Of course, the association of personal happiness and marriage is a highly charged topic.
Single vs. Dual Parent Households
According to research compiled by Brad Wilcox, a University of Virginia professor, “Marriage tops income, education, and sex in reports of happiness…What we see in the research is that both men and women who are married are almost twice as likely to be happy compared to their fellow Americans who are not married,” (Marriage).
In the book, The Two-Parent Privilege, published in September of this year, Melissa Kearney “makes a provocative, data-driven case for marriage by showing how the institution’s decline has led to a host of economic woes—problems that have fractured American society and rendered vulnerable populations even more vulnerable.” Quoted in The Atlantic magazine, the author continued by stating, “…for years, academics studying poverty, mobility, and family structures have avoided that self-evident truth… And while the wonks avoided the topic, the rise of single-parent households in America exacerbated inequality and contributed to astonishingly high rates of child poverty.”
A stable household, which allows for more parental involvement and oversight of child development should logically, on average, be a better environment for long-term moral and behavioral maturation. Parental involvement transcends even the economic differences documented between single and double-parent child-rearing.
Being Single as a Lifestyle
Of course, in our selfish culture, America is also experiencing a trend in staying single. A recent article, “A disturbing Gen Z social media trend threatens America’s most important institution” discussed the promotion in social media for the responsibilities placed on married couples to subjugate their personal preferences for the greater good of their relationship, much less the loss of freedom that comes from raising children.
“There is a new trend sweeping social media platforms of women denigrating the institution of marriage while promoting the virtues of a single lifestyle…Without the shackles of marriage and children, [the author explains that] she is free to drink, go to Beyonce shows, sleep in, and watch reality TV. She repeatedly hammers in the point that she wouldn’t be able to have such a fun life if she had to take care of a husband and children.”
Recent Census data shows that marriage in the U.S. is declining. In 2021, the national marriage rate was 14.9, down from 16.3 a decade earlier.
Underlying the current administrations willingness to allow millions of illegals to cross our border, many believe, is the reality that our workforce needs to be subsidized by outsiders given that the birthrate in America is declining. Axios is reporting that the U.S. birthrate has declined nearly 23% since 2007. Those coming from 3rd world countries for a better opportunity in America will be an added burden until fully assimilated.
A Christian Perspective
God, of course, supports a long-term marriage commitment for many reasons.
Genesis 2:24 – Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
Hebrews 13:4 – Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.
Scripture also offers the advice that Christians should marry Christians. As controversial as this theology is, the reason is obvious. If one places a relation with Christ above all else (Eph. 1:19-22), then having a partner who views life in the same way (reliance on the Bible and its teachings) is paramount.
2 Corinthians 6:14 – Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?
In recent years there has been a counter-trend (lower divorce rates), however, single-parent households continue to be a tremendous challenge for our country. The impact shows up in the deterioration of our public educational system, moral decay, youth crime, and a slow loss of the foundations of civil society, not to mention the title of this post, happiness for those who choose a Biblical marriage.
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