Why Has Marriage Declined?
“The age at which one first gets married has risen by six years since 1960, and now only 20 percent of Americans get married before the age of 30. The number of new marriages each year is declining at a slow but steady rate. … Fifteen times the number of couples today live together outside of marriage than in 1960. Almost every expert points in part to the women’s liberation movement of the late 1960s and ’70s. As more women earned college degrees, entered the workforce and delayed motherhood, marriage became less necessary for their economic survival,” wrote Aja Gabel in her article The Marriage Crisis: How marriage has changed in the last 50 years and why it continues to decline.
Last week, I asked the women in the chat room what they believed to be the topic that women take the most offense with what I teach. The majority of them said when I teach wives to be submissive to their husbands. I think it’s when I teach women to be keepers at home because it’s against everything they’ve ever been taught. (So is submission and modesty and everything else I teach, but this seems to get women the most riled up. I could be wrong.) When I teach them to ponder carefully whether or not they should go to college, spend a ton of money they don’t have, and then be in bondage to a career since they must pay off their debt which leads them to putting off having children and not being able to be home with them when they do, they are highly offended.
Feminism has caused mass destruction upon the institution of marriage. Not only has it caused women to choose careers over motherhood and raising children, but the birth control pill has made it especially easy for them to put aside marriage and children. Since the introduction of birth control in America, they can pursue their careers and make money instead. It makes it easy to only have a one or two children so they can continue with their careers once they have children.
Sadly, women initiate up to 80 percent of divorces. What is God’s opinion about this? “Surely as a wife treacherously departs from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with me” (Jeremiah 3:20). Men have made it easy for women to live without them, thus many women don’t want them anymore. They falsely believe that their lives will be better without them, neglecting to consider the long term impact of divorce upon their children.
For all of these reasons, women, I will continue to teach what God commands that I teach. Women need to be taught from a young age to love their husbands and children. These things should be taught as good things, created by Almighty God for them. They need to be taught to be keepers at home and not go along with the flow of culture pursuing highly expensive degrees that keep them far from God’s will for their lives. Yes, I may be one of the very few that teach these things but they are biblical, thus they are good.
The author of The Marriage Crisis article linked above ended with this conclusion: “Marriage has changed because America has changed. We can’t return to the model of marriage from the mid-20th century because we no longer live in the culture or the economy that created it. And some would argue that we wouldn’t want to return to it even if we could. Both men and women have greater choice than they did 50 years ago not only in regard to whom they marry, but also if they do and what kind of family they want to build. And, if the experts agree on one thing, it is that these choices are some of the most important we make for our own happiness.”
Women aren’t happier today. They are much more unhappy. Millions of women are now on anti-depressants. They are seeking their own way instead of God’s ways. Careers, divorce, single motherhood, and everything else that women pursue in hopes of being “happy” isn’t working. Go back to God’s ways, women. Seek His paths. The author is wrong about not being able to return to the way marriage once was. God’s Word never changes. He is the One who created marriage and called it good. It works in every culture because He is our Creator and knows what is best for us. Some ways of the past are FAR superior to the ways of today, especially for the children.
Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.
28 thoughts on “Why Has Marriage Declined?”
Yesterday’s article explains, in my opinion, why marriage is in decline. At least from a man’s perspective, why marry if I can get all the benefits without the commitment? Living together gives an escape. Also, too many women are taught that submission is a bad concept, yet we all submit to others. I submit to Christ, my employer and to the federal, state, and local governments. Of course, I don’t believe a woman will submit to a man who has not provided her with the security of marriage. My wife and I celebrated our 29th anniversary last Sunday and without the total commitment to our marriage, we may not have had that great celebration. We both know that we will remain together even though neither of us are perfect.
I believe the issue of submission is more important than any other issue, as a house divided against itself cannot stand. An educated woman who is willing to submit to her husband will find more joy in marriage, something that is more important than happiness. A woman who submits to her husband will strive for modesty outside of her home but feel the freedom to throw that aside when she is alone with her husband. A husband that understands the command to love his wife and Christ loved the church will encourage that submission and provide a safe home where a wife knows that she can trust God to direct her husband in the way that is best for her and the family. Yes, I truly believe submission, or the lack of a willingness to submit, is the core issue of the decline in marriage and decline in joyful marriage.
These marriage decline statistics are shocking. However, I am not in full agreement that a young lady shouldn’t attend college. There are a lot of generalizations made on this blog regarding college attendance and finances that are not applicable to every student or family. Not every woman who attends college needs to take out expensive loans. Some parents have saved money throughout the course of their life with the desire to give their children the opportunity to attend a trade school or college after graduation. When you make comments like “spending money they don’t have”, you’re not referring to every student or family.
There are also Christian colleges that align with family values of Christ-followers. Where else could 18-22 year-olds be in the company of many like-minded believers? If a student remains pure, doesn’t amass unmanageable debt while earning a college degree, and is blessed to meet their future spouse, how is this unbiblical? And after marriage, how is a wife that is not yet a mother kept from being a keeper at home, too? You assume that Christian couples aren’t intelligent or spiritual enough to discuss the future while taking advantage of the present. Even if a woman conceives on her honeymoon, she has months to work that could be a financial blessing to the family. If the Lord doesn’t provide a baby right away, there’s even more earning potential which is a blessing to a young couple starting out. I’m in full agreement that once a child enters the family, the wife and mother’s place is in the home full-time. If no or limited debt is brought into the marriage, and if the couple decides it isn’t necessary for the woman to work outside the home once married, that’s fine, too.
I agree that submission is the most offensive thing you teach. You teach women to submit sexually, physically, and financially to their husbands. Many women don’t like this because they give up what they believe is all their Hope’s and dreams. What they don’t realize is that they dont really want what they think they want. Their place is in the home working to achieve their husbands’ Hope’s and dreams, not their own, and most women today don’t like to hear this.
Although marriage is in decline in the secular world, it shouldn’t be in decline in the churches. Christians should know that “marriage is honourable in all.” We seem to be taking our cues from the world around us and valuing everything higher than marriage, especially education (which then has a huge domino effect on our lives). Marriage also isn’t taught as something to be sought while young by the parents in church.
My father is an elder and has many times had to exhort the young men to get married. He has said that the young single men (which come often to his congregation due to its location) haven’t been taught to look to take on the responsibility of a family. A lot of them are good guys but they are just grown up kids. This can also be traced back to the push for higher education without a balance of responsibility and hard labor. So many kids grow up and go off to school without learning adult responsibility or hard labor and so something like marriage and what it entails is a foreign concept. So until they are able to afford the modern standard lifestyle going the higher education route (which may take many years), they don’t even look to be married.
We are hoping to do things differently with our children. I’m really hoping to get my son involved with some sort of arduous physical labor around 14. I think it is really good for a young man’s development. Also being skilled with one’s hands is always a good thing no matter how one chooses to develop one’s mind. This way he can support a wife and family just as soon as God opens that door and doesn’t have to wait on college graduation or grad school or finding a good job etc. etc.
The main problem I have with college for women, besides the huge debt that the majority of women have after graduating, is that the purpose of college is to get a career. Nowhere in God’s Word are we told that women are to seek careers outside of their homes. Most of these careers keep women far from the will of God. Even Christian colleges teach nothing about biblical womanhood but support feminism. It’s shameful.
Amen! Christians need to be raising their children to want marriage. The daughters to want to be help meets to their husbands and mothers to their children, and the sons to be the providers and protectors of their families. If we don’t teach them this, society will teach them the ways of godlessness.
I realize we see this issue a bit differently. I will give two examples of how education for women has been beneficial. My wife attended college, although she was no longer attending when we met. However, this helps give her some insight into what my kids are learning at college, and the kids seem to understand that she can relate to what they are going through. My sister-in-law also went to college, which is where she met my brother. She stayed home with her kids from the time the first arrived (as did my wife) but her education has helped her home school more effectively. Neither had any significant debt. The girlfriend of one of my sons is also finishing her degree, yet they have already talked about her staying home when children arrive. That said, I completely agree that the choice of where one goes to college is vital, and not all colleges that call themselves Christian colleges act that out in their teachings. I also respect the difference of opinion on this topic.
Hi Lori and another wise women! I am sorry that I write here but I need some advice and support from women. I have been separated from my husband for almost 3 months because of the pandemic situation. I live now with my mom and sister, yes I love them and I am grateful for staying with them but it’s have been difficult to keep my mind in peace, my mom fights with me for nothing and puts me down. I feel like divorcing my husband! Please, wise women write me on WhatsApp (+79850196007) or at least email firstname.lastname@example.org thanks!!!! Lori, as always a great post!
Ally says: “Their place is in the home working to achieve their husbands’ Hope’s and dreams, not their own, ”
Thank you so very much for this truth.
M: I have a question. You state your father is an elder and has to encourage young men to get married and take responsibilities as an adult. What does he and other leaders do to mentor young men into being the leaders they are to become. When I was growing up the switch in society was starting to focus on woman empowerment. They took the young women off for leadership training and left the young men with no guidance. The guidance I got was from my grandfathers, my dad, and a few in the churches. But as time has gone on that leadership training is gone due to divorce and the church dropping the ball on taking young men and teaching them. We have to give the girls the same biblical training now. So the young men are discouraged and have been withdrawing. So I do exhort my fellow older men to grab a few young men And guide them on how to be the leaders God has called them to be.
Don’t divorce your husband, Monica! Go home to him where you belong.
I went to college and received my teaching credential many years ago when it wasn’t expensive. Now, there is no way a teacher’s salary can pay off the debt it takes to get a credential. In fact, I know young women who are teachers but can’t be home with their children due to their debt. My credential didn’t teach me how to teach my children. I could have easily taught them without it as many other women are doing without credentials. Debt is bondage and tell me, are women called to spend thousands of dollars on themselves that they don’t have for a degree that will most likely keep them from being able to be home full time?
I agree, Timm. Boys today are taught to collaborate with women, rather than to lead them. Girls are taught to compete with men, rather than support and follow.
Debt is bondage
Which of course is exactly why it is being not only encouraged, but has been built into our socioeconomic infrastructure to make it all but unavoidable for anyone, male or female, who wants a shot at even a lower middle class lifestyle. Our rulers know that the ability to work hard, save (assuming that the money we earn hasn’t been debased to the point of never holding long-term value), and exercise economic autonomy leads to freedom – and thus independence from them. This is of course unacceptable and intolerable to the godless globalists, and thus the perpetuation of the status quo. Debt-driven economics ensures that most people will never be free to live life in accordance with God’s plan, a central pillar of which is marriage and family formation.
Our rulers are out to destroy the Christian faith and the families that sustain it. The real crime in this is that the “church” is gleefully and enthusiastically aiding and abetting them by encouraging the young to follow the World’s life script rather than God’s. The day of reckoning approaches.
Hi Tiny Timm,
Yes, it seems that boys and young men have been forgotten in this feminist world. Just the other day I saw a sign on an exclusive local private school calling for girls (no boys) to be involved in a STEM contest.
My father is definitely a unique man. He has always looked to help anyone, even people in circumstances many Christians are conflicted about like bailing people out of jail. He’ll pick up any hitchhiker and will always give money to beggars and bums. He even keeps money in his car just to pass out. He sets up Bible studies with young men (and any of their girlfriends they are thinking of marrying) on a regular basis. He actually gets excited when Jehovah’s Wittnesses come by the house. (He had one Wittness buddy that came by regularly for years before I believe he passed away so they could hash it out together).
He is also the church matchmaker. If young people want to get married, they will let him know and he will get busy introducing them around (quite frankly he’ll do that even if they don’t let him know).
Funny story, years ago one of the hopeful young men came to my father for my father to help him find a wife. My father tried to set him up with an attractive young woman who recently started attending. The young man wasn’t interested in her or any of the other potential wives. Years later he got married and his wife turned out to look quite a bit like my family. It took us looking back on all the clues that he was actually trying to get my father to fix him up with my sister or myself.
So that is my father, but the other elders all make themselves available to any church member by having “open office hours” right after service on Sunday where the elders announce they’ll be sitting in a room for anyone to come and speak/pray with them.
Their church also sends their young people to an annual leadership conference where the young men have preaching and song leading competitions, etc. The girls do singing and speaking but not preaching and the boys aren’t even allowed to be in the room if the girls are doing any speaking because “a woman should not teach or have authority over a man”.
Finally my father and the other elders always include the young men in all the services. If for nothing else but passing out or praying over the communion (which we do weekly). They may also be asked to lead prayers and be the song leader. If you attend that congregation, you’ll get mentored (whether you want to be or not).
It’s a sad cycle, the decline of marriage benefits feminism and the growth of more feminists leads to a decline in marriage. If women aren’t taught young that their job is to serve a husband and that they should always trust the guidance of men they’ll easier believe the feminist lies and with no husband and children to care for, they have all the time in the world to grow bitter and believe the world owes them applause just for being female. And even if they do marry it’s often too late, they expect their husbands to cater to them and when they don’t, it’s time for divorce.
I am a bit confused by your comment Monica, it sounds like you need to divorce from your Mother and go back home to to your husband :). Maybe God is disciplining you by having your Mom whack you with words all the time to get you back home. LOL
Maybe you can explain why you would want to divorce your husband instead of winning him without a word by your chaste and godly behavior as the Lord prescribes?
Tiny Timm, it appears a lot of churches neglect teaching on being independent of the world and passages such as these “and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.”
1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 NIV
Jesus was offered the world by Satan in exchange for turning against God and his Word. He didn’t take it, but sadly it appears many church leaders have.
I agree with you, Lori, that college debt isn’t a good thing for women who just want to stay home anyway (I was in that category), but I also agree with Chris about where to even find a suitable spouse.
I went to a community college for free, then transferred down south to a tiny Christian school. I don’t have much debt, but I DID meet my amazing husband. I know I’d I hadn’t gotten out of the Northeast, I wouldn’t be married or have my three children. My two younger sisters (in their mid-20s) still live at home, didn’t attend college, have never dated a man, and their church has no one even remotely their age that’s single. I fear they will remain unmarried 🙁
I regret the college debt I do have (which isn’t much), but I can never say I regret going away to college.
Will I ever recommend my children going in this day and age? Definitely not! But I hope to provide them with plenty of opportunity to meet others around their ages and encourage them to marry young.
I agree with you whole heartedly regarding debt. My wife and I had a goal to be debt free by the time we were 50, which includes the house. We almost made that goal, paying the house off at 51. I would not recommend anyone go into significant debt to obtain a college degree. Mine were paid through hard work, a benefit of military service. I didn’t earn my first degree until later in life, when I could pay for courses in cash. Scripturally, no Christian should go into debt that cannot be paid back, and sadly we have a society that seems to encourage just that.
We are living a feminized society also called gynocentric society. Most women in churches are feminists. God has already spoken in His Word His will for women, yet churches are praying for the will of God for the future of the young ladies who are graduating from high school regarding if God wants them to become doctors, lawyers, or the alike. That’s to say money and power, that’s all.
A woman lives to be happy. Everything and everybody has to make her happy. Ask any man if he is happy to go to work for the rest of his life to support many times an ungrateful wife.
God has designed women to be provided, and men to be providers (need biblical verses?). She will always strive to be provided, even when she earns a lot a money, she will always looks to be provided; For her a guy has to earn equal or more than her, he has to be the same or higher social status, he has to have the same or higher education. So, now they are getting more educated than men, (therefore) earning more money than men, and status goes along with that. Where will these women find a suitable man in their twisted minds?
The world has encourage her to go and get her own money, so that she will have more power in the decisions at home (a goal that is against God’s will).
She will believe every single lie the enemy through society throws at them. Remember Eve, or do you think she changed after the fall?? (and, Adam just goes along with it and supports her) She will swallow those lies completely under the excuses that many commentators/writers are mentioning in this blog. Colleges and universities won’t teach young women about their biblical role. Or, they egalitarian (feminism) or some kind of Complementarianism or the alike. Those institutions want money, and students are money for them.
Submission? she doesn’t have any problem submitting to her boss, but then when she gets home she demands equality, but that’s a lie she demands superiority. and, an “educated” woman bring a
special dynamic to a relationship with a man.
In the Bible it says that one can remain single all of their life as long as they don’t commit fornication. I think, in my opinion, Christians make marriage too big of a deal. Anyone can lead a completely God-honoring life without ever getting married.
Lets not forget that the rise of feminism in the 60’s was brought about by ground-work laid in the roaring 20s by the daughters of the Women’s Lib. who… you get the point. We’re a nation on the decline and have been for decades. But the women don’t bear all the blame. I know your ministry is to women so it makes sense to focus on the areas that THEY need to change but women have been looking for happiness outside of home and family for a long time for several reasons. First because of the Devil’s lies and also because the men have not been the Christ-like protectors that they should be. Women thought if they had the vote they could stop their husbands from being drunks. Women thought if they were allowed to lead the church they could get the men to act like Christians. Women thought if they had a career they wouldn’t be at the mercy of abusive men.
We have to pray for ALL the people’s hearts to change if we want to see revival. Of course we can start will letting God change us, individually.
God told Adam that it was not good for him to be alone and created a help meet for him. God created marriage and called it good. He said that it is better to marry than to burn. Most burn. The Apostle Paul praised singleness because he lived a life wholly dedicated to spreading the Gospel. There aren’t many singles for this reason.
Your mother sounds toxic and like the kind of person nobody wants to be around. You don’t deserve that. You didn’t give us an explanation as to why you want to divorce your husband, so as long as it’s not a situation where you or your children are being abused, focus on working things out. Tell him how you feel; address the issues.
But no matter what you do, leave your mothers house. She sounds emotionally and mentally abusive.
You know, they could get even more angry if you do an article on how unbelieving women, in more traditional countries, are more submissive to their husbands than our western christian women are.
I don’t mean insult American women. You have read my views here. I’m not saying foreign women are better, because they are still sinners, and have their own share of problems, but having lived in America for many years (yes, I’m not from here), I see a massive difference in the way they compare to foreign women.
There’s still a remnant of good christian women here, but it’s growing smaller and smaller every day.
Here’s some examples of what I’m talking about. Check this video. A russian woman is teaching other women how to be housewives. Imagine the outrage someone here teaching this! There’s lots of good comments about government role on women rights, feminism etc:
Again, these are not specifically christian women, they are pagan russian orthodox! Yet, this is what basically christian women are called to do.
This is how women in America used to be. And men were masculine, not emasculated like we are today. Men in goverment and in public. They had more opportunities than we have today, less entry barriers to jobs, less bureaucrac , etc.
Here’s a friendly challenge, Lori. Do a study on how women overseas are compared to here. Ignoring countries that have fallen down to feminism, such as Poland, Finland, etc. (even so, women in these feminist countries are still ahead in how femenine they are to us.)
Czechs. Every 20yo woman can cook from scratch on a high level. They mostly like taking care of the home from what ive heard. And it seems like it, the absolute best servers you have had at a restaurant or bar. Your beer hits the table 1/4 full and the server is in another room of the bar. You see her come around the corner with a beer! They listen for the sound, and czechs drink too much to ask questions.
Sadly one of the most unchristian countries in the world. Nice people