Over the last 50 years the fertility rate among Americans has dropped from 3.65 to 1.89. The rate of households with one child or more under the age of 18 has also made a significant drop from 48.8% to 32.3%.
In 2010 only 30% of high school girls and 40% of high school boys reported that they believed they would have a fuller and happier life if they were legally married as opposed to cohabitation.
Sixty three percent of high school female seniors and 69% of males agreed that it was a good idea for couples to live together before marriage to make sure that they “get along.”
What exactly are these statistics saying?
- Children are no longer a priority.
- Marriage is not seen as a means for a happier and fuller life.
- Marriage is not essential and shouldn’t be entered into unless you have given the relationship a “test drive”.
In short, family is not worth the sacrifice.
This same sentiment was shared by our President just recently. On October 31 President Barack Obama delivered a speech to a crowd in Rohde Island. President Obama stated,
“Sometimes, someone — usually mom — leaves the workplace to stay home with the kid, which then leaves her earning a lower wage for the rest of her life as a result. And that’s not a choice we want Americans to make.”
The purpose of President Obama’s speech was to promote equal opportunities for women in the work force. Though this statement invokes many different discussions, one stands out. Let’s say that many women do choose to stay at home, they do give up career opportunities. Since when does family not require sacrifice? Are our children not worth it? The idea that we can have a family without sacrifice and work is unrealistic and dangerous. Obama has implied that we do not want Americans to make that choice?
America’s families cannot afford not to. If we are to save the state of our families we must not make decisions for ourselves alone, but for our families. We have all seen this in our lives. We saw our parents sacrifice sleep, personal goals, ambitions, dreams, and desires, all to raise their family. And where this sacrifice was given, the families are closer, stronger and more united. Everyone was blessed.
I believe that the desire to create and cultivate a family is a natural desire. And yet society it telling us not to. Each generation has to decide for itself what its priorities are. What will it be America? Will we choose to make the sacrifice for family?