Americans Increasingly Ditching Religious Marriage for Secular, Interfaith Relationships: Study
Not only has there been a surge in editorials the last few weeks by conservative marriage-pushers beating young people over the head to marry and marry really young (I’ve not gotten around to addressing those articles and editorials)-
But I wouldn’t be surprised in the weeks to come if conservatives, both secular and Christian, don’t see this new study about interfaith marriages being on the rise, freak out, panic, and start publishing a lot of fear-mongering editorials or pod-casts guilt tripping or manipulating Christian singles into abiding by “equally yoked” and not even thinking about marrying a Non-Christian.
I have some more comments to make below these two links with excerpts:
(Link): Americans increasingly ditching religious marriages for secular, interfaith relationships: study
by L. Blair
Feb 18, 2022
Fifty years ago, religious marriage ceremonies were the norm. Most people got married to someone who shared their faith, and just a small fraction of husbands and wives were in relationships where no one practiced a religion.
That trend, according to the latest American National Family Life Survey, is now on the decline as the influence of religion in society has been progressively fading.
…“Only 30% of Americans who were married within the past decade report having their ceremony in a church, house of worship or other religious location and officiated by a religious leader,” the study said.
Interfaith marriage — a union between people who have different religious traditions — has also grown increasingly common and make up 14% of all marriages. Another 14% of Americans are in a religious-secular marriage where one person does not identify with a faith tradition while the other does
…While interfaith marriages are now more common, the study found that Americans in these unions usually had lower levels of religious commitment.
— end excerpts —
(Link): New Research on American Family Life Confirms that Interfaith Relationships Are Becoming More Common
By Kelsey Dallas
Lots of recent research has shown that the country’s relationship with marriage is changing. Americans are getting married later, having fewer kids and generally rethinking what a healthy relationship looks like.
Amid all these shifts, religion’s role in family life is also in flux. Single people are now less likely to prioritize finding a partner of the same faith and families are less likely to build their social lives around a religious community.
“Couples are eschewing religious wedding ceremonies that connect them to existing traditions and communities, preferring instead celebrations that reflect their own personal tastes and preferences. The primacy of individual preferences also manifests itself in family life,” explains the American National Family Life Survey, which was released last week.
Although that survey did not focus on religion, it contained a number of fascinating faith-related gems. Here are a few additional data points that jumped out at me:
People of faith are more supportive of marriage than religious “nones”
More than one-third of religiously unaffiliated adults (36%) believe marriage is an outmoded institution. By comparison, people of faith are much more supportive, researchers noted.
Additionally, Christian singles are more interested in getting marriage in the future than nonreligious singles. “Only half (50%) of religiously unaffiliated singles report being interested in getting married someday, compared to two-thirds (66%) of Christian singles,” the survey reported.
Interfaith marriages are becoming much more common
Over the past 50 years, the likelihood of marrying someone who shares your religious affiliation has dropped substantially.
Today, around 6 in 10 married Americans are in a same-faith marriage. That figure used to hover around 80%, researchers noted.
— end excerpts —
If you’ve been to this blog before, you know how I feel: “equally yoked” is an unnecessary obstacle in the path of any Christian single woman who’d like to marry, because there are more single women in American Christianity than there are single men – especially in churches.
The guys who claim to be Christian on dating profiles are profane, gross, weird, and sometimes vulgar – they are not date-worthy material, IMO.
If you’re a single Christian woman, and you’d like to marry, you really should consider throwing the “be equally yoked” rule in the trash can and consider choosing a partner on his character and how well he treats you – not necessarily whatever religious faith he professes.
I believe that “equally yoked” played a role in why I personally never got married. I had wanted to be married, but I never did. I’m middle-aged now. There were never any single men my age at the churches I attended. If I could do it over, I’d definitely consider dating and marrying a non-Christian man, provided we were compatible and the guy cared about me.
I think the “be equally yoked” interpretation of the Bible is unnecessarily keeping a lot of Christian single women single, and churches remain loathe to actually help marriage-minded singles to actually get married; they just like to shame singles who speak up and say, ‘I’d like to marry.’
The response to this “I’d like to marry, can the church help me,” plea by the single adult is the very unhelpful, over-spiritualized tripe married Christians love to tell singles, such as (this is just a partial list),
- “Just trust in the Lord, and in HIS timing, he will send you Mr. Right!”
- “Be content in your singleness, and that is when God will send you a spouse!”
- “Work on the kind of person YOU’D like to marry, and that is when you’ll find someone”
- “Join dating site e-Harmony or Christian Mingle; it worked for my cousin Wendy!”
Those platitudes and bits of advice don’t actually move a single adult closer to marriage.
For that, you’d need to (with your single friend’s approval) fix him or her up on dates with other singles you know. It’s not rocket science, and yet, married Christians and churches won’t do it.
They apparently think God is just going to wave a Magic Wand and “plop” a single adult on to the front door step of the other single adult who wants to be married… when they met their spouse back in high school, or a friend set them up back when they were in their 20s.
But they expect their 30+ year old single friend to just sit around and kinda “hope” it comes to pass for them.
I’m telling you, single Christian adults (especially women), you are going to have to consider dumping the “equally yoked” rule and expend more effort on finding a spouse.
The church isn’t going to do it, and I don’t think if there is a God, that this God is interested in pairing most of you up.
The “equally yoked” interpretation of the Bible, and its application in spouse selection criteria, is playing a role in why so many single Christian women stay single far longer than they had expected. IMO, they should consider interfaith marriage, or marrying atheists.
(Link): To the Christians (especially married ones) Who Like to Instruct Single Christian Adults They Should Only Marry Other Christians, Listen Up (Re: Equally Yoked Rule)
(Link): The One Thing Evangelical Leaders Don’t Want Christians to Know about Mixed-Faith Marriages (two links).by C. Cassidy
(Link): Are There Any Protestant or Baptist Singles – Friendly Churches or Denominations ? / Singles Single Adult Childfree Childless Age 30 40 50 Christian
(Link): Can We Stop Saying Singleness is God’s Will? by Anonymous via Sheila Wray Gregoire
(Link): Lifeway Research: Pastors Encourage Single Adults, Some Provide Targeted Ministries (How Churches Are Ministering to Adult Singles in 2022)
(Link): Woman Wildly Happy She Got Divorced (Dear Abby Column)
(Link): Supporting Singles and How Churches Can Help Singles Get Married – Lessons from Match-Making by B. Lea
(Link): Thoughts Regarding ‘Crisis in the Christian Church: A Lack of Young, Single Men’ Essay by S. Green
(Link): Celibate Christian Woman Asks Christian Host Why God Will Not Send Her a Husband
(Link): Never-Married Adult Man Named Stephen Asks Christian Host Why God Has Not Answered His 3-Decades Long Prayers To Send Him A Wife
(Link): How to Deal with Unanswered Prayers via Pastor Bil Cornelius
(Link): Critique of Matt Chandler Sermon ‘Compromising a Godly Spouse Just to Get Married Yields ‘Heartbreak”
(Link): Cathy The Single Woman Asks Pat Robertson Why God Has Not Replied to Her Prayers for Years to Send Her a Spouse
(Link): What Two Religions Tell Us About the Modern Dating Crisis (from TIME) (ie, Why Are Conservative Religious Women Not Marrying Even Though They Want to Be Married. Hint: It’s a Demographics Issue)
(Link): Christians Advise Singles To Follow Certain Dating Advice But Then Shame, Criticize, or Punish Singles When That Advice Does Not Work
(Link): Following the Usual Advice Won’t Get You Dates or Married – Even Celebrities Have A Hard Time
(Link): Joanne The Widow Lady Wants to Know Why God Didn’t Answer Her Prayer to Keep her Husband With Her
(Link): Do You Need a Partner to Have a Happy Life? by D. LaBier
(Link): Otherhood – An overlooked demographic – the Childless and Childfree Women and Singles Especially Women Who Had Hoped to Marry and Have Kids But Never Met Mr. Right (links)
(Link): How the Dating Scene Became Stacked Against Women– via CT, by Gina Dalfonzo
(Link): What Christians Really Think About the Church’s Relationship Advice by Anna Broadway
(Link): Gender Complementarian Advice to Single Women Who Desire Marriage Will Keep Them Single Forever / Re: Choosing A Spiritual Leader
(Link): Please Stop Shaming Me for Being Single by J. Vadnal
(Link): Learning to See Your Single Neighbor by H. Stallcup
(Link): Unmarried and Childless Women Are the Happiest, Happiness Expert Claims (2019 Study)
(Link): Typical Incorrect Conservative Christian Assumption: If you want marriage bad enough, Mr. Right will magically appear
(Link): Want To But Can’t – The One Christian Demographic Being Continually Ignored by Christians Re: Marriage
(Link): Depressing Testimony: “I Was A Stripper but Jesus Sent Me A Great Christian Husband”
(Link): Consider The Source: Christians Who Give Singles Dating Advice Also Regularly Coach Wives to Stay in Abusive Marriages
(Link): Sick of Being Single / I Am So Sick and Tired of Being Single Alone Unmarried Lonely
(Link): Is Interfaith Marriage Always Wrong, Given that the Bible Teaches Us Not to Be ‘Unequally Yoked’?
(Link): Forget About Being ‘Equally Yoked’ – Article: ‘My Abusive ‘Christian’ Marriage’
(Link): The Nauseating Push by Evangelicals for Early Marriage
(Link): I’m 37, I Might Be Single For Ever — and I’m Happy With That by Aimée Lutkin
(Link): Authors at The Federalist Keep Bashing Singleness in the Service of Promoting Marriage – Which Is Not Okay
(Link): BreakPoint Unfortunately Pushing the False and Un-Biblical “Society Needs Marriage and the Nuclear Family” Rhetoric (and I say this as a Conservative)
(Link): Myths About Never Married Adults Over Age 40
(Link): How the ‘Solo’ Movement is Rewriting Misconceptions of ‘Sad, Lonely’ Single Life
(Link): I Married Young. I Was Widowed Young. I Never Want A Long-Term Partner Again by R. Woolf
(Link): Adult Singles Do Not Need A Marital Partner to Be Whole or Complete
(Link): Research: Being Single [or Fear of Being Single] is a Meaningful Predictor of Settling for Less in Relationships
(Link): Single Adult Christian Pressured Into Marriage by Her Church – And Regrets It
(Link): Do You Feel Shame About Being Single? By John Amodeo, PhD
(Link): I’m in My 40s, Child-Free and Happy. Why Won’t Anyone Believe Me? By Glynnis MacNicol
(Link): Dear Prudence: Help! I’m Glad My Awful Husband Is Dead.
(Link): Unmarried and Childless Women Are the Happiest, Happiness Expert Claims
(Link): Why Being Single Sucks: What No One Wants to Talk About, by B. Smith
(Link): What is a Platonic Life Partnership? These Couples are Breaking Societal Relationship Norms
(Link): Four in 10 Adults Between the Ages of 25 and 54 are Single, Up From 29% in 1990