Protecting Marriage Requires Practical Arguments

( [email protected] ) Oct 28, 2003 10:02 AM EST

Pro-family groups have declared this Marriage Protection Week. Focus on the Family Psychologist in Residence William Maier shares some ideas on how you can share your support for marriage.

The concept of marriage has been around since the beginning. God created it and He ordained it. The book of Genesis tells us that "a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh."

His word is very clear — marriage involves one man and one woman.

But these days, many people in our society don't believe that the Bible is God's Word. When we're talking to them about marriage, we can't simply quote Scripture verses, because they may respond, "Well, that's fine for you, but I don't believe the Bible is true." When debating the issue of same-sex marriage, we need to have persuasive arguments that are based on the truth that God reveals to us in nature, His creation.

So what does the social science research tell us about marriage? Some pretty amazing things.

Married adults do better on virtually every measure of well-being than unmarried adults:

• They're more emotionally and physically healthy.

• They have lower rates of alcoholism, suicide and mental health problems.

• They're more likely to describe themselves as "happy and contented with life."

• And on average, married people live significantly longer than unmarried people.

Kids who live with their married, biological parents also do better on every measure of well-being:

• They do better in school and are less likely to drop out.

• Boys living with both parents are much less likely to be convicted of a crime.

• And they're 30 percent less likely to have health problems and much less likely to be treated for emotional and behavioral problems.

The fact is that married men and women actually improve each other. That's because the two genders each make a unique contribution to the relationship, which is something that same-sex marriage just can't provide.