Hello Blogging world!
A lot has happened in the 11 months time since I last wrote... haha; but I am currently a full-time student at Brigham Young University studying family life with an emphasis in human development. As such, I am in a family processes class. We learn about how families operate and how to build and sustain healthy relationships within the family unit.
I. Love. It.
I feel enlightened and edified every day that I am in class. I feel like my perspective on the sanctity of the family improves and my desire to share what I know improves.
One of my favorite things we have discussed in this class are current trends in the family. There are shocking statistics about marriage and family rates which have really shifted my perspective on the family and how central the family is to happiness in communities, countys, states, and countries. Not to mention on education systems, individual wellbeing, and religious groups.
The age for first marriage is increasing and thus there is a lack of fertility and fewer children being born. People are becoming too picky! I was interested in learning this statistic and I feel as if a lot of these relationships are being postponed and people are being too picky because of the pressures that social media puts on relationships. In class we talked about simple mindset changes like choosing to date someone even if you don't think they are "hot enough" for you or trying to become the type of person you hope to attract.
It may be surprising to some to know that age, race, and education all play a role in how likely someone is to have a child outside of marriage. If you do not have a high school diploma, you are 61% more likely to have a child out of wedlock. 29% of caucasians have births outside of marriage, 52% of hispanics, and 72% of blacks. We also find that the younger you are when you have a child, the least likely you are to be married.
Looking more into global fertility trends, we find that in 1950, the average number of children a woman would have in her lifetime was 4.92 children where as in 2010 that number was a mere 2.49. Many developed countries are no longer able to replace their population. Why have these changes occurred? Perhaps due to fear of overpopulation, government pressure, decreasing economic value of children, women just not wanting children, or increased contraception and abortion use. Whatever the reason, as depopulation increases, the average age of people everywhere will increase. A greater proportion of population will be elderly. This will cause the numbers of workers in the labor force o decrease, inability to fund pension costs, less economic growth, and less human capital.
In closing, the first commandment God gave to Adam and Ever was the multiply and replenish the earth. It was a call for them to reach their potential as husband and wife. We each have a responsibility to follow this commandment as well, to follow the example of father Adam and mother Eve in bringing God's spirit children to the world to love, to serve, and to bless.
I am grateful for the new and improved perspective I have gained on the family. I know it is sustained by God. I know that as we see these current trends we each have the opportunity and privilege to figure what we are going to do to make our dent on these numbers. I know that I have gained a greater appreciation for why marriage is so important and why we each have a sacred responsibility to multiply and replenish the earth.
I hope some of this spoke to your soul like it did mine :)