The Patriot Post® · Dear Leftists, Marriage Really Does Matter

The Left just can’t seem to face the facts when it comes to marriage. They don’t want to recognize that marriage is one of the fundamental aspects of our culture – unless they’re trying to redefine it. They are constantly looking for ways to undermine the sanctity of marriage, to devalue it and to make it seem unimportant. They even go so far as to suggest public policy is the best tool to assist parents, whether they are married or not.

According to a recent article in The Washington Post, marriage itself isn’t the reason why children who are raised in married homes tend to be more successful when they reach adulthood. Citing a recent study by the Left-leaning Brookings Institution, the analysis admits that, while marriage may be a small factor in the success of children, factors other than marriage are more likely the cause of this phenomenon.

From the study, higher incomes from two parents and parenting skills were highlighted as the two factors that resulted in children being better off – not marriage itself. The study suggests that children are likely to be better off when both parents (whether married or not) make money that can be used to pay for private education, a tutoring program, better food and health care. Further, parenting skills are noted as the second factor in children being better off. Parents who spend time reading with their children and eating meals together are shown to lead to a better life for children when they grow up. Both factors are of course good for parents who have children.

From the Brookings Institution analysis, one could conclude that perhaps marriage itself doesn’t cause children to be more successful later in life after all. Yet The Washington Post misses a critical point on marriage. The marriage between a man and a woman is the main contributing factor that creates the conditions for children to be ripe for success. While higher income levels and good parenting skills are good qualities to have, these factors can’t replace the fact that marriage has numerous other benefits for the success of children later in life.

A different analysis on marriage reveals children who are raised by married parents have fewer behavioral problems, better physical and emotional health, better education and “are more likely to experience economic well-being.” With marriage, children are afforded the opportunity to observe the special bond between a man and a woman committed to each other. With marriage, children have a greater sense of security – when children are raised by married parents they experience companionship and love from their committed mother and father.

Research also shows that single-parent households have a negative impact on a child’s social mobility and, according to The Daily Signal, “[C]hildren who live in single-parent households are more than five times more likely to experience poverty than children in married-parent families.”

Certainly there are legitimate and sometimes tragic circumstances that lead to children being raised by a single mother or father, and there are instances where children are forced to live with one parent over the other because of serious problems between the married couple. There are no doubt cases where children raised under these circumstances can grow up to be just as successful as their peers who are raised in a married home. Statistics only go so far.

But the Left, via its relentless campaign to undermine marriage and the family, would have everyone believe that “family income and parenting skills are more realistically addressed through public policy” (i.e., more welfare) than marriage. Higher income for unmarried parents doesn’t guarantee happiness or success for their children. A married couple, however, has a greater chance to show and teach their children how to be successful. With parenting skills, the Left would no doubt push for courses that tell parents to teach their children to live with greater dependency on them, and of course the nanny state. A married couple has the opportunity to teach their children to be self-sufficient.

Marriage has worked for thousands of years and marriage itself is essential to our cultural well-being. Public policy cannot replace the benefits of marriage. But the benefits of marriage can influence future generations much more effectively and efficiently than government policies ever will.