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Marriage and Parenting According to PEW Research

The PEW Research Center has new survey results out that show that most Americans have moved children to number 8 on the list (was #3 in 1990) of things people associate with a “successful marriage.” This is seriously sad and I’m sure a result of a society that has so devalued faith and life. So what are the top things on the list? “sharing household chores,” “good housing,” “adequate income,” “happy sexual relationship,” and “faithfulness.” The new Pew survey also finds that, by a margin of nearly three-to-one, Americans say that the main purpose of marriage is the “mutual happiness and fulfillment” of adults rather than the “bearing and raising of children.”

What’s interesting to note though is how important children still are in a marriage when a different question is asked.

Asked to weigh how important various aspects of their lives are to their personal happiness and fulfillment, parents in this survey place their relationships with their children on a pedestal rivaled only by their relationships with their spouses – and far above their relationships with their parents, friends, or their jobs or career. This is true both for married and unmarried parents. In fact, relatively speaking, children are most pre-eminent in the lives of unwed parents.

I think it’s also interesting to note that they only bring religion into the survey by asking the participants what church they belong to and calling that “religiosity.” No where do they get into matters of faith and belief and relate that to these questions.

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