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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