical precedent. There has been nothing like it in the past 2000 years, and probably longer.

Today, however, the main problem seems to be the large number of people who are not even bothering to get married, at all. Seventy-two percent of all adults were married in 1970 but by 1994, the number had dropped to 61%. Many of these unmarried people are cohabiting--just living together with the benefit of a marriage certificate. Children are present in 40% of cohabiting unions, and estimates from the National Survey of Families and Households incicate that 27% of all nonmarital births were to cohabiting couples.

It is my opinion that these bad statistical facts do not apply equallly to committed Christian families and church-going families that pray daily, read the Bible regularly, and acknowledge their Savior as Lord. I believe that those who live in the Christian sub-culture are in much better shape marriage-wise than their secular associates. But Christ must some day penetrate much more deeply into our society than He does today if we are ever to reverse the miserable condition of the institution of marriage in America.

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