Archive for the ‘Divorce’ Category

The Yes to Sex App and the Problems of Promiscuity

In Abortion, Abstinence, Birth Rate, Child Development, Choice, Cohabitation, Courts, date rape, Demographic Decline, Diane Robertson, Divorce, Education, Families, Feminism, Free Speech, Government, Grandparents, Health Care, Marriage, Parenting, Population Control, Sanctity of Life, Schools, Sex Education, Sexual Freedom, Single Mothers, Values on May 25, 2016 at 6:57 am

Advise to youngby Diane Robertson

Every now and then I think of my grandparents and great grandparents and what society must have been like for them. Things were different back then. People married younger and the divorce rate was under 15%. Babies born to unwed mothers was under 10%. And while unwed pregnancies were around 20%, 50% of those women married before the baby was born. Premarital sex was taboo and looked down upon. The majority of children were born into a home with their biological married mother and father, the majority of children grew up with both parents.

In today’s society the divorce rate for all marriages is around 50%. More than 40% of children are born to unwed mothers. Additionally, there are approximately 1.2 million abortions each year and 85% are committed by unwed mothers. Today, premarital sex is not at all taboo. Instead it is expected of teens and college students to be sexually active and to explore their sexuality. Today, less than half the children in America will spend their entire childhood with their married biological mother and father. The traditional family has crumbled and sexual morality is considered old fashion and out of date.

The difference of course is what was taught. Before the 1960’s, youth were taught abstinence before marriage. After that youth were taught the mechanics of sex, and now students are taught that whatever they feel and want is ok as long as the other person consents.

Today, I read about another side effect of this very change. A married mother of 3 sons has developed a ‘Yes to Sex’ app for college students. And it is doing well. Probably fearing that her sons could be accused of rape, Wendy Mandell-Geller found a way to get legal consent through smart phones.

The ‘Yes to Sex’ app requires prospective sexual partners to agree to consent for sexual activity, agree on birth control or protection or none, and agree on a safe word. No personal information or photos are required. Rather the app records verbal consent and stores these on the company’s servers for a year along with the date, time, and place of the sexual encounter. Each person must say aloud ‘I’m saying yes!’ followed by the safe words before sexual activity.

Recently an EDU version of the app has been added. This costs $5 a year and is to make consent compliant with Title IX, the same that assures schools and universities won’t discriminate because of sex but also has a lot of say about consent and sexual harassment– making the government a partner in consent.

Of course, the real solution to the rape culture and divorce, and single parent homes, and abortion is not apps and laws but a return to our roots and the morals taught to our grandparents.




Give me that Old Time Religion

In Abstinence, Birth Rate, Child Abuse, Child Development, Choice, Cohabitation, Divorce, Domestic Violence, Families, father, Freedom, Marriage, motherhood, Parenting, Pornography, Religion, Religious Freedom, Sanctity of Life, Sexual Freedom, Single Mothers, Values on May 19, 2016 at 5:32 am
Sturbuck Community Church. Address: 113 Front St. Starbuck, Washington 99359. Taken by Steven Pavlov.

by Mekelle Tenney

The other day my mom and I came across an old applique pattern from 1905. The pattern was for dish clothes and there was a girl performing a different chore for each day of the week. One day was washing, one was ironing, another dusting and so on. What caught my attention was Sunday. There was no house work for Sunday the pattern simply showed a girl going to church. The book shared a little bit of background on each pattern and on this particular one it said that this was the typical household schedule. I couldn’t help but think how things have changed. A product that suggested the average household went to church on Sunday would cause great problems today. Social media would explode with angry posts and tweets from people who were hurt, offended, and emotionally injured by such an insensitive product. We would see hundreds of blogs written about it and eventually several lawsuits.

In the past several decades our society has turned hostile towards religion. Special interest groups see it as a threat to what they believe is progress. More and more religious liberties are taking a back seat to the bigoted agenda of small minority groups. There was a time when society believed in marriages that last, spouses who were faithful, men who didn’t feed their selfish desires with degenerate pornography, and women who wanted to be mothers. We understood that children need a father and a mother and that gender is biological and nonnegotiable. We knew that there is right and there is wrong and they are nonnegotiable as well. Many will argue that we are fine without religion. The truth is society benefits from religion, society needs religion. The following information comes from a report published by the Heritage foundation. It offers strong support for the benefits of and need for religion.

  • Numerous sociological studies have shown that valuing Religion and regularly practicing it are associated with greater marital stability, higher levels of marital satisfaction, and an increased likelihood that an individual will be inclined to marry.
  • Couples who acknowledge a divine purpose in their marriage are more likely to collaborate, to have greater marital adjustment, and to perceive more benefits from marriage and are less likely to use aggression or to come to a stalemate in their disagreements.
  • Earlier research found that couples whose marriages lasted 30 years or more reported older married couplethat their faith helped them to deal with difficult times, was a source of moral guidance in making decisions and dealing with conflict, and encouraged them to maintain their commitment to their marriages.
  • Religious attendance is the most important predictor of marital stability.
  • During the 1980s and 1990s, when religious practice decreased overall,the association between regular religious attendance and marital stability became even more apparent. Those who had ceased religious practice divorced 2.5 times more frequently than those who continued to attend religious services
  • Compared with mothers who did not consider Religion important, those who deemed Religion to be very important rated their relationship with their child significantly higher.
  • Greater religious practice of fathers is associated with better relationships with their
    Little Girl Helping Father with His Tie ca. 2003

    Little Girl Helping Father with His Tie ca. 2003

    children, higher expectations for good relationships in the future, a greater investment in their relationships with their children, a greater sense of obligation to stay in regular contact with their children, and a greater likelihood of supporting their children and grandchildren.

  • For example, men who attended religious services at least weekly were more than 50 percent less likely to commit an act of violence against their partners than were peers who attended only once a year or less.
  • Compared with those who viewed themselves as being “very religious,” those who were “not at all religious” were far more likely to bear a child out of wedlock (among whites, three times as likely; among Hispanics, 2.5 times as likely; and among blacks, twice as likely).
  • Individuals with higher levels of religious involvement have lower rates of abuse and addiction and are more likely to find long-lasting success if they ever struggled with any of these behaviors.

These are just a few of the many findings listed in the report. What is scary about our world today is that many will argue that these are not benefits, they are an outdated way of life. And that stability in marriages, families, and individual behavior does not matter. We are stuck in a grey zone where everything goes, good and bad are objective, and society is shaped by selfish individual desires. We need religion to get us out of the grey and back to right and wrong, good and bad. The decisions that our society is making right now will only harm families and individuals. Maybe it’s time we gave that “old time religion” a try.

Don’t you Quit

In Divorce on April 25, 2016 at 3:51 pm

Mom and her childrenBy Kelly Shoroye

My whole life had become my worst nightmare and now I was tasked with blowing up my children’s whole world.  As I stared at three pair of beautiful, innocent brown eyes, one of them being too young to understand the enormity of the situation, my heart sank to my toes.  How do you tell a child that their father is never coming home?  I finally just blurted it out and held them as they sobbed.  In that moment I realized it was all on me; every tear would be wiped by me, every bit of discipline would be doled out by me, and every ounce of anger they had to muster would be thrown at me.  Every statistic in my brain told me my children were going to become teen parents, alcoholics, and probably end up in jail before they could vote.  I felt helpless, like nothing I would do would be good enough; but it is.  A loving, selfless, devoted and courageous single mother can raise respectful, responsible, and kind children, so don’t you quit.

Hopeful Statistics

Children don’t have to grow up with a proverbial “D” on their chest.  In a world where statistics say up to fifty percent of all children experience the divorce of their parents remember that no divorce is the same, no single-parent is the same and no child is the same.

  • Research does show that when using a broader sense of the word father and providing children with a father figure in their lives they have “higher self-esteem, lower depression and anxiety, and marginally lower delinquent behaviors.” Active relationships with positive adult role models can bless a child with the love, comfort, and safety that might have left when their parents got divorced.
  • The ideal family is made up of a mother and a father, but sometimes circumstances are out of our control and we end up a single parent and when a single parent really tries, they can make their home a place of love, learning, and security. For example, a 2009 study analyzed children from single parent homes and married parent homes.  The study focused on not whether there were two parents in the home, but on the stability of the home.  This study show that the only consistent advantage found to living in a married family home was a better home environment in terms of cognitive stimulation and emotional support, and overall the advantage was not enough to make a huge impact.

mom with childThe Power of a Single Mother

“My mother was a domestic. Through her work, she observed that successful people spent a lot more time reading than they did watching television. She announced that my brother and I could only watch two to three pre-selected TV programs during the week. With our free time, we had to read two books each from the Detroit Public Library and submit to her written book reports. She would mark them up with check marks and highlights. Years later we realized her marks were a ruse. My mother was illiterate; she had only received a third-grade education.”  Dr. Ben Carson.

My ability to raise smart, kind, and stable children did not walk out the door with their father.  As a single mom I still have the ability to positively steer my children’s lives.  Those same brown eyes that broke my heart a few short years ago now look at me from the soccer field with a mile wide smile, or down from the bleachers while performing on stage in a choir concert, and for those beautiful brown eyes too young to understand, the wonder and joy of toddler life now shines through.  There are still times when those sad eyes find my gaze, but we are learning to find joy together, the four of us.

So what can you do?  

Continue to teach them the values that are so important to learn in the family; respect, hard work, trust and kindness.  Teach them through your actions, the importance of family.  So often the events that led up to becoming a single mother are fraught with anger, fear and confusion.    It is important to remember that our children are feeling all of that as well.  Let them know that their feelings are okay and work to help them learn how to handle their emotions in a healthy way.  Make your home a safe place for them to land.   Let them see you smile and laugh.  Make new memories together, go on vacation together, go to the park together, go out to dinner together and continue doing the things you enjoyed before your world was turned upside down.    Most importantly, don’t you quit.  Don’t quit hugging them, don’t quit teaching them and don’t quit being their mother.

Kelly ShoroyeKelly Shoroye is the mother of three beautiful children.  She is a graduate of Brigham Young University-Idaho with a Bachelors in Marriage an Family Studies.  She loves spending time with her children going hiking, traveling, and having family movie nights.  



For more research on the impact of divorce, go  here:   “Divorce:  100 Reasons Not to…”


SEX sells– are YOU buying?

In Abstinence, Child Development, Choice, Cohabitation, Divorce, Education, Families, Marriage, Media, Parental Rights, Parenting, Planned Parenthood, Pornography, Schools, Sex Education, Sexual Freedom, Technology, Values on April 21, 2016 at 10:46 am

reforming-sexby Mekelle Tenney

What happened to your standards America? What happened to your morality? I am both amazed and disgusted at our entertainment today. Amazed that we can’t find anything other than sex to write and joke about and disgusted that we are entertained by it. Whenever I have the radio on I have to flip through five or six stations before I can find a song that isn’t about sex. Of course there is the occasional song about a woman’s “smokin hot body” or about the abusive cheating boyfriend. TV is the same way. You can hardly find a comedy that doesn’t use sex as the main source of its humor. And of course it doesn’t stop there.

We use sex to sell everything from cars to dog food to hamburgers. You might say that we have turned it into nothing more than a selling point for entertainment and marketing. But we have done a lot more than that. We have normalized and rationalized immorality and infidelity. We no longer expect high moral standards from our leaders or our families. In our society premarital sex is acceptable. Teenage sex is also acceptable. I would argue that it is even encouraged. Kids go to school and their health teachers tell them “everyone is doing it”.

Government funded organizations such as Planned Parenthood encourage teens to explore their sexuality and to learn what feels good through masturbation. They teach teens that as long as they use protection it’s okay and perfectly natural. Natural? Really? Let’s look at some of the results of our corrupt morality.

  • Every year 1,600,000 children are born to unwed mothers (that is 40% of all live births in America)
  • In 56% of divorce cases infidelity is cited as a major cause
  • Every second 28,258 people are viewing pornography
  • Every minute $184,500 is spent on pornography
  • 38% of adults say that pornography is morally acceptable
  • Every day there are 116,000 internet searches for child pornography
  • 46% of high school students admit to having sex at least once
  • More than half of all American’s will have an STD at least once in their life

This is not natural.  This is obsessive and destructive. There is nothing natural about people who allow their obsessions to destroy their health and their family.

The callous attitude toward morality in our society must change. I believe that the influence of the family will have the most powerful effect for change. We need to stop allowing the media and public schools to set the standard for morality in America. Our children’s understanding of physical intimacy and morality is our responsibility. We can reverse the moral decay of America simply by choosing to teach our children. The standard of morality in America should be set and protected by the family.

Families are Struggling–Symptoms are Worldwide

In Abstinence, Birth Rate, Child Development, Cohabitation, Demographic Decline, Divorce, Families, Marriage, Media, Parenting, Pornography, Religion, Sexual Freedom, Values on April 15, 2016 at 9:25 am

families around the worldThe following is taken from the UFI Alert dated April 6, 2016.


The following questions were asked a German couple who are well acquainted with what is happening to family values in Germany/Austria and Switzerland. Reading their responses to the following questions, it is apparent that families throughout the world are facing the same struggles.  Because these issues are so prevalent in our culture have we become numb to them?   What can we be doing to help our spouses, children and grandchildren to stand strong against the forces that would destroy our families.

Q – What are some of the biggest problems families are facing in Switzerland?
•    The politically-correct view of our society on divorce as something that is a pretty normal part of life in relationships;
•    Occupational and financial prosperity as key success indicators;
•    The rapid, even dramatic loss of religious interest and faith in God in our society in the past couple of years/decades.
Technology.jpg•    The biggest problems deal with the consequences of digital media usage (focus/distraction/addiction; anytime/anyplace availability, pornography everywhere, easy access, gaming habits/time consumption, continuing interaction with former friends/partners; media usage by children/youth and unprepared, overwhelmed parents). 


Perception of people and relationships as well as rhythms in life change dramatically (e.g., last thing in the evening and first thing in the morning is a cooperative computer game and not the spouse, children, etc.).

Q – Are parents having fewer children?
•    In the past 5 years the birth rate has been rather stable with on the average 1.5 children, with 20% of those stemming from unwed mothers (Switzerland). It has to be added that this considers the childbirth rate of foreigners as well, which is often higher than the one of Swiss couples. For many young couples the goal is two children at most.

Q – Do many couples live together without getting married?
•    Here, marriage definitely is not the standard “framework” for intimate relationships; cohabitation is mostly not even a topic anymore. It increasingly becomes the generally accepted and expected norm, with couples choosing marriage some time later in life or not at all (with less and less legal/fiscal reasons for marriage, if at all; in Switzerland it is fiscally more attractive to cohabit). The average marriage age is 30 – 31 in Switzerland.

Q – Is pornography impacting families?
•    Yes, young couples as well as older relationships. Although pornography is mostly not viewed as a “bad thing” in the Swiss public, people are slowly but surely starting to see that it can still be (and often is) destructive for people and in relationships. But many still live in denial and judge pornography “politically correct” as something that just has to be dealt with wisely, as is the case with legal drugs such as alcohol and tobacco (publicly widely accepted vices here in our area).

We appreciate the Gappmaiers for teaming up with United Families International, and we look forward to continuing to work together to strengthen families.

Money: The root of all marriage problems?

In Divorce, Marriage on March 21, 2016 at 2:49 pm

money 3By Tori Perez

Numerous studies have told us that the number one cited cause of divorce is finances.   But why?

Of all things in marriage to argue about, why is money the game changer?

1) It isn’t.
Money isn’t actually the game changer. What’s really happening much of the time is that money issues are the tangible manifestation of other marital issues. Every principle of finance corresponds with basic life and communication principles. Money management is often where we see the issues, but isn’t necessarily where the issues can be fixed. Since the mechanics of the problem lie elsewhere, couples see no solution to their financial woes which can be taxing on even the strongest marriages.

2) Men and women are different.
Regardless of who works or doesn’t work or who makes more or less money, spouses are bound to view finances differently. Rarely do two people of the same gender have the same ideas about money management, let alone two people of opposite genders. We simply see the world differently.

3) It doesn’t matter how much you have.
You will never have more money than you can spend. Money can create a mentality of scarcity which translates into competition. There are a few ways to healthily compete in marriage, but competing over necessary, shared resources is not one of those ways. Unnecessary competition creates unnecessary negative emotion toward one another that can compromise positive sentiment override.

4) It’s impossible to make every purchase together.
Sharing finances requires trust. Spending unwisely or without consulting your partner first becomes an act of betrayal instead of mere irresponsibility.  Betraying a spouse’s trust is one of the most frequently heard complaints from a damaged marriage.

When you understand how money management is (or is not) impacting your relationship, you are better equipped to have constructive conversations about it without spiraling into destructive types of conflict. To effectively manage finances together:

1) Explore underlying issues
Let money conversations be only about money. When things come up that trigger emotions, explore together the reasons for those emotions. No need for lengthy conversations about communicating better, just try to understand each other.

2) Accept and embrace differences
In marriage we often hear that “communication is key.” Actually, accepting differences is key. Don’t worry about trying to change each other’s perspectives. Do your best to understand your partner, then work together to find solutions. A great source of strength in marriage comes from being able to combine forces.

3) Nurture gratitude for what you have.
Live contentedly within your means. Most financial discontent stems from spending more than you earn, or coveting things you can’t afford. No matter how much you have, being grateful will change the way you look at and communicate about money. Being positive about finances can make a significant difference for many couples. A positive outlook can help you get out of debt, invest more in your marriage, or even help just by calming other sensitive topics that come up relative to finances.

4) As much as possible, decide on expenses together.
This almost always means planning ahead. Make a plan (also called “budget”) together that you both feel good about. This provides boundaries to stay within to better nurture trust. It is a lot easier to be on the same page with finances when you decide what to do ahead of time.

Don’t feel guilty about it, navigating finances is a minefield for every marriage. Everyone has moments of money-induced stress. One of the best things about marriage is learning to manage stressful situations together. Try to remember that conflict can be an opportunity for growth when you approach it proactively. Finances don’t have to be a stressor in your marriage!

The Power of Date nights

In Divorce, Families, Marriage, Values on March 8, 2016 at 6:37 am

married couple eating popcornby Jackie Bowles

Being a mother of young children, I know how hard it is to squeeze in that weekly date night. I definitely could use one every week, but the logistics of actually putting the plan into action is hard. It can be difficult to find a babysitter or figure out a cheap activity when money is tight or maybe you are just too tired. Multiple studies have demonstrated the importance of this weekly ritual as a commitment to one another.

According to the Date Night Opportunity by W. Bradford Wilcox and Jeffrey Dew, date nights strengthen your marriage in several ways. First, it improves your communication. Putting aside the things in your life, your phones, your job, the kids, gives you devoted time to find out how each other are doing. Another benefit is novelty dating; make it fun! You can do more than just dinner and movie. Be creative, try something new; as couples are engaged in fun activities they develop a stronger bond together. Adding in a regular date night can also rekindle that romantic spark again. Date nights also create a stronger commitment to one another. It helps create a feeling of “we-ness.” And finally date nights help you to de-stress. Our lives are all stressful. It is soothing to be able to put all that stress aside and be able to enjoy an evening with your spouse.

Quoting one of her patients, Winifred M. Reilly, said, “Date night is cheaper than therapy, much cheaper than divorce, and a whole lot more fun.” She confirms that date nights are essential! There are many fun ways that we can stay connected through date nights. Sometimes you might have to do dates at home after the kids are in bed, sometimes it is just a quick walk around the block, or a trip to the store together to get needed groceries. Here is a website that offers lots of fun date nights of every kind For Your Marriage. Pinterest is another great source for date night ideas or even a Google search. Personally, I have found success in having a date night jar stuffed with ideas that can be randomly pulled out each week.

If you haven’t already, make the commitment now! No matter how hard, broke, tired, bored, stressed or busy you are put your marriage first. Show your spouse how important they are. HAVE A WEEKLY DATE NIGHT!

Life Isn’t Fair

In Choice, Divorce, Families, father, Freedom, Grandparents, Marriage, Parenting, Religion, Sanctity of Life, Single Mothers, The Family, Values, working mothers on January 28, 2016 at 10:42 am

parent talking with daughter 2

by Rebecca Mallory

All of us, at one time or another, are brought to our knees because of unexpected events. Trials and tribulation hit each of us whether we’re rich, poor, short or tall, young or old. We all have them. These moments often jolt us back to reality in reflection of what is truly important. I’ve had one of those weeks.  Not from personal experience, but from the experience of others.

 How do you deal with trials, devastating news and/or set backs?
What purpose do trials serve?
What are we supposed to learn from them?
Without core beliefs and a trustworthy support group, many of us would be caught up in the “why’s” of life. No, life is not fair. Life is precious and can be cut short at any time.Though tragedy strikes us all, we still have a choice of how we will react.
Will we allow it to destroy us?  Or will we pick ourselves up, be forgiving, loving and patient and move on?  I contend that our reaction depends on those core beliefs. So as you kiss your kids or spouse “goodbye” today, let’s not take anything for granted.
If this was your last day on earth, would you be a different person?
How would you treat the people around you if this was so?

Would you look for the good?

Such was the case for some friends of ours. Mary, (not her real name) had been divorced for many years. She raised her sweet kids, got them through college, and did it alone. She recently met a great guy from Australia online, they dated and got married over Thanksgiving, 2015. They were so incredibly happy together,  Mary seemed to glow. Last week, Robert (not his real name) was playing pickup basketball and literally collapsed with a massive cardiac arrest and died at 54 years old.  Why? How is that fair to this darling girl?

A couple of days later, I heard of a young mom in the neighborhood who was taking her little four year old out for a walk in hopes that mom would soon go into labor and deliver their new baby sister. The little girl somehow let go of her mother’s hand, dashed into the street and was hit by a car and killed. Why? How is that fair to this grieving young family?

Life is anything but fair. So how do we deal with these tragedies of life? I had a sister who died of lung cancer three years ago. She never touched tobacco.

I know that each of you have these same stories or know of close friends who have. Here’s what I do know, however. We must all come to grips with what life may throw at us. We need to have a strong support system and core beliefs to guide us through those times. For many people that is their religion,  a faithful friend, strong families, or belief in a higher power, etc. It is so important that we have access to something or someone bigger than us to support us through these times.

I reflected on the words spoken in the funeral of this newlywed. His two sons spoke and were obviously distraught. One son recounted how he always got on his dad’s case because he didn’t save money like the son wished he would. “But,” he answered, “I’m creating memories with my precious family.” This son was so grateful for that. Mary, his wife, bravely spoke also. She spoke of Robert’s goodness and positive attitude. She spoke of the seven glorious weeks they had together and how grateful she was for those precious memories. Certainly she could have sobbed and wailed about how unfair it was that he was taken at such a young age. From her core beliefs, however, Mary chose to look at the bright side of having had those wonderful weeks with a wonderful man. The difficulty will not stop for a long time of course. Loneliness will settle in and those pesky “why’s?” will creep into her thoughts as they do all of us when we face trials.

Life rarely turns out the way we planned. As teenagers many young girls picture their life with a handsome and rich husband who showers them with anything they want. Large families who all love each other and live next to each other in total bliss. Problems and life’s road bumps would never be an issue for them. What if that actually happened? What kind of growth is gained from that perfect life? How would they learn to be a little more kind, compassionate or empathetic to those around them?

Look back at your life. What experiences brought you the most heartache and/or joy? I’ll bet it was those that were most difficult and brought you to your knees to search the depths of your soul for what is truly important. “Stuff” suddenly does not matter. Petty grievances are often forgiven, and hopefully, we learn life’s hard but valuable lessons that then prepare us for the next big challenge we will face. I remember feeling sorry for parents who had a wayward child, one who had a drug addiction, lost a job, or died at a young age. It wasn’t until my family faced similar trials that I truly understood the pain of those who went before us.

Like the rough stone that tumbles into a river and is constantly bombarded with debris, freezing cold water and other elements, it slowly becomes smooth as it yields to the river. On the other hand, think of those you know who choose to remain heartbroken and bitter because of refusing to yield to life’s curve balls. Often these people look much older than their age and are in poor health because the worry and stress that they allow, yes allow, to consume them will age or even kill them faster than most diseases.

This blog post has been cathartic for me as I struggle with the “why’s?” of life. What have I learned? The same lessons that I learn each time a tragedy happens and yanks me back to the few things in life that matter: my God, my family, my relationships. Life is fleeting and you can always expect the unexpected. Love your children, spouse, neighbors and friends. Treat the people in your community with love and respect. They are experiencing life just as you are. They have feelings, families, trials and joys just like you. Let’s try to be a little kinder, a little more gentle in our reactions, less likely to take offense, and more filled with joy and laughter.
Be the bright spot in someone’s day. It takes so little on our part to bring a smile to someone’s face. And the great secret is that you benefit even more and feel great joy. No, life isn’t fair, but we can overcome the unfairness with our choosing to look at the good in all including ourselves!

The Results Are Out: Children Need a Married Mom and Dad

In Child Development, Choice, Cohabitation, Divorce, Families, father, Marriage, motherhood, Parenting, Same-Sex Marriage, Single Mothers, The Family, Values on January 22, 2016 at 7:50 am

family in forrestby Elise Ellsworth

About a year ago I noticed that a bird had built its nest above my neighbor’s garage. It was the most uniquely situated of any I had ever seen.   I commented on the nest. My neighbor responded with something like, “Oh, that stupid, stupid bird.” I wondered what she meant. She explained to me that the previous year the bird had built her nest in the same spot. The baby birds, when venturing out of the nest had plunged to their death on the pavement below. And yet this year the bird was at it again – building a nest in the same place.

It seems that society has become fixated on creating novel and unique family arrangements that do not work well: cohabitation, no-fault divorce, unwed parenting. And the results from social science and data have come back. Overwhelmingly. Resoundingly. Go back to the tree.

Children do best when raised by their happily married biological parents.

An article published in the Journal of Marriage and Child Wellbeing was entitled: “The Impact of Family Formation Change on the Cognitive, Social, and Emotional Well-Being of the Next Generation.” In this article, the author studied children who grew up in a household with two biological parents as compared to those growing up with one biological parent. The conclusions were that these children were “less likely to experience a wide range of cognitive, emotional, and social problems, not only during childhood but also in adulthood.”

Many other such studies have been performed with similar results. Children need their biological mom and dad. We don’t need more new alternatives. We need to learn from history. We need to do better what already has been done. Our children only get one chance at life. Let’s build the best families possible for future generations.



Just Wait Twenty Years

In Choice, Divorce, Families, Marriage, Values on December 10, 2015 at 10:13 am

older married coupleby Tashica Jacobson

My biggest shock when telling people of my recent marriage is the negativity that comes in response to this life event. They want to know if I am happy, and when I respond in the affirmative they respond with “just wait…” Just wait for whatever they think will give me a reality check. Just wait until the honeymoon is over, just wait for children, just wait until he makes you angry, just wait twenty years. This negativity is darkening the views that today’s young people have on marriage, and overshadowing the real life benefits that come from marriage, including the benefit of happiness.

Married people are happier than their non-married peers. This happiness is contributed to many things, such as the boost in standard of living marriage typically brings, the friendship, and the promise of fidelity and permanence. But regardless of these things marriage boosts psychological wellbeing, and those who marry are less likely to experience depression and chronic stress.

The debate has gone on for years of whether marriage makes people happier or if happy people are more likely to marry. In The Case for Marriage Maggie Gallagher and Linda Waite explore this idea. They state “The selection of happy and healthy people in marriage cannot explain the big advantage in mental and emotional health husbands and wives enjoy.” Meaning that marriage does indeed increase an individual’s overall wellbeing regardless of their emotional state beforehand.

I have heard it said that marriage is just doubling your amount of problems; and it’s true that marriage offers its fair share of challenges. Married couples have to deal with things that their single counterparts don’t. However marriage also provides a partner to go through these things with. They have a shoulder to lean on, a shoulder who has promised to be there for better or for worse.

The Institute for American Values did a report on divorce; they found “two out of three unhappily married adults who avoided divorce or separation ended up happily married five years later.” Showing that even when difficult times arise in a marriage couples that work through it end up experiencing the positive effects of marriage on happiness.

My favorite thing about marriage is that I get to plan my life with someone who has just as much invested in it as I do. Because we both have so much invested we get in more “discussions” about how to spend money, where to live, and what career path to follow than either of us would do with our parents or friends, but it also means that we are thinking about how our choices will affect each other.

Marriage provides many benefits, but when our culture is saying the opposite it causes people to stop looking for and expecting the benefits, causing hesitation towards marriage. If these benefits are not known and only negativity portrayed, marriage will be less sought after and people will be more likely to run when troubles arise rather than staying to work through the issues and find greater happiness. We need to stop portraying this negative message about marriage. The happiness that marriage brings needs to be known and worked towards.



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