Sunday, May 31, 2020

Popularity of Marriage

USA today - statistics regarding marriage:

Today we have More married couples in the U.S. than ever before!!  (nearly 62 million couples!)
BUT - that's mostly due to population growth!!

Using % of marrieds in U.S. (stats are HARD to nail down)
1960  (peak year) 72% of adults = married
today = around 50%

I)  Later marrying age.  1960 - avg. age = 21.  2018 - ave. age = 28

II)  Ease of divorce - 1960's set stage for "no fault divorce" - which does not require a showing of wrong doing by either partner.  1st. "no fault divorce" in USA in California in 1969.  Consequence = more "un-marrieds" - so divorce rate went up.

III.  Social Acceptance of Cohabitation - ie.  living together without having met legal (civil, state) obligations for marriage.
This lead to a gradual move AWAY from the traditional American view of marriage (which was Biblical/Christian)
Till today, 69% of Americans say cohabiting is acceptable.  Even IF couple is not planning to marry.  Another 16% say it's OK IF they plan to marry.  Only 14% say it is never acceptable (Biblical view)

Example:  US Census Bureau  "among 18-24 year-olds, more a cohabiting (9%) than married (7%).
(AND fastest growing age group for cohabiting is ... 50 years and up!!)

NOTE:  parallel acceptance of children born out of wedlock!!!  Example:  Facebook announcements and applause!!  - major shift in attitudes away from Biblical/Christian view.

IV.  A growing aversion to the states' right to define, regulate, be involved in the marriage relationship!!
Example:  2001 Gallup poll = 45% of Americans in 20s said government should NOT be involved in licensing marriage!!
65% Americans favor allowing unmarried, cohabiting couples Equal Legal Rights as married couples  (which leads to only difference = recorded in court house and a legal civil ceremony)

Nevertheless, in spite of all that ... Most Americans Marry!  50% of American adults currently married.  72% have been married - at least once.

Of these who've never married ... 58% say they'd like to be married someday.  Additional 27% say "not sure"  (most will change mind.)  Only 14 (of never marrieds) say "don't want to marry."

Also, giving up on A marriage does not mean giving up on the institution of marriage!!
80% of divorced people marry again ... in Spite of the fact that after the divorce ... only 33% of men and 15% of women say that they want to try again!!

Cohabitation = 1 man and 1 woman living in Exclusive Intimacy without formalized ceremony ahd/or legal sanction.  (official recognition by state)

Only 8% are "cohabiting".  of those .... 75% plan to marry.
                                                           55% do marry (within 5 years)
Others breakup and only 10% remain together unmarried!  (that  = 10% of the 8% (who are cohabiting) !!)

Though co-habitation s more common than ever  (recent times) long-term cohabitation (without eventual marriage) is NOT common!!!

What's the takeaway on all this?

The basic institution and practice of marriage is in NO danger of dying out!!
The Norm continues to be - 1 man + 1 woman living together in Exclusive intimacy ... with the intent of long term.

So then, what's the difference in "Marriage" and "Co-habitation"???
NOTE:  John 4:16-18 (powerful text) - Jesus makes distinction!!

Differences??  (between marriage and cohabiting)

#1.  an open, public declaration of intent

with #2.  a formal ritual/ceremony that society recognizes as a statement of that intent!!  Examples:  jump the broom, tie knot  gen. 24:67  (Israel and Rebekah)

for the US and most countries,
#3.  legal sanction  (recognized) by the state (government) which = THE distinction made by Census Bureau, Government agencies, pollsters, etc.    Rom.13:1

for Christians ... the Biblical view (God's plan, will, intent) includes
#4.  No extra-marital sexual intimacy  (before/after!)
Sexual intimacy - Exclusive right of Spouse.

#5.  "Christian marriage" = One Christian man + 1 Christian woman living in exclusive intimacy Under the Lordship  (Headship) of Christ!!!   Jesus as Lord.   2 Cor. 6:14 "yoked together", "bound together", mis-mated, matched

This = 'God's Plan'  and it = A Plan with a Purpose!!   for our good!  Are restrictions, but are for the good of the couple, good of the church, good of society, etc.

A Plan with a Purpose - next week's message.

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