Author Topic: Changing Lifestyles Of American Adults  (Read 1143 times)

Dave Likeness

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Changing Lifestyles Of American Adults
« on: November 28, 2021, 12:54:19 PM »
The Pew Research Center reported the following percentages among the
adult population ages 25 to 54:

1990.....67% Married......29% Non-Married......4% Cohabiting

2019.....53% Married......38% Non-Married......9% Cohabiting

This trend in the past 30 years has implications for the local
congregation.  When marriage is postponed until people have
become established in their careers, it reduces the number of
years for wives able to have children.

Of course, less children means smaller parishes.   Some couples
are also making the choice to not have any children at all.  The
issue of cohabiting couples who are not married is also not a
positive trend for the future.

Charles Austin

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Re: Changing Lifestyles Of American Adults
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2021, 01:30:33 PM »
I am surprised that the cohabiting statistics are so low.
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J. Thomas Shelley

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Re: Changing Lifestyles Of American Adults
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2021, 02:51:28 PM »
I am surprised that the cohabiting statistics are so low.

But they more than doubled:   A 125% increase.
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Charles Austin

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Re: Changing Lifestyles Of American Adults
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2021, 03:00:31 PM »
I just thought that more than 9% of the adults of that age group would be cohabiting.
Retired ELCA Pastor. Iowa native. Now in Minneapolis. One must always ponder both the value and the dangers of poking the bear. Aroused and stimulated, the bear usually shows its true self. Or it might leap to an extreme version of itself. You never know with bears.

Dana Lockhart

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Re: Changing Lifestyles Of American Adults
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2021, 11:54:59 PM »
I just thought that more than 9% of the adults of that age group would be cohabiting.

I am also surprised it is that low. The latest trend, at least in my extended social circle, is buying homes together prior to (or instead of) marriage.


Charles Austin

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Re: Changing Lifestyles Of American Adults
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2021, 12:04:16 AM »
Dana Lockhart, in my last 15-18 active years of parish ministry, I don't think I had one couple come seeking marriage who were not already living together. Or, in conversations about their life and activities, it was at least clear that they were taking vacations together in what we would consider romantic locations. I've asked other pastors in this modest forum about their experiences with such couples, but have not received any answers or explanations. Maybe they never encounter such couples. But I doubt it.
Retired ELCA Pastor. Iowa native. Now in Minneapolis. One must always ponder both the value and the dangers of poking the bear. Aroused and stimulated, the bear usually shows its true self. Or it might leap to an extreme version of itself. You never know with bears.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Changing Lifestyles Of American Adults
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2021, 12:54:46 AM »
I just thought that more than 9% of the adults of that age group would be cohabiting.

I am also surprised it is that low. The latest trend, at least in my extended social circle, is buying homes together prior to (or instead of) marriage.


A third relative and a partner has just bought a house together. Two of those relatives have since married. The most recent one hasn’t talked about marriage.
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Terry W Culler

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Re: Changing Lifestyles Of American Adults
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2021, 06:30:44 AM »
Is it possible that the relatively low percentage of people living together without formal marriage reflects something else--the narcissism that seems so common among younger people who have grown up with the isolating force of modern tech?  Even cohabitation without marriage requires a higher commitment to another person than simply "hooking up". If America is bowling alone, maybe it's also living alone. :-\
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Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

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Re: Changing Lifestyles Of American Adults
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2021, 08:07:03 AM »
So, what does one do about this?
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Terry W Culler

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Re: Changing Lifestyles Of American Adults
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2021, 09:22:42 AM »
So, what does one do about this?


As Carl Trueman noted in his recent book, we are experiencing the end result of a 200 year long attack on our understanding of the nature of mankind and our relationship with one another and with God.  Resolving this problem is not the work of one life time but of a consistent and focused effort to educate young people in the meaning and responsibilities associated with Western Christian civilization.

So how can we do this if we continue to send our young folks to be educated by advocates of this "I, Me and Mine" philosophy?  Better home life--sure.  Better church life--sure.  Classical education--can't hurt.  But as to resolving the problem of what we could call the "island life"--probably our Lord's return in glory.
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James S. Rustad

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Re: Changing Lifestyles Of American Adults
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2021, 10:09:13 AM »
Cohabiting for a few months before marriage would not move the percentage much as it's a snapshot in time.  That may explain why the percentage is lower than many expected.

Charles Austin

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Re: Changing Lifestyles Of American Adults
« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2021, 10:40:43 AM »
Terry W Culler writes:
Is it possible that the relatively low percentage of people living together without formal marriage reflects something else--the narcissism that seems so common among younger people who have grown up with the isolating force of modern tech?

I comment:
I believe it is possible that the generation younger than mine simply concluded that the lifestyle we consider “traditional marriage,“ was not working very well, lost its divine mandate, created a tremendous amount of hypocrisy and pain, existed primarily for social and monetary reasons, and had a too narrow definition of sexuality. A good number of those concluding  this were members of our congregations, believing Christians, and, as they rejected the idea of a six-day creation, rejected some other aspects of the type of Christianity they have been taught, made their decisions about how they should live as Christians.
Retired ELCA Pastor. Iowa native. Now in Minneapolis. One must always ponder both the value and the dangers of poking the bear. Aroused and stimulated, the bear usually shows its true self. Or it might leap to an extreme version of itself. You never know with bears.

Steven W Bohler

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Re: Changing Lifestyles Of American Adults
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2021, 10:46:10 AM »
Terry W Culler writes:
Is it possible that the relatively low percentage of people living together without formal marriage reflects something else--the narcissism that seems so common among younger people who have grown up with the isolating force of modern tech?

I comment:
I believe it is possible that the generation younger than mine simply concluded that the lifestyle we consider “traditional marriage,“ was not working very well, lost its divine mandate, created a tremendous amount of hypocrisy and pain, existed primarily for social and monetary reasons, and had a too narrow definition of sexuality. A good number of those concluding  this were members of our congregations, believing Christians, and, as they rejected the idea of a six-day creation, rejected some other aspects of the type of Christianity they have been taught, made their decisions about how they should live as Christians.

So, you are saying your generation screwed it up.  OK.

Charles Austin

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Re: Changing Lifestyles Of American Adults
« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2021, 10:57:01 AM »
Let me ask you directly, Pastor Bohler. How many people come to you seeking marriage who are already living together?
And it is that my generation that “screwed it up“ as you’re so charmingly suggest. It is the previous generations, plural, who imposed a certain rigidity in marriage that turned out to be harmful to many.
So how are your children, their friends, the children of your friends, the children in your congregation approaching marriage these days?
Retired ELCA Pastor. Iowa native. Now in Minneapolis. One must always ponder both the value and the dangers of poking the bear. Aroused and stimulated, the bear usually shows its true self. Or it might leap to an extreme version of itself. You never know with bears.

peter_speckhard

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Re: Changing Lifestyles Of American Adults
« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2021, 10:59:38 AM »

I comment:
I believe it is possible that the generation younger than mine simply concluded that the lifestyle we consider “traditional marriage,“ was not working very well, lost its divine mandate, created a tremendous amount of hypocrisy and pain, existed primarily for social and monetary reasons, and had a too narrow definition of sexuality. A good number of those concluding  this were members of our congregations, believing Christians, and, as they rejected the idea of a six-day creation, rejected some other aspects of the type of Christianity they have been taught, made their decisions about how they should live as Christians.
How does marriage lose its divine mandate? People listening to the Holy Spirit doing a new thing? Rejecting the faith once handed down in order to decide for themselves how to live as Christians is a long hand way of saying that they do not live as Christians.