For 20 years the week preceding Valentine’s Day (14 February) is celebrated as Marriage Week. Started by Christians in the UK, it encourages married couples of all ages to invest time in strengthening their relationship. Valentine was a third century Christian priest living in Rome during the reign of Claudius the Cruel who believed unmarried men fought better because married soldiers were too concerned about their wives or families if they died in battle. So he banned all marriages and engagements in Rome. Resisting the injustice of the decree, Valentine continued to perform marriages for young Christians in secret. He was executed on February 14, in 270 AD.
Today Valentine would be considered a fool to have paid such a high price for the old-fashioned institution of marriage. After all, it’s just a piece of paper, isn’t it? Many these days regard cohabitation as the new marriage. This means around the world more children are being born outside of marriage, either to single parents or cohabiting couples. But does cohabitation short-change children or do they fare equally well with non-married parents? These questions are addressed in a just-released paper entitled the Cohabitation-Go-Around, the report collates data from 100 nations globally and concludes the following: Children born into cohabiting families are more likely to see their parents split by age 12 than children born into married families in almost every country.
The study found that cohabitation is less stable, independent of the parents’ education. Some children seem to have difficulty adjusting to a series of parents and parents’ partners moving in
and out of their home. Couples committed to one another before having a biological child usually had a deeper commitment than those who partner after getting pregnant. Which is why healthy marriage is not only about couples, but also about healthy children. Valentine was right. Marriage is worth paying a price for.
Source: Jeff Fountain; Revivalmedia; Joel News International
Bible Study: Hebrews 13:4; Malachi 2:14-15
JULY: PRAY DEEPER and earnestly for children who have never experienced stability in family life. Give thanks for a God whose created marriage between a mother and a father as the best in which to raise and nurture children.