Average Marrying Age

A Global Perspective Priceonomics recently created an image showing the average age of marriage across the world based on UN data.  When comparing the age of marriage across many countries, higher income is associated with later age at marriage.  The differences in average age for those nations near either extreme exceeds 10 years.  Regardless of geography or income, men marry later than women.  The gap, however, is wider in less developed countries. An American Update According to the Read More …

The End of Marriage?

Philip Cohen, a sociologist at the University of Maryland, recently wrote a thought provoking piece in the Atlantic about the decline in marriage.  The chart at right illustrates the marriage trend from 1940 to present with projections for the possible paths for the future.  If nothing changes, presuming the current rate of decline simply continues, marriage will reach 0 in 2042. So What? Cohen rightly notes that the continued rapid decline toward zero is unlikely.  He suggests the future Read More …

Review of God Believes in Love

Meet the Author Gene Robinson has received widespread recognition as the first priest in a blessed and openly gay relationship to be ordained a bishop in a major Christian denomination believing in the historic episcopate.  Robinson, an Episcopal priest, has served as Bishop of New Hampshire since 2004.  Additionally, he is a Senior Fellow at American Progress. He is the author of two books: In the Eye of the Storm: Swept to the Center by God (2008) and God Believes in Love: Straight Talk Read More …

A New Chick-Fil-A Conversation

Monday, July 16 will be remembered as an important day in the life of the business known for its chicken sandwiches and creative marketing.  That was the day when Dan Cathy, President of Chick-Fil-A, was quoted in a Baptist Press article about several topics, including his understanding of the company's "Christian" view of marriage and family: We are very much supportive of the family -- the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we Read More …

Christianity is Bigger Than

Some people are certain Christianity can only be formed into a rather specific image of their choosing.  Any religious person or group claiming to be Christian is only found worthy of such when conforming to that image.  Sadly I have encountered this type of thinking many times. Last week, Cal Thomas' editorial used this rationale to label Barack Obama as a fake Christian or as one "preaching another gospel" because the President used the Bible to support his view of marriage.  In this Read More …

Living Together Before Marriage

"Living together before marriage no longer a predictor of divorce" was the headline of page 21A of my local newspaper last Thursday.  The AP article reports on some of the findings of a recent marriage survey of 22,000 men and women.  The number of couples living together before marriage has grown from around 10% in the 1960s to  around 60% today.  While a generation ago those who cohabited before marriage were more apt to divorce than those who did not, today there is no longer a significant Read More …

The Other Half

Protestant churches have done exceptionally well among those who are married and even better among those who are married and have children.  These groups, as a percentage of the total American population, have been shrinking for decades and likely will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. The latest data from the Pew Research Center shows that only half of adults (51%) aged 18 and older were married in 2010.  Additionally, the median age for first marriage has risen steadily over the Read More …

A “Bed-In”

Having lived in Texas many years, I am familiar with the phrase "everything is bigger in Texas."  When it comes to churches, Texas has more megachurches than most would imagine.   Edward Gilbreath went as far as to name Dallas, Texas as the unofficial capital of American Evangelicalism in Christianity Today.  The latest news out of the Dallas/Fort Worth area of Texas revolves around Ed Young's Friday the 13th "Bed-in" event. Ed Young, minister of Fellowship Church, staged a 24 hour long Read More …

2012 Trends to Ponder

Sociologist Bradley Wright teaches at the University of Connecticut.  I have mentioned his work on several occasions, including reviews of his two most recent books: Upside: Surprising Good News About the State of Our World (2011 – my review here) and  Christians are Hate-Filled Hypocrites . . . and Other Lies You’ve Been Told: A Sociologist Shatters Myths From the Secular and Christian Media (2010 – my review here). Earlier this month he blogged about two trends to ponder in Read More …

A New Trend: Long-Lasting Marriages

The first few sentences of Carol Morello's recent Washington Post article explain a significant trend: Americans may be postponing marriage, and fewer are wedding at all. But what about the people who do get married? They’re staying together longer than they have in years. Three in four couples who married after 1990 celebrated a 10-year anniversary, according to census statistics reported Wednesday. That was a rise of three percentage points compared with couples who married in the early Read More …