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Single Parent Families

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It always amazes me when I turn on the TV or read a newspaper article and there is some sort of debate going on as to whether a single parent household is just as good as a traditional two parent household. Are they serious? I just don’t see how there could be any doubt which is better. Now, I understand there will be some exceptions. Heck I could smoke for 40 years and never get cancer, that won’t be the case for the majority of people. I could not wear my seatbelt, get in a collision and still be OK. But that won’t change the fact that looking at the big picture I would have been better off wearing a seatbelt then not. It seems to me that the problem of single-parenthood is being ignored.

Carlin (1994) gives us a couple of reasons society is ignoring the single-parenthood epidemic. Some people (especially males) do not want to hear about it because it would cause them to change their lives, to adopt habits of responsibility including sexual responsibility where many of them prefer a looser style of living. Others (especially females) find themselves as the single parent raising their children without help from the father. They don’t want to admit that they cannot do it on their own and need help.

What studies have been done on this subject? What was learned? Weinraub and Wolf (1983) studied 28 mother-child interactions. 14 were single mothers and 14 were married mothers. Single parents tended to be more socially isolated than married parents. They worked longer hours and received less emotional and less parental support. They tended to have less stable social networks and experience more potentially stressful life change.

Wilson (2003) says the pattern of children being raised in single family households is now a leading feature in almost all English-speaking countries and some European ones. He believes welfare is a possible explanation for this: “If a welfare system pays unmarried mothers enough to have their own apartment, some women will prefer babies to husbands.” This reliance on welfare has played a key role in shifting the distribution of family economic well-being in the US.

Mills (2007) study found the following:

Single-parent families are identified as playing a key role in shaping the incidence and distribution of economic well-being below two times the poverty line. Most notably, the increased incidence of persons in families below one-half the poverty line can be traced to both an increase in the share of single-parent families and an increase in the propensity of single-parent families to reside at these very low levels of economic well-being. Decompositions further trace the increased incidence of single-parent families below one-half the poverty line to those without a working adult and those without a head with a high-school degree.

Another study done by MacCallum and Golobok (2004) took a look at not only single mother households but lesbian mother families as well. The results were quite interesting:

Children in fatherless families experienced more interaction with their mother, and perceived her as more available and dependable than their peers from father-present homes. However, there were no group differences in maternal warmth towards the children. Mothers raising their child without a father reported more severe disputes with their child than did mothers in father-present families. The children's social and emotional development was not negatively affected by the absence of a father, although boys in father-absent families showed more feminine but no less masculine characteristics of gender role behavior. The presence or absence of a father in the home from the outset does appear to have some influence on adolescents’ relationships with their mothers.

Scripture is quite clear on this subject. First of all pre-marital sex is a sin. We see this in 1 Corinthians 6:13, 18; 7:2; 10:8; 2 Corinthians 12:21; Galatians 5:19; Ephesians 5:3; Colossians 3:5; 1 Thessalonians 4:3. A family is made up of a man and a woman. Ephesians 5:22-33 says:

Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ,



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