Dr. Brad Wilcox is a friend and the highly respected Director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia. He’s also an Associate Professor of Sociology.
For years, Brad and his colleagues have been studying the positive impact of marriage on the culture. His work is not manipulated to prove a point. He’s a scientist who studies and analyzes data and draws conclusions based upon facts. In one of his most revealing articles, he makes an interesting statement, but one that also confirms what Christians believe about God’s institution of marriage:
The long-term fortunes of the modern economy rise and fall with the family.
Interestingly, the origin of the word “economy” is the Greek word “oikonomos,” which means “one who manages a household.”
In other words, the stronger the household, the more robust the economy. Given the current fragile state of overall family health, is it any wonder that our economy is struggling?
Brad’s research is voluminous, but I’d like to share just two of his more countercultural (and perhaps counterintuitive) conclusions. I’m curious about your reaction. And if you’re looking for a conversation-starter at your family’s Thanksgiving table later this month, you might consider serving these up for discussion:
- On average, men who get and stay married work harder, work smarter, and earn more money than their unmarried peers.
- Key sectors of the modern economy – from household products to insurance to groceries – are more likely to profit when men and women marry and have children.
These findings are obviously not offered with the intent to hurt those who wish to be married but are not. Having been blessed to meet and marry Jean in my 20s, I am fully aware that God’s plan may differ for other people. Instead, these findings speak to a broader issue which is this:
If healthy marriages lead to strong economies, wouldn’t even the most hardcore secular economist agree that it makes good sense to redouble our efforts as a nation to encourage and strengthen the multi-millennial institution of matrimony?