Dr. Brad Wilcox, the Director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, recently offered an analysis of federal research that confirms what many of us know through our religious faith and long-held traditions—that children do best when raised in a two-parent home with a married mom and dad.
But where do children do the worst? Or more precisely and practically, where are children in the most danger? The answer will be a surprise to many.
According to Dr. Wilcox’s analysis of the new federal study:
According to a report from Focus on the Family, “A separate but related study concerning fatal child abuse in Missouri determined that children living with their biological mother and her boyfriend were 45 times more likely to be killed than children living with two married parents.”:
Dr. Wilcox has also described a string of tragedies involving children living within a cohabitating environment:
According to a blog by my friend, Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family, “These accounts and the broader statistics they represent are, of course, sad, sordid and startling. But they’re especially ominous and disheartening when you consider that cohabitation is rising. There are over 12 million unmarried couples in America. Granted, not all of them have children. And to be sure, just living together outside of marriage doesn’t necessarily lead to child abuse.”
But there is something going on here. What is it?
According to Mr. Daly’s blog, “Well, when you remove the formal commitment from a relationship, there are often unintended consequences. If more and more couples live together outside of marriage, the research suggests child abuse is likely to rise.”
“Just think about it,” Daly observes, “if a man won’t commit to a woman, is it all that surprising that he won’t sacrificially and selflessly give of himself to the children?”
So what’s the takehome? The bottom line? Here are Daly’s suggestions:
Sociologists like Dr. Wilcox point to the stability and predictability of married two-parent homes as a strong predictor of child wellness.
Here’s another point to consider: God divine design is for children to be raised by a mother and a father. When we follow His blueprint, as opposed to ours, children are far more likely to lead a productive, joy-filled, and highly-healthy lives.