The Decline of Marriage
Marriage is easily one of the most popular topics in Christian circles. For singles, marriage is something to pursue. It is the reason they listen patiently to those elderly couples at church who believe they’ve found the perfect man/woman for them. For husbands and wives, marriage is a partnership. Their lives are now connected, and they will journey through life together for better or worse.
Everyone desires to be loved and love in return, so why is marriage on the decline? According to a recent blog post by Albert Mohler, marriage is becoming a privilege of the wealthy, as poorer individuals choose to forego any official matrimony.
“According to this new data, the average American family with married parents and at least one child under age 18 living in the same home earned $81,000 last year. Interestingly, almost all of the actual growth in this average family’s income in recent years has come from the wife working. Thompson directs our attention to this fact in order to make his larger point: our marriage crisis is making income inequality worse. Those who are getting married and staying married are, on average, moving ahead in the economy. In contrast, those who are not married are falling behind—fast. Add to this the fact that when people marry, they tend to marry someone who shares the same work ethic. The strong get stronger and the weak get weaker.”
The article continued to expand on the benefits of marriage, noting that married individuals tend to be healthier and live longer. While this was all fascinating information, as a single Christian, I found Mohler’s article rather pointless. It felt like Mohler was throwing a publicity campaign for marriage (Get married! You’ll make more money and live longer!), but who was he targeting? Last I checked, most Christian singles didn’t need any incentive to get married. In fact, the biggest struggle among the unwed is understanding why they are still alone.
A current He Said-She Said article on Crosswalk even tackles the question head-on, with writers Cliff Young and Kris Swiatocho discussing the latest concerns of searching singles. Cliff Young writes,
“However, being single for more than two or three years, like I have, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s your ‘fault.’ There are probably a number of contributing factors which has led to your singleness, but there is no need wasting time figuring who’s to blame. Some things are uncontrollable, especially in regards to dating, the actions of others, and God’s will. Instead try to solve the problem at hand.”
Regardless of what either of these articles say, marriage will continue to be a hot topic within the church. All Christians desire the blessing of marriage, but we also want to receive that blessing in a way that will honor God. For some that means waiting, for others it may mean forfeiting the blessing altogether. Whether married or single, we must trust that God has a plan for all our lives, and that by His grace we are never, truly, alone.
*Ryan Duncan is the Culture Editor for Crosswalk.com