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  • Morning Bell: On Valentine's Day, Share the Word About the Benefits of Marriage

    As millions of rose bouquets grace kitchen tables and office desks across America and dozens of chocolate delicacies are savored after candlelight dinners, card companies, jewelry stores and candy makers will be singing the praises of St. Valentine and raising their own glass of champagne to love.

    But the economic benefits of celebrating lifelong love are not simply for card stores and florist shops once a year. Marriage not only pays emotional dividends as men and women commit themselves to each other, focus on their children, and face the challenges of life together. The institution that forges unique personalities and lives together in the hearth of loving commitment can also provide notable economic benefits. Married couples tend to have a higher average income, more assets, and a greater likelihood of owning their own home than families led by single adults.

    Men and women aren’t the only ones to benefit from lifelong, married love. Children raised in families headed by a married couple have a greater chance of experiencing economic stability, high academic performance, and emotional maturity. Children living under the promise of marital commitment are six times less likely to experience poverty and can display the positive social effects of having both parents in the home, potentially avoiding the many hindrances to social mobility that tend to plague children raised in single-parent households.

    Unfortunately, the personal joy and socioeconomic advantages of marriage are often lost on those who arguably need those benefits the most. With the national unwed birth rate reaching 41 percent in 2009 and almost three-quarters of African-American children alone born outside of marriage, millions of children are at risk of experiencing the financial difficulties and social challenges of living in single-parent households. The same children (and their parents) are also more likely to need government financial assistance. Of the nearly $400 billion in annual welfare funding spent on low-income families, three-quarters goes to those led by single parents.

    Financial assistance alone will not help needy families avoid poverty and long-term dependence. Demonstrating the personal fulfillment of healthy relationships, which no government check can provide, and the economic benefits of marriage to low-income communities can increase the chance of self-dependency and more stable families.

    Just as the greatest Valentine will not be the most expensive diamond or the richest three-course meal, the greatest gift of compassion and justice for poor families is not more money and federal handouts. It is the opportunity to learn about the emotional, social, and economic advantages of marriage and potentially share in the promises of lifelong, married love. Rather than continue a cycle of dependence with streams of anonymous government checks, policymakers can take steps to remove disincentives to marriage and demonstrate how healthy marital relationships can lead to self-sufficiency.

    For example, lawmakers could remove penalties on marriage imposed by Obamacare by repealing the legislation once and for all. Obamacare could cost certain married couples upwards of $10,000 a year. Congress must immediately reduce or eliminate the welfare marriage penalties that punish low-income recipients who choose to marry. And they can work to ensure federal programs adequately explain the economic and social benefits of marriage to communities who have a high risk of having children out of wedlock.

    If they do so—and President Obama’s budget released later today will offer some initial clues to the tenor of this year’s debate—our nation can experience a springtime of marriage. More personal happiness and smaller government will make a very attractive couple.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    22 Responses to Morning Bell: On Valentine's Day, Share the Word About the Benefits of Marriage

    1. Melvin Chapman, Wena says:

      avoiding the marrige commitment is just another depridation of society. the responsibility for raising strong, healthy, moral children has long been dumped on society. feeding school age children has been turned over to schools. all manner of anti-social behavior in schools and beyond is becoming the norm. a strong marriage is the foundation of a strong, healthy society.

    2. Dr RJ Williams says:

      You might broaden this item on Marriage and the tax penalty that militates against marriage by underscoring the meaning of St. Valentine Day: in a less forgiving Roman age, some died for the benefit of marriage while some longed for it.

      Roman soldiers were denied the right to marry while in service to the Empire, but yearned after women nonetheless and often enough actually fell in love,hoped to have children ~ did have children. A Christian leader, a religious leader, stepped to the fore and in clear conscience joined such couples in marriage. Found out in this treachery against the Empire, Valentine the priest paid the ultimate price. Later, the Roman church elevated him to sainthood. [It is notable that, as rampant as homosexuality could be in armies where men are bound by such harsh terms against their sexual nature and the longings of love, Valentine married one man and one woman to one another.]

      Someone died for this marriage of one man and one woman? Yes, someone did. Some still would, and others may well.

    3. Richard H. Irish, Ed says:

      Our best Valentine's Day present would be for our nation's lawmakers to wake up and finally realize the evil, Anti-American intent in everything Obama the Usurper does! This man is intent on destroying the very fiber of our nation and is succeeding far beyond what I thought he would be able to do, as I greatly overestimated the degree of patriotism in those same lawmakers. I see now that love of country has been replaced by love of self and we, "The People", are left twisting in the wind.

    4. KB in PA says:

      Your essential point is well taken, of course. Would that the hearts of we Americans be moved to explore the possibility of how rich life can be, when it is lived beyond the borders of our own selfish interests and desires.

      But unfortunately, the way the fourth paragraph is presented will fuel the fire of abortion advocates, who will read it and see it as an admission of the extreme expense, financially and (supposedly) emotionally, that pregnant single women will endure, if they do not abort. Abortion advocates are always johnny-on-the-spot to insist that a woman's life is her own, to do with as she pleases, and that she should never allow anything to break her stride.

      A fifth paragraph might have been inserted to explain against this … to explain that what is meant to be part and parcel of marriage (sex) has no place outside of it.

      A tough sell? Tell me about it. Prudish? I'm sure it looks that way. Yet I'm at a loss to see how the argument in favor of marriage can be made without it.

    5. Harry Snyder Tempera says:

      This isn't strictly a Valentines Day issue, BUT here's a societal SECRET!: From the Arctic circle to Patagonia, Capetown, New Zealand, and points in between, The basic human family (father, mother, children) is the fundamental unit of human society. Even the totalitarian government of China depends on this institution.

      The Muslim society is strictly based on this basic family unit, although the larger family (the clan) is the recognized societal/governmental unit.

      The Lincoln family, the (Laura) Ingalls families didn't have any governmental authority over them, or need it, most of the time.

      Where I live, if you have a problem, temporary or long term, chances are your first source of aid is your family, at least in mine, in rural Michigan

    6. Ben C. Ann Arbor, MI says:

      It is the destruction of the family unit that will be the demise of our country. Well intentioned legislation, whether by design or accident, has resulted in areas such as Detroit Michigan. At the opposite end are the Amish who care for their young and old and do not pay into social security nor receive payments. While I am not so sure I want to travel by horse and buggy I admire their culture and hold them as the model we should emulate. My dad is 90 years old and talks about how his family coped with the Great Depression. It wasn't from government handouts – it was from the family banding together and taking care of each other. We should all learn from his generation.

    7. Ken Jarvis - Las Veg says:

      2- 14 -11 FROM – Ken Jarvis – LVKen7@Gmail.com

      Only the HF could find something about

      Valentine's day to BLAME Obama for.

      What has the GOP ever done for the Middle Class?

      I can't think of Anything, can YOU?

    8. Robert, North Richla says:

      Eliminate the welfare marriage penalties? How about eliminate federal welfare programs altogether after a four-year phasing out process? Let the states have their own welfare programs – or not. 100 million people on welfare (and growing daily) is unsustainable. Then, we could explain the economic and social benefits of working to these "communities" of thieves.

    9. West Texan says:

      It wasn't until I married that its meaning became clear. It's more than a civil union, but rather a Holy covenant between man, wife and the Almighty's grace.

    10. West Texan says:

      Correction: " … Holy covenant between husband, wife and the Almighty’s grace."

    11. Barb in WI says:

      A marriage penalty tax in the Obamacare law? This yet again shows that Obamacare is not about good health care for Americans. It is all about more taxation and control in so many devious ways. Always follow the money and the truth shall be revealed.

    12. LCN TX says:

      All good points. I remained married when I shouldn't have for all these reasons. I now have a daughter who is almost 20 years old who has said I've learned my whole life who I don't want to be like. Financial stability means nothing if the marriage does not have a solid emotional, spiritual and physical commitment between the adults.

      As the child of divorce, I never wanted my children to experience the pain and emotional imbalances I've lived with all of my life. Unfortunately, my daughter is right at her young age.

      Just my input.

    13. RUTH SC says:

      It certainly is a sham that every child in America is not growing up in a good Christian home with married parents who are God fearing, church going people who believe the good book and all the teachings in the Bible. It appears the larger number of adults who live right, and have God in their lives, contribute to society not take from it. Our social laws have created generations of people who take but do not give and use the children as an income. If they would put more money into birth control and education about birth control, the children would not be up for sale to the most productive mothers. Lots of these women do love their children, but not enough to give up the freebies that come when more babies come. There are so many people working part time and using grand children to continue to get the earned income credit they have gotten for 30 plus years, Now the newest generation has been taught well, and will continue to take from the system, and to what end, the numbers just keep multiplying with no end in sight. Maybe it is time to Get people involved with the kind of life God wanted for us, and do right by our children. We need to give them a fighting chance, teach them to grow up, get married, work, be an asset to society and not a detriment, and stop expecting others to support your bad choices in life. Coming to the age of accountability means taking care of yourself and your family, but so many think at the child bearing age there is a check and a handout for them and their usually is, so maybe it is time to stop all the handouts and start to educate people on the right way to live, and include God's law.

    14. Nancy, Georgia says:

      Ruth,

      There are plenty of us who remain married, raise our children to be good citizens, work hard and live within the confines of the 10 commandments who are not churched, nor God fearing. It IS possible.

    15. Sue Marie Detroit says:

      Marriage has benefited the human race and society for thousands years. The left (AKA communists and socialists) hate marriage because they cannot control individuals who come from happy homes. The left attract disfunctional individuals (demaged people). Destroy marriage and have the leftist utopia.

    16. Ben C. Ann Arbor, MI says:

      Ken – your question is the core difference between conservative and liberals as I see it. I/we believe in self reliance – you/they believe in government dependence. Government dependence leads to the 14 trillion dollar national debt and the 120 trillion dollar unfunded social security / medicare liabilities which results in servitude. Self reliance leads to independence and freedom. I choose independence and freedom.

    17. Bill Schnitzer, Kihe says:

      Marriage is a sacred union and as such is a religious issue in which the government should never have been involved. The government should be only concerned with civil unions and, if the couple wishes, they might sanctify the relationship with a religious marriage commitment.

      If I were king……..

    18. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      Marriage is highly overrated.

    19. John, Rhode Island says:

      Marriage itself is a religious act. If a religion wants to set its own rules and regulations regarding the details of who they will marry and who they won't, it's their prerogative. But you tell me where in the Constitution the gov't has the authority to restrict who can enter into a social contract. Because as far as the gov't is concerned that's all marriage is, and gov shouldn't care who the parties are that entering into the contract, only that they're of consenting age and they are entering under their own free will.

      And who's to say that a homosexual couple is going to be worse than any heterosexual couple in raising their children? With divorces hitting the 50% mark, it's not like the only-man-and-woman community really has a leg to stand on.

    20. RUTH SC says:

      Nancy I commend you, and your family. I'm sure you had your hard times as well as I have, fortunately I learned that by following God, by obeying his laws as well as the law of the land, my life became better and easier. God bless you and your family, It is good to know that there are good people out there of all walks of life, with or without God, I found it much easier with God.

    21. Jackson - Denton, Te says:

      Hey Jarvis, here's a clue: "Onlly HF is looking out for the good of the country, and if that includes chastising POTUS, so be it.." Of course during a typical liberal rant, you lost the whole point of the message.

      God Bless The USA and her people, all of them.

    22. Mike, Chicago says:

      Cut public aid except for the disabled!

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