Cohabitation rises, marriage falls — and society drifts
Roughly 78% of young adults ages 18 to 29 say it’s A-OK for unmarried couples to live together as husband and wife without going the traditional route — the trading of vows, the placing of rings, the standing before God, and so forth and so on.
It’s easier to separate that way, dontcha know.
The study from Pew Research Center finds that cohabitation is on the rise among all age groups, but particularly so in the younger ages.
“The share of U.S. adults who are currently married has declined modestly in recent decades, from 58% in 1995 to 53% today,” Pew reported. “Over the same period, the share of adults who are living with an unmarried partner has risen from 3% to 7%.”
Moreover, the share of those between ages 18 and 44 who’ve ever cohabited with a partner has now surpassed the percentage of those in that age group who’ve ever married — 59% to 50%.
Call it the shack-up culture.
Liberals may laugh; leftists may scoff. And most definitely, the LGBTQ community may alternately shrug and cheer. But the fact is, marriage is good for society. Tradition has its place. And marriage, more than living together, provides the sort of stability of home that leads to proper raising of children — and from there, stable community, stable states and state country.
Skipping Step One leaves the rest on shaky ground.
Marriage marks both beginning and end — a formal declaration of a lifelong commitment and a renouncement of singleness in favor of togetherness. It sets the stage for healthy child-raising; statistics bear out the poverty, drug and alcohol addictions, abuse and other devastations that children in single-parent homes suffer as compared to those raised in families with both mother and father present.
And it’s in line with God’s plans.
Marriage of man to woman is supposed to be the earthly representation of God’s unconditional love for His creations — of God’s permanent love for His children.
Just because today’s culture calls that old-fashioned Bible thumping doesn’t erase its truth.
We live in an era where hooking up for recreational sex is as commonplace a dating activity as dining and dancing. We live in a time where sex between men and women is no longer sacred — nay, it’s outdated, replaced by sex with whomever, by even, thanks to technology, whatever. We live in a society where restraints and restrictions are something to break; where rules and regulations, something to dash; values and morals, things against which to rebel.
No wonder marriage has lost its luster.
But there’s a societal danger with turning from this tradition.
It was John Adams who was credited with saying that our government, our Constitution, our republic would only last so long as the people were moral and religious.
Take away one of the most traditional, moral and even religious practices from America’s culture, and what do you have?
Crumbled homes. Lost youth. Chaotic communities. More, even more, cultural degradation. More, even more, political rot. The tear-down of absolutes; the revelry in the abnormal. This is where we’re at.
America’s future depends on America’s ability to reel back the clock and remember: Morals matter. Simply put, marriage is not only crucial to the health and welfare of a family, it’s crucial to the structure and stability of the state, the moral compass of the people, and ultimately, the governing direction of the entire country.
• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley.
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