Marriage was once a cornerstone of our society. It provided strength and stability for couples and their children and, in turn, for our communities and nation as a whole.
The tide has turned, however, and we’re no longer a country centered on marriage and the family. The percentage of Americans who have never been married has reached an all-time high. This decline has imposed (and will continue to impose) lasting negative consequences. In order to reverse such ill effects, we need to change the narrative that marriage is a luxury only the wealthy can afford.
Marriage Saves You Money
Contrary to popular belief, marriage isn’t expensive. Yes, the average cost of a wedding in the United States is nearly $34,000, and the over-the-top wedding industry can certainly scare people away from marriage. However, weddings don’t have to cost that much (and, in fact, they can cost next to nothing if you’re willing to forego a lavish celebration).
Furthermore, if you’re concerned about finances, it’s important to note that marriage actually saves you money. Combined incomes, shared living space (and all of the costs that come with that), and even the little things like cooking for two result in overall cheaper living. So, even if you can’t afford a huge wedding, you can absolutely afford to get married.
Even if you can’t afford a huge wedding, you can absolutely afford to get married.
Married-couple households also have higher incomes than other types of households (including cohabiting households). Currently, this reinforces income inequality because those with higher socioeconomic status are more likely to get married and, thereby, reap the economic benefits of marriage. If, however, people of other socioeconomic statuses started marrying at higher rates, this wouldn’t necessarily be the case. Instead of the rich getting richer, anyone who chooses marriage would get richer, and income inequality could be reduced.
Marriage Improves the Lives of Children and Their Communities
Aside from this, children of all classes, races, and backgrounds need stability. They need the witness of true love, self-sacrifice, and unity in their lives. This, of course, can come from sources outside of a married mother and father. But, parents who have vowed to stay together for life and raise their children under one roof are a sure fount of the love and security that enables young people to thrive. Such blessings shouldn’t be limited to those in a certain income bracket.
Children in fatherless homes are four times more likely to wind up in poverty.
Marriage also betters society, as it encourages individuals to live fuller and more virtuous lives. It forces us out of a selfish mindset, as we have to consider the well-being of others and the consequences our actions will have on them. In a society that has become shockingly self-centered, we need marriage to convert us back into a nation that seeks to serve. Ultimately, this will benefit everyone — from those living in poverty to the upper class.
Marriage isn’t about money or status. It’s about the love between a man and a woman and the commitment they desire to make to each other for a lifetime. If we, as a society, stopped believing the lie that you have to be in a certain income bracket in order to say “I do,” then we would have fewer fatherless children, less poverty, and less inequality. A renewed focus on marriage and family is the answer to many of the problems our culture faces. It always has been, and it always will be. Don’t be afraid to say “I do.”
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