The foundation of thriving communities is strong families. That idea resonates with many of us, but the data also demonstrates it. Join Dr. Brad Wilcox and NAE President Walter Kim as they confront common yet false narratives about marriage in society today.

This conversation covers why marriage not only benefits those who have committed to forging strong marriages but also society as a whole. You’ll also hear Brad and Walter discuss:

  • The anti-family messaging that afflicts our culture today;
  • Why segments of society that forgo marriage face higher risk of deaths of despair;
  • Research-based encouragement for young people, in particular, to get married; and
  • Factors that go into forging a healthy and long-lasting marriage.

Read a Portion of the Transcript

Walter: If there are these conflicting narratives about even the efficacy of marriage, and it importance of it, what is the call to action in all of this? 

Brad: … One is that we need to understand that when it comes to our homes, that we, as parents, need to do a better job of educating our kids about marriage and modeling good marriages to our children to give them a template and something to aspire to embrace when they’re older. So I think, thinking about what can kind of message we’re communicating your homes.

Unfortunately, even when it comes to students who have evangelical parents, I often hear from them that mom and dad have basically told them they’ve got to wait until they’re like 28, 29 or 30 when they’ve got all their ducks in a row … before they can begin to think about marriage and family. And from my perspective, that’s not not great advice because I think oftentimes young adults have no better place to meet people than in their collegiate setting. And so, if you meet a great boyfriend or girlfriend in college, there’s no reason you should think you have to wait until you’re 28 or 29 to put a ring on it, right? So I think a as as parents, we can do a better job of kind of communicating to our kids that for most of us, marriage or family is the most important thing we’ll do, and so we should prepare for it and and and value it.

I think in our schools, including Christian schools, we need to a much better job of teaching about the importance in terms of the values and virtues that are associated with marriage, but also the theology of marriage as well. We need to integrate that more tightly into the fabric of our schools and public schools even more so. It’s the same thing for universities. I think we should have courses that help young adults acquire the skills and the virtues that would make them better spouses and better friends as well.

And then, when it comes to obviously the pop culture and social media, there’s a real need to kind of tell a better story about marriage and family. So just one example right now is that most young women think that marriage and motherhood lead to less happiness. When we look at the actual data in terms of who’s happiest in America today, especially in midlife, looking even just at women, there’s no question that women who are married with kids are almost twice as likely to be very happy with their lives compared to single and childless women in mid life. So in the media, social media and Hollywood we need to do a better job of telling the true story, which is that family marriage can be super tough and there can be a cross … but that on average people are more likely to flourish [in marriage than not].

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Today’s Conversation is brought to you by Ethiopian Evangelical Churches Fellowship in North America.