The New York Times reports today that “after steadily rising for five decades, the share of children born to unmarried women has crossed a threshold: more than half of births to American women under 30 occur outside marriage.” The article is a depressing one, sharing stories of women whose children are by-products of uncommitted relationships fathered by men who, as one woman puts it she wouldn’t consider marrying because life with him was “like living with another kid.” One wonders why, if that was the case, she considered even having sex with him. But let’s not delve into that can of worms, that’s a topic for another day, another blog.
Some unwed mothers cite the failure of their parents’ marriages as reasons to not get married to the father of their children. One such woman is Brittany Kidd who was 13 when her father ran off with another woman, she says “Our family life was pretty perfect: a nice house, two cars, a dog and a cat …(t)hat stability just got knocked out like a window; it shattered.” Note that she says that “our family life was perfect.” Obviously, for her parents it was far from perfect, but for that child at 13 her life was perfect. She had a mom and a dad both living under the same roof. She had one home. She had stability. Isn’t that what every 13 year old kid should have? What are the odds that Brittany’s father is still with the woman for whom he destroyed his family? This young woman is living out the legacy of her father’s selfishness and irresponsibility. His actions are effecting the next generation. His grandchild is growing up without a father.
I realize if you a regular visitor to babyproofingyourmarriage.com I am preaching to the choir. You get it. You understand that your marriage is central to your childrens’ happiness. Even so, it is good to be reminded why the stakes are high and why marriage matters. All in all this article is a powerful advertisement for only having children after marriage. (Save it for your kids to read when they’re teenagers!) You can read the entire article here.