Marriage is good for your children
Many people who are not married do a great job of raising children, but it is widely recognised that marriage is the best context for bringing up children.
It says in the marriage service: “It is given as the foundation of family life in which children are nurtured and in which each member of the family, in good times and in bad, may find strength, companionship and comfort, and grow to maturity in love.”
Many commentators have highlighted the benefits of marriage for children:
- Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, says: "It is the unconditional presence of comfort and support that sets the foundation for stability and trustworthiness, allowing children to grow up confident that whatever happens there's something fixed and dependable that offers them room, time and space to grow."
- The Mothers Union, a passionate believer in marriage, says: "Marriage provides the foundation for a stable family. Children benefit from it emotionally, in their relationships with other people and in their performance at school. Children of married parents are also more likely to have a good relationship with their parents as they grow up, strengthening the whole family unit."
- Adrian Thatcher, writer and theologian, says: "If children are nurtured by their two biological parents, they are more likely to thrive than if they are not. Children need the commitment of both parents, and marriage encourages and institutionalizes this."
- Society think tank Civitas has much to say on marriage and children. Their research highlights that children are more likely to have a healthy lasting marriage as adults if they grow up within an intact marriage. And, children who live with their own two married parents enjoy better physical health on average than do children in other family forms.
- There are legal benefits too. Married parents have equal responsibility for their children in ways that unmarried parents don’t. An unmarried mother has parental responsibility, but there is no automatic parental responsibility for an unmarried father.
The Church of England welcomes couples for marriage who already have children. In fact, a service that allows you to give God thanks for your children, or have your children christened, at the same time as getting married is available. Read more
Many couples have already done this, including celebrity TV presenters Richard and Judy. They said in the Daily Express: "The day ended up being one of the happiest and most memorable of my life. Our closest friends came, and to have our marriage blessed before the little congregation, and then to see our children accepting baptism with surprising solemnity, was indescribably moving." Read the full commentary.
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