By: Emily Conley
Starting today, National Marriage Week USA kicks off 7 days of raising public support and awareness to strengthen married husbands and wives everywhere. But why should you care about marriages - especially other peoples’ marriages? We all want to live in stable, growing, safe communities where freedom can flourish and the well-being of children is protected, right?
It so happens that strong marriages lead to strong families, which in turn create those ideal communities.
Marriage adds value to society in ways that no other relationship does. Here’s just a few ways that marriage is good for you:
1. Marriage improves the economy. If you’re married, your children are 82% less likely to live in poverty, 20% more likely to finish college, and even have an average of 10 point higher IQs than children with unmarried parents. These well-educated and well-adjusted kids help the economy stay above the replacement level, meaning we’ll have sufficient numbers of workers to provide pensions and medical care for the elderly (us, before too long). Falling below the replacement level results in the need for higher tax rates or increased immigration.
2. Marriage makes communities safer. If the next generation has married mom and dads, they’ll be less than half as likely to commit a crime, compared to their peers without married parents. If dads stay in the picture, crime rates will drop dramatically: 60% of America’s rapists, 70% of America’s long term prison inmates, and 72% of America’s adolescent murderers are from fatherless homes.
3. Married people live longer. According to the Journal of Marriage and the Family, “A 1990 review of research found that married people also have better physical health, while the unmarried have significantly higher rates of mortality—about 50 percent higher for women and 250 percent higher for men.” Healthy people are good for our society, hence the push from the government to eliminate trans fats and get people to exercise. The government understands that too many unhealthy people creates a cost crisis for healthcare.
4. Married people are happier. According to the study from the Journal of Marriage and the Family, “Cohabitation versus Marriage: A Comparison of Relationship Quality," and the Journal of Family Issues “Marital Status Continuity and Change Among Young and Midlife Adults,” married couples have better relationships, more happiness, better emotional health, and less depression than cohabiting couples. Happy people are easier to work for, work with, vote for, stand in line for coffee behind, and live next door to.
5. Marriages protect those most vulnerable in society. Marriage protects children better than any other romantic relationship, or government institution. Children with married moms and dads are 11 times less likely to be physically, sexually, and emotionally abused than when living with their mother and her boyfriend, and 45 times less likely to be killed than children living with their mother’s boyfriends.
Without strong marriages, our culture, our communities and our future all suffer.
So whether you’re married or not – whether you have children or not- the marriages of those around you contribute to the society in which you live. They’re improving the economy and raising upstanding citizens. Since they’re healthier and happier, they’re great coworkers, bosses, and community members. Most importantly, they’re providing a safe, nurturing atmosphere while raising the next generation, and creating a better future for all of us.
That is what we are working for. That is why Alliance Defending Freedom is in the business of rebuilding marriage as an institution, and strengthening individual marriages nationwide. Because more married moms and dads are the future.
Find out more about the benefits of marriage, how you can strengthen your marriage, by visiting National Marriage Week USA. Read the rest of this series:
1. 5 Reasons Marriage is Your Future
2. Marriage Isn't Just Your Story, It's THE Story
3. 5 Myths Crushing Marriage
4. This Valentine's Day: Is Our Heart In the Right Place?