Are college grads more likely to get married by the age of 30? That’s what a recent study* from the Pew Research Center claims. While that’s an interesting bit of info, one of the reasons backing it is even more interesting.
According to the report, there’s a reversal taking place in society.
Decades ago, more people without a degree got married before 30, since the benefits of marriage could offset the difference in income. But now, research shows that economic hardship has put up barriers to marriage for more non-degree holders, making living together a popular option.
Question in my mind: Is money really to blame for the decline in marriage?
Reasons for More College Grads Getting Married
As a CNN article citing the study pointed out, marriage experts had some additional thoughts on the matter, including the fact that college grads are often more involved in church, an institution that fosters marriage.
Aha. I had a feeling the spiritual side of this matter would show its face. And … is that really a fact?
A study from the American Sociological Association published findings last year that of the people in the study, those with a degree were more likely to get/stay married and have a lower rate of unemployment. The study concluded that church might seem more appealing to that group since it encourages marriage, family and stable employment.
The Huffington Post quotes Andrew Cherlin, co-author of the study as saying:
“While we recognize that not everyone wishes to worship, and that religious diversity can be valuable, we also think that the existence of a large group of less educated Americans that is increasingly disconnected from religious institutions is troubling for our society. This development reinforces the social marginalization of less educated Americans who are also increasingly disconnected from the institutions of marriage and work.”
Praying for God’s Intervention
I can’t help but see a greater force at work here. It’s clear that education itself does not make us choose to get married or go to church. Sure, it can help us get higher-paying jobs that allow us to afford weddings (marriage) and growing families — values supported by church. But money doesn’t have to keep us from those things.
Before I became a Christian, I didn’t see marriage as I do today. I didn’t understand what a covenant relationship involved — for better or for worse — and how many blessings it could bestow.
I’m still learning what it means to submit to my husband, but without reading the bible, praying and the encouragement of a church family, I’d still be baffled about the point of marriage. Even with all of that support, in my humanness, I struggle.
It seems like those among us who need this support the most are missing out.
For readers going by faith, I ask you to pray on this issue, that the plots and plans of evil to turn couples away from marriage and a supportive church family are exposed, just as God has been faithful to do in the past.
We all struggle. We all have our moments of defeat. And there are exceptions. But may our eyes be opened to the value of marriage, to the value of raising our children in married homes, and to the value of getting involved with the church.
*Source: Pew Research Center, Living Together: The Economics of Cohabitation