In a recent survey reported by the media, the Pew Research Center surveyed 2,020 adults concerning their views of marriage and childbearing. The results were quite enlightening. Non-marital childbearing numbers rose to 36.8 percent of all births in 2005, up from 5.3 percent in 1960. In the 1990s, only about a third of these non-mar­ital births were to women co-habiting with their partners. Now almost half of all out­-of-wedlock births are to women co-habiting with their partners. In addition, 47 percent of people in their 30s and 40s have lived in a co-habiting relationship. In spite of the rise in co-habitation, 71 percent of those surveyed think that births to unwed women are a “big problem” and 59 percent believe unmarried couples having children is bad for society. The task is challenging for the contemporary church to hold up the ideals of a Christian marriage and family to a soci­ety that continues to de-value them.

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About The Author

A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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