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A recent study reports, “Less than half (46%) of U.S. kids younger than 18 years of age are living in a home with two married heterosexual parents in their first marriage. This is a marked change from 1960, when 73% of children fit this description, and 1980, when 61% did” (Pew Research, December 22, 2014). “At the same time, the share of children born outside of marriage now stands at 41%, up from just 5% in 1960” (ibid.). However, these numbers are not unique to the U.S. A UK study reports, “In 2002 the proportion was 40.6 per cent, and if the trend continues at the same rate more than half of children will be born out of wedlock by 2016” (Telegraph, July 10, 2013). Out-of-wedlock birthrates in Europe doubled between 1990 and 2008, while Estonia’s rate in 2008 was 59% (Associated Press, September 9, 2010). In Africa, nearly 3 out of 4 births are to unwed mothers (Politifact.com, July 29, 2013).
Although children have no say about the environment into which they are born, growing up fatherless has a powerful impact on a child’s future. God designed the family and intended for every child to have both a father and a mother. The Bible defines marriage between a man and a woman, and God states, “It is not good that man should be alone…” (Genesis 2:18). Sadly, selfishness, liberal secular ideas and a lack of proper training has led to increasing divorce and out-of-wedlock birth rates. That will change with the return of Christ when He “will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children” (Malachi 4:6).
For more information on how to improve family relations, read our booklet God’s Plan for Happy Marriage.