Speaking sociologically, the answer is a resounding YES. In this week's issue of Time magazine, Caitlin Flanagan shares some rather under-reported realities in her essay titled Is There Hope for the American Marriage? Too long used to mass media glorifying the rights of (especially) women to have it all (at least all of it she wants) without any obligation to or need for a man, we often miss the bigger picture.
God created marriage and, as with all things that he created, it would do us well to consider long and hard before undoing something God has done. (I did not say that we should never undo a thing - don't take that to an unintended and ridiculous extreme.)
Anyhow, I've been recommending the article all day via Facebook and Twitter links. I'll warn you that there are things Flanagan shared in the article that are unnecessary (content from the emails between South Carolina Governor Sanford and his mistress, for example) -- but the primary content of the article is worth the time to read it.
Here is one paragraph to give you a sense of why I just keep referring back to this today:
"...on every single significant outcome related to short-term well-being and long-term success, children from intact, two-parent families outperform those from single-parent households. Longevity, drug abuse, school performance and dropout rates, teen pregnancy, criminal behavior and incarceration — if you can measure it, a sociologist has; and in all cases, the kids living with both parents drastically outperform the others."
My excitement about this article should not be interpreted as a slam on the single parents out there who are busting their butts to raise their great kids. On the contrary, it is a kick in the pants for the rest of us in their lives to be willing to engage with them in this venture because the odds are not in their favor. I believe that we can beat the odds, however.
I also hope that you are not worried that I'm feeling in any way incomplete because I am single. My enthusiastic support of marriage (both in theory and in practical terms) does not require me to believe that everyone is created to marry or to feel somehow bad about not being married.
Well, this blog went in a few directions all at once. We'll see if any of those circle back around for another blog another day.