Families, communities, and nations are stronger when couples marry before having children. God gave the Ten Commandments to the Israelites 3000 years ago. One of those commandments states: “Thou shalt not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14). This law has never been revoked and is still in force today. Those people who obey the law are blessed, and those who break the commandment receive the consequences. One of the blessings of living this commandment is stronger marriages and families.
According to the United Nations Population Fund 2018 State of World report released this week, babies born out-of-wedlock in America are born to couples who are cohabiting. This is a large percentage of babies born in the United States because unmarried couples account for about 40 percent of all American births. According to the Institute for Family Studies (IFS), unmarried parents cause problems for their children. One problem is poverty. Children of single mothers experience the highest rate of poverty, and they are followed by children of cohabitating parents. There are other problems.
Compared to children of married parents, those with cohabiting parents are more likely to experience the breakup of their families, be exposed to “complex” family forms, live in poverty, suffer abuse, and have negative psychological and educational outcomes.
Since the numbers of cohabitating couples are greatly increasing, the number of children affected will also increase. Grace Carr at The Daily Signal gives numerous statistics and links in her article about this subject. She quotes a survey stating that most adults in the United States understand the seriousness of this problem: “Two-thirds of U.S. adults said increasing numbers of single women raising children by themselves was bad for society,” and approximately “50 percent of those surveyed also said greater numbers of unmarried couples raising children is not good for society.”
So, what can we do about the problem? One obvious way is for parents to model marriage and to teach the Ten Commandments to their children. Another way is to encourage education. Carr writes that “Over 40 percent of married mothers and fathers have a bachelor’s degree” while “Only 8 to 10 percent of cohabiting mothers and fathers with one or more biological child have a bachelor’s degree.” Some scholars are suggesting that tax bonuses - $4,000 per child – be given to encourage couples to marry before having children.
Since marriage rates are decreasing, and marriage is being delayed by those who do marry, the problems for children are increasing. Carr quotes another report stating that “Children living with their biological cohabiting parents are also more than four times as likely to be physically, sexually, or emotionally abused as kids living with their married parents.”
God commands us to marry before having sex. Therefore, He cannot bless a union that breaks this commandment. In addition, numerous organizations tell of increased problems for children when parents are not married. It simply makes sense that families, communities, and nations are strengthened when couples marry before having children.