Monday, March 10, 2008

"Marriage Lite" is Misery Heavy

I ran across the following article the other day that made me revisit my strong convictions about the holiness of marriage. Several other real time factors have helped bubble this issue up to the surface of my thoughts in the past few days, including a wedding I performed over the weekend. I want to go on record as saying that I believe that there is a reason that marriage is the oldest relationship known to man: It is because of God considers the covenant relationship between a man and woman to be a holy bond. As if God's strong views of marriage weren't enough...the following only adds to the pros of marriage and really highlights the "cons" of living together. I've always refered to it in front of my kids as "marriage lite" or "playing married" and they know my thoughts on why anything less than a marriage covenant is "deal with the devil."

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the issue as well.

In a 2007 edition of the New Oxford Review, Dr. A. Patrick Schneider II, who holds boards in family and geriatric medicine and runs a private practice in Lexington, Kentucky, did a statistical analysis of cohabitation in America, based on the findings of a number of academic resources. Here are five conclusions Schneider draws from his studies:

  1. Relationships are unstable in cohabitation. One-sixth of cohabiting couples stay together for only three years; one in ten survives five or more years.

  2. Cohabiting women often end up with the responsibilities of marriage—particularly when it comes to caring for children—without the legal protection. Research has also found that cohabiting women contribute more than 70 percent of the relationship's income.

  3. Cohabitation brings a greater risk of sexually transmitted diseases, because cohabiting men are four times more likely to be unfaithful than husbands.

  4. Poverty rates are higher among cohabitors. Those who share a home but never marry have 78 percent less wealth than the continuously married.

  5. Those who suffer most from cohabitation are the children. The poverty rate among children of cohabiting couples is fivefold greater than the rate among children in married-couple households. Children ages 12–17 with cohabiting parents are six times more likely to exhibit emotional and behavioral problems and 122 percent more likely to be expelled from school.