Marriage matters! I have wanted to post my thoughts about marriage, traditional marriage in particular, for some time but the plethora of thoughts seemed overwhelming. However, last week, it became crystal clear what I needed and wanted to say.
As the marriage/anti-marriage/new marriage/or whatever has progressed in recent years, I have reacted strongly because I am fully committed and vested in traditional marriage, that is one man and one woman. Thousands of years of human history attest that there has always been an acceptance of this paradigm. One can search through hundreds of cultures, marriage as the historical paradigm has been a norm for most cultures. You can travel to every nation to which one can travel and this paradigm for marriage still exists. Where can you go; to what nation can you refer; what place has a norm for marriage that is radically and widely different from one man and one woman? I’m just asking for some historical evidence here.
So, why does marriage matter? The fact is that marriage is vitally important because of the children/citizens it produces. Statistics still show that children thrive and excel best in a two parent, one man–one woman home. The children do better in social adjustment, in academic maturation, in job success, in social interaction, and several other areas. On the flip side, children from a one parent home or a broken home through divorce, tend to have more problems in school-social and academic, are more likely to end up in poverty, to drop out of their education, turn to drugs/drinking/crime more easily than those from two parent families. These statistics are relatively easy to find so I will not site them here.
Let me close with these thoughts. Marriage is in fact about reproducing the human race; while that is not the only purpose it serves, it is certainly one of the primary purposes. In marriage there are social, legal, and often spiritual declarations supporting marriage. The family is the first and perhaps the most important classroom for children. In ages past, boys learned about manhood and became men in the family, and girls learned about womanhood and became women in the family. Society shaped the family often by the nationality of the family, but the shaping was done via the family unit. When a parent died and left only one parent, extended family often stepped in or others in the community because children needed what the family offered and society embraced that fact. The single parent phenomenon is a modern development and we now have enough statistics to show that it is not the best place for children to thrive and mature. I know single parents that have done wonderful jobs raising children, but that is an exception and I praise those I have known for their perseverance and courage to face such a daunting challenge. However, the statistics are available for all to study and I invite you to do so. I have and continue to hear the mounting evidence that the a two parent marriage, one man-one woman is the best place for children to be.
Marriage is as much about children as it is about anything else including companionship.