Understanding the causes of poverty in our community is complex. Here’s what’s not complex: the likelihood of poverty increases dramatically in single parent families. There is a close connection between marriage and avoiding poverty. See recent article in Des Moines Register.
The root of the matter is that personal choices about marriage as a society really do matter. In the last generation, marriage has been weakened by simplifying divorce to make dissolving marriages easy and common, by devaluing motherhood, by changing the definition of marriage, and by creating a culture that considers sex outside of marriage as a normal lifestyle choice. These choices to devalue marriage all contribute to poverty in our communities.
If we don’t work on strengthening our marriages, most of the solutions to poverty treat only symptoms but not its cause. Churches, let’s work to strengthen our marriages.