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Family Matters

Why Marriage Should be Protected

Did you know that marriage is good for your health?


Yes, it’s true. Both secular and faith-based studies on health and wellness have concluded the same thing: marriage is beneficial to the individual. A study from Harvard Medical School of over 120,000 individuals found that married men are healthier and live longer than unmarried, widowed, or divorced men (Harvard).


Marriage also has a positive effect on a variety of health outcomes, especially mental health. Married people—compared to their single counterparts—have a lower risk of depression.

Additional benefits of marriage include a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease, improved blood sugar levels, better sleep, longer life expectancy, and a greater probability of recovering from serious physical conditions. (HHS.gov).


Remarkably, the same or similar results were discovered in countries all over the world. Great Britain and Japan also recorded findings that marriage was positively linked to greater health outcomes.


I know what you’re thinking… but you don’t know my [husband or wife].


Some of these studies went so far as to suggest that the quality of the marriage really didn’t matter. Married men with poor relationships with their spouses, for example, still enjoyed greater health and happiness than their never married or divorced counterparts.

It’s not surprising, then, that children living with both biological parents also experience greater health, happiness, and opportunity.


Health and Wealth


There’s another benefit to marriage that many didn’t see coming. Studies have concluded that marriage is a surprising predictor of wealth! Contrary to what my husband would tell you, marriage has been found to make people richer, not poorer.


That’s a pretty remarkable finding considering all the expenses associated with having a wedding, raising children, and owning a family home.


“The evidence shows that getting married increases wealth and income,” according to Pamela Smock, a sociology professor at the University of Michigan.


Not every couple is the same, obviously, but some factors tend to contribute to this phenomenon. Researchers have concluded that married men are more likely to get raises, promotions, and job offers compared to their single counterparts. There appears to be a strong drive for financial success for a man once he marries.


“The evidence for economic gains to marriage is quite strong, even for less-educated and low-income individuals,” says Robert Lerman of The Urban Institute. Read the study here.


The overwhelming conclusion—even from the scientific community, not to mention the faith community—is that marriage between one man and one woman in a committed relationship benefits all parties involved.


Under Attack


We shouldn’t be surprised, then, that marriage is under assault.


Congress, for example, is working to actively subvert traditional marriage. H.R. 8404, deceptively labeled “The Respect for Marriage Act” passed in the House of Representatives on July 19, 2022, and is supported by both Democrats and Republicans in the Senate.


“Ultimately, enactment of H.R. 8404 would destabilize essential pillars of American society: family and religion.” Read the article from the Daily Signal here.


The vote on this bill has been tabled until after the mid-term elections, so we’ll discuss more of the specifics of the legislation later. But for now, let’s look at three unintended consequences when traditional marriage is undermined:


1. Less Health, Wealth, and Happiness


Cohabitating individuals do not enjoy the same benefits as their married colleagues, researchers say. Unmarried people living together fare the same or worse than their single colleagues in the areas of both health and wellness.


To go a step further, cohabitation puts future marriage relationships at risk, according to the American College of Pediatricians (2015):


”Cohabitation before marriage is associated with lower marital satisfaction, dedication, and confidence as well as increased negative communication with couples spending less time together and men spending more time on personal leisure.”


The children of cohabitating adults experience a higher risk of developing health issues, as well, and single mothers are 47% more likely to live below the poverty line.


2. More Divorce and Domestic Violence


This same report concluded that there is also more violence and a higher rate of divorce among partners who live together before marriage. Only one-third of cohabitating couples eventually marry and, when they do, the risk for divorce increases by 50 percent.


Additionally, those who eventually marry are likely to experience 33% more domestic violence than couples who married first.


But the most disturbing statistic, by far, is that women living in cohabitating relationships are about nine times (9x) more likely to be killed by their partner than women in marriage relationships!


3. The Children Suffer Most


Boatloads of research have been done involving children from divorced or single-parent homes, and it’s not pretty. Today, we would like to believe that the role of the mother and father are equal, but that’s not supported by science.


Removing the dad from the home or systematically eliminating the need for a biological father—as often happens with gay couples raising children—carries dire consequences for the kids.


Consider the following statistics of fatherless children as reported by the U.S. Department of Justice:

  • 4x greater risk of poverty

  • 2x greater risk of infant mortality

  • 7x more likely to become pregnant as a teen

  • More likely to go to prison

  • More likely to be abused or neglected

  • More likely to abuse drugs and alcohol

View these and more statistics here.


In contrast, children living with their biological father are more likely to get A’s in school, enjoy school, and enroll in extracurricular activities. As teenagers, these children are less likely to abuse drugs, drop out of school, and have children outside of marriage.


There’s one notable exception with the power to reverse this destructive trend of fatherlessness—adoption. When an adoptive parent, set of parents, or step-parent makes a conscious decision to step in and provide much-needed love, care, and support, children have a greater opportunity to thrive.


The Wrap-Up


The family is the earliest institution established. God created man in his image. He created the woman so man wouldn’t have to be alone, and He gave them both the command to be fruitful and multiply. The Creator of the universe could have populated the earth any way He wanted, but He chose to create families.


And the family is a very delicate ecosystem. If one element is removed from the mix, everyone feels the consequences.


For these reasons and more, we must fight to protect our families and the very institution of marriage. Too much is at stake.


Thank you for reading. Remember to pursue the Truth today.

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