There is good news on the marriage front. A new U.S. Census report shows that the number of long lasting marriages is up. People are staying together longer. The Washington Post studied the census report and offered some analysis.
“Three in four couples who married after 1990 celebrated a 10-year anniversary, according to census statistics reported Wednesday. That was a rise of three percentage points compared with couples who married in the early 1980s, when the nation’s divorce rate was at its highest.”
This is good news for families and especially good news for children who profit from strong and stable homes. Divorce is a reality and sometimes even a necessity but it always piles turmoil and upheaval upon all members of the family. Most would agree that the children are most vulnerable.
But longer marriages are good for the adults too. The emotional impact of a severed marriage is great. The apparent loss of love, loss of trust and the appearance of a new cynicism is real not to mention the expense of a divorce. Many studies have tracked the decline in living standards post-divorce especially for women.
The concept of marriage is of divine origin. In those wonderful days in Eden God brought the man and the woman together (Genesis 2:18 ff). His intent was that the two remain together forever, one man, one woman, one lifetime (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:6). God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16) but recognizes that when two fallible people join, the union may not be forever. He gives unfaithfulness and death as the reasons for acceptable divorce and remarriage (Matthew 19:9).
This article also notes three factors that contribute to longer marriages.
“Marriage has become a much more selective institution in today’s society,” said W. Bradford Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia. “People who are college-educated, more affluent or more religious are more likely to get married and stay married. People who are not are less likely to get married in the first place, and if they do marry, they’re more likely to divorce.”
Hidden in between the lines is a fourth factor that contributes to long marriages. A person’s age a marriage is positively correlated to the success of the marriage. In other words, people who marry later in life seem to stay together longer. It’s likely that maturity allows one to make better decisions and one could also argue that a slightly older person is stronger financially.
We cannot go back and change our status at marriage. We can however do a better job teaching our children how to have long marriages.
It’s good news that people are staying together longer. Certainly that is pleasing to God.