A few nights ago my brother and I found ourselves discussing the topic of marriage and family, specifically in the African-American community. He shared a few ideas that really made me think. He made the statement that, “most successful marriages are those that are financially stable.” Now I know the Bible says that money is the answer to everything, but I never thought it was the answer to love and commitment as well.
There was a research study on social trends, including marriages, done in 2010 by the Pew Research Center. It stated, “If economic security is no longer a key reason people marry, the lack of economic security nonetheless appears to be a key reason people don’t get married.“
You may need to reread that statement because it says a lot. It basically says that money doesn’t appear to be the reason why people are dating and considering marriage, obviously because I would feel that reason is different for everyone. However, it is stating that money or economic security (or the lack of) is definitely the primary reason why people do not marry.
The study also says that data suggests that people with little income and little education are opting out of marriage not because they don’t value the institution or want all that comes with being married, but because they doubt that they (or a potential spouse) can meet the standards they impose on marriage.
Expectations… some people won’t allow themselves to be happy in life because of the world’s expectations, and/or the ones they place on themselves.
I for one believe that anything is possible. There are exceptions to every rule, especially when love is involved… as love and sacrifice can be irrational or illogical sometimes. Nevertheless, I can’t ignore the data, which is basically stating that the institution of marriage, or the idea of marriage, is crumbling. Especially for African-Americans.
Being a recently divorced black man, it’s easy for me to see many young black professionals live with a false expectation of marriage, career opportunities, or life in general… just like I was at their age. People are working to achieve a false reality of happiness and success. We believe having a career, a luxury car, a nice house, traveling, eating out, living freely, etc… is what life is all about.
But, by the time you get all those things you might be too busy or too old to really enjoy it. Or you may have resentment inside your heart for those who didn’t do what you did. Which will also make it difficult for you to share your life with anyone else, because you worked so hard to get it for yourself.
Obviously everyone needs money to provide for themselves and for their family. It’s just interesting to know how my idea of marriage compares to the majority. Where’s the love?