The words “until death part us” captivated my thoughts that day like a catchy song. My grandfather was 101 years old when he said his final goodbyes to the love of his life.
My grandmother passed one month before their 77th wedding anniversary. Their commitment to lifelong marriage continues to be a source of inspiration to multiple generations.
Married couples like my grandparents create a place of safety for their children by simply staying together, whether rich or poor, in sickness and in health, for better or for worse. This kind of marital commitment has become as rare as VHS video tapes.
Today, more than forty percent of children are born to unwed mothers. In 1970, that figure was ten percent.
Robert Rector, a Senior Research Fellow for The Heritage Foundation, offered this surprising fact in an article on poverty and unwed births: “Most out-of-wedlock births occur to men and women in their early twenties. Half of the women who have children are cohabiting with the father at the time of the birth; 75 percent are in a romantic relationship with the father.”
The safest place for children
Millions of children in America not only witness the destruction of their families, but they also live with the aftermath. They are the unintended sufferers.
Children do not have the luxury of choosing their parents. Growing into healthy adulthood can be a high-stakes proposition for many of them. Children need physical, spiritual, and emotional protection.
The safest place on earth for a child is a home where mom and dad are married, love each other, and model commitment.
Live Christianly in your marriage
Research shows children who grow up in intact families are healthier, less likely to commit crimes, and more likely to get married. In other words, one day, they may also create safe places for their families.
Is your marriage safe for your children? Do your children see you interact with kindness or harshness? Let them see you apologize when you are impatient or make a mistake. Do they see you praying or reading the Bible together? These are a few ways to establish a haven for your little ones.
Reflection Verse: “The righteous who walks in his integrity—blessed are his children after him!” (Proverbs 20:7).
This article first appeared in Birmingham Christian Family Magazine.