Seriously. That’s the only explanation for this article “Is There Hope for the American Marriage”, which appears in this week’s print edition of Time Magazine. There are lots of quotes from this article which I would like to comment on, but for now, let me share them with you and solicit your opinions.
The poor and the middle class are very different in the ways they have forsaken marriage. The poor are doing it by uncoupling parenthood from marriage, and the financially secure are doing it by blasting apart their unions if the principals aren’t having fun anymore.”
The reason for these appeals to lasting unions is simple: on every single significant outcome related to short-term well being and long-term success, children from intact, two-parent families outperform those from single-parent households…Growing up without a father has deep psychological effects on a child. “The mom may not need that man,” [Maria] Kefalas says, “but her children still do.”
…the middle class has spent the past 2 1/2 decades – during which the divorce culture became a fact of life – turning weddings into overwrought exercises in consumer spending, as if by just plunking down enough cash for the flower girls’ dresses and tissue-lined envelopes for the RSVP cars, we can somehow improve our chance of going the distance.”
Okay, now I know this last bit is long, but it’s here where she asks the really profound questions. (In addition to stalking my blog, I think Time has hijacked my e-mail, as I send out questions quite similar to this to dear friends just yesterday…)
The fundamental question we must ask ourselves at the beginning of the century is this: What is the purpose of marriage? Is it – given the game-changing realities of birth control, female equality and the fact that motherhood outside of marriage is o longer stigmatized – simply an institution that has the capacity to increase the pleasure of the adults who enter into it?…Or is marriage an institution that still hews to its old intention and function – to raise the next generation, to protect and teach it, to instill in it the habits of conduct and character that will ensure the generation’s own safe passage into adulthood?”
And lastly, some thoughts from our President, quoted in this same article, from an interview he did for Parade Magazine on Father’s Day:
…we need fathers to step up, to realize that their job does not end at conception; that what makes you a man is not the ability to have a child but the courage to raise one.”
Now what are your thoughts?