Monday, July 11, 2011

Marriage Woes for Baby Boomers

In Sunday's StarTribune newspaper there was a front page story regarding an increasing number of baby boomers who are divorcing.  In fact 25% of divorces today are from those who have been married for 20 years or more.  The baby boom generation has already brought the highest divorce rate the nation has ever known, now they are showing us again how not to have a good marriage.

Interestingly, the fastest growing segment of the population that are now cohabiting, rather than getting married, are those in their 50's.   Shacking it up - it's no longer just for those in their 20s.  

What's going on here?!

The article went on to say that once the children leave the house or the youngest is about to graduate from high school, the children were no longer a reason for the couple to stay together.

My immediate reaction to the story was this:  Start going on more dates people!  Go do something you both enjoy together and love on each other.  And I'm gonna say it - after the date is over, make sure you end up wrapped up in between the sheets together, naked!  Got it?  Good. 

Yes children are important, but let's not forget about your spouse. 

I referenced before on this blog that I'm not a marriage expert.  And I do realize that you baby boomers are old enough to have powdered by butt, - BUT, I do love my wife more than ever and we've got a good thing going.  I think we're doing some things right, so hopefully my advice carries some weight.

Here are four reasons why author Bryan Davis thinks marriage is awesome.

1. Marriage done right makes you less selfish

It's not the institution of marriage that is failing.  It's us.  We, overall as a culture, are just more selfish.  It's all about us.  I have needs and if they're not met, I'm outta here.  Rather, marriage done right isn't as much about what we feel as how we can meet the needs of our spouse.  It's sacrificing ourselves to be others-centered, starting with our spouse.  In a nutshell, the most vibrant marriages are also the least selfish.  And this trait is acquired over a lifetime.  The more selfless you become, the more you will love your spouse.  And selfless, others-centered folks have a healthy spillover effect on their surrounding culture.

2. Marriage done right makes you healthier

Every single serious study ever done on marriage and singleness clearly shows that married folks live longer, healthier lives.  Most recently, The Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health found that compared with married people, people who are widowed are 40 percent more likely to die, people who are divorced or separated are 27 percent more likely to die, and people who have never married were 58 percent more likely to die.  The main reason?  We were designed to be in a flourishing, monogamous relationship with a spouse.  When we deny this, the very way we are made, our minds, bodies and souls suffer.

3. Marriage done right is what's best for your kids

Similar to the overwhelming conclusion of marital studies on the impact of health, virtually all research shows that the two-parent home is what is best for children.  Recently, The Future of Children, a journal published jointly by the non-partisan Brookings Institution and Princeton University, found that children from two-parent families are better off emotionally, socially and economically.  Contrast that with the fact that the average prison inmate came from a single parent home according to the National Resource Center on Children and Families of the Incarcerated.  Your kids need a healthy relationship modeled – your marriage.

4. Marriage done right is God's best for your life story

There is the gift of singleness, no doubt, but for the vast majority of us, marriage is God's best.  According to Genesis 2, marriage is the first and most important institution God created – preceding governments, churches and schools.  God designed us and knows what's best for us.  He doesn't want us alone.  He wants us "one flesh" with another human being.  As our Creator, let's not doubt His goodness to us.  Marry well.  Live well.

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