In a setting at my church the stats on marriage was used to justify what we thought was a known fact, marriage on the decline, “what are you going to do about it”.
We’ve been hearing for years that fewer and fewer people are tying the knot, and a new study reveals just how much the marriage rate has declined in the last century.
A new report released Thursday by Bowling Green State University’s National Centre for Marriage and Family Research found that the U.S. marriage rate is 31.1, or 31 marriages per 1,000 unmarried women. That means for every 1,000 unmarried women in the U.S., 31 of those previously single women tied the knot in the last year. For comparison, in 1920, the national marriage rate was 92.3. Marriage is certainly on the decline while we notice that more kids were born.
Meanwhile, the average age at women’s first marriage is 27 years old, its highest point in over a century.
In 2011, the Pew Research Centre found that 51 percent of Americans were married, compared to 72 percent in 1960. This is the same for the Caribbean, Europe and Asia the rates if compared to 20 years ago are dropping. However, rates of cohabiting couples are rising — according to private research company Demographic Intelligence, less than half a million couples were cohabiting in 1960, compared to 7.5 million in 2010.
Earlier this year, Los Angeles Times columnist Meghan Daum offered a reason for marriage on the decline: cultural “rules” now compel couples to wait to marry until they have reached upper-class status. Pew researcher D’Vera Cohn told HuffPost in 2011 that the decline could be due to more acceptable living arrangements, including unmarried cohabitation.
Remember now we are having this discussion in church so there is no way we could encourage couples cohabiting, however a couple of persons shouted, “there are no examples of good marriages in the church!” I could see the couples present looking all surprised and although this rant was not true, it still begs the question, why?
The best way to explain some things is to talk with persons and what we have discovered after talking to over 200 persons between the ages of 18-25 years, they see more negatives than positives about marriages. The truth is when persons are having a great marriage they are silent, you see the smiles on their faces, they are so much more relaxed and being comfortable means less drama, however on the other hand when couples are not experiencing a good marriage they tend to shout at the world.
Marriage on the Decline
Then we all go into a self-preservation mode without even knowing it, and for persons to be ready to spend their lives with another person for better or worse until death there has to be some amount of trust in humanity, when there is no trust in what could happen, the definitely marriage on the decline.
When the question is asked, “do you see good marriages around?” the answer is yes, but it is the common person, their parents, the neighbour next door, but the persons who they would love to idealize like the celebrities etc. those marriages are not working and if they are they are very few!
The truth is marriages are failing and marriages are working but because we have easy access to social media we are now realizing that it is messing up the minds of our Christian young people. It is said that kids from as early as 6 years old are exposed to pornography, this cannot be good.
Now our children have a warp imagery of sex, love and marriage. For years I have been dependent on other people or things to make me happy. I have waited in the wings for flowers, words of affirmation, the next shopping spree. I wanted the fairy-tale, but I expected someone else to create it for me and with me.
So now I say, do not allow social media to warp the minds of our children, do not allow the mayhem of the world to turn us off from God’s ideal for mankind, we should not be turned off because of lack of trust in each other, let us claim back the gift of love.
Our lives should have no room for toxicity. Let us removed all toxic people, toxic ideas and toxic talk from our personal world. It’s counterproductive to our happiness and contentment to have any negativity in our lives. Let us surround ourselves with good Christian friends, do fun activities, cultivate great family life, an exciting jobs. Sound euphoric but it is not that far-fetched. Make sure that everything you come into contact with is positive. I used to think that this was impossible to do, but it’s not. Difficult sometimes, but not impossible.