by Ken Gardner

Have you heard? Recent research has concluded that children are better off when they are raised by a mother and father who are married to each other! Now, aren't you thankful for research? How could we ordinary folk have figured that out on our own?

Actually, we ordinary folk had figured that our on our own. It doesn't take a Ph.D. to know that divorce is hard on parents and children, especially children. Children need married moms and dads in order to grow up to be well-adjusted, normal, decent human beings. Common sense and experience tell us that, but more importantly so does the Bible. Paul wrote, "Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this right. Honor thy father and thy mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. And, ye fathers, . . . bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord" (Eph. 6:1-4; see also Col. 3:20-21; Prov. 10:1; 15:20; 22:6; 23:22; Deu. 5:16; Heb. 13:4). In New Testament times young women were instructed to "love their husbands, to love their children" (Titus 2:4).

Yes, we know but unfortunately our society does not know that children need married parents. Four years ago a movie star divorced, no, make that, "broke up with" his girlfriend, and now this "ex-couple" have announced that they are the "proud parents" of twin boys! Not only are they not married, they're not even boyfriend and girlfriend! And they're not even the parents--the real mother is a "surrogate." According to an editorial in the newspaper (Dallas Morning News, 11-7-95), this "ex-couple . . . will lead separate personal and professional lives but 'look forward to sharing the parenting of the children.'" What! Parents who live separate lives! Don't you pity those two babies?

And it's not only the rich and famous who have no common sense. One-third of all babies born in the United States are born out-of-wedlock, and in five years that figure will be nearly one-half. Imagine that--one-half of babies born to single moms! Even our courts are ruling that "couples" do not have to be married in order to adopt children. Some fool judge in New York thinks that "allowing unmarried 'parent figures' to adopt . . . is a means of securing the best possible home for a child." I guess wisdom is no longer a qualification to be a judge.

One newspaper columnist, Maggie Gallagher, laments "the collapse of marriage as a durable child-rearing bond." She's written a book entitled, The Abolition of Marriage, and states, "As marriage weakens, a broad range of social problems intensify: poverty, drug abuse, crime, teen pregnancy, homelessness, infant mortality, suicide, homicide and depression, to name just a few."

Make no mistake about it--God's way is best. Let's tell that to our friends and neighbors, and our children. Especially our children.