Traditional Marriage: A Pillar of Our Civilization

This is part of Family Council’s ongoing series outlining the importance of traditional family values in society. Today’s installment highlights the value of traditional marriage.

Even though governments and courts in America have moved to redefine marriage in the past decade, traditional marriage between one man and one woman is still an essential building block of society.

Below are a few key points to consider.

Traditional Marriage is a Fundamental Institution

Marriage between one man and one woman is an institution that has existed for millennia. It has served as the foundation of countless civilizations — including our own.

It’s easy to forget, but no nation on earth recognized same-sex marriage before the year 2000. There is virtually no history of same-sex marriage in America — or anywhere else, for that matter — prior to the past 23 years.

The marriage of one man to one woman has been the bedrock of western civilization for almost a thousand years. Marriage licenses were issued in colonial America more than a century before the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

There is nothing hateful in wanting to uphold the pillars that help support our civilization, and there is nothing wise in tearing those pillars down.

Supporting Traditional Marriage Goes Hand-in-Hand with Supporting Religious Liberty

Traditional marriage and religious liberty are deeply connected, because many religions recognize marriage as a sacred institution between one man and one woman.

Christians believe marriage is a part of God’s created order. People of faith should be free to live out their religious convictions regarding marriage.

Unfortunately, we have heard time and again about Christian photographersbakersflorists, and wedding chapel owners being investigated and dragged into court because they declined to take part in a same-sex wedding or ceremony. Sometimes the Christian business owners win their cases. Other times they lose.

Devaluing marriage and redefining it in society have set the stage for this type of conflict.

Traditional Marriage is Good for Children and Families

Traditional marriage provides a supportive environment where children can thrive. It also is one of the most effective ways to combat poverty and promote economic mobility.

In 2012 Heritage Foundation published an exhaustive report identifying marriage as a determining factor in whether or not a family lives in poverty.

The report found “being married has the same effect in reducing poverty that adding five to six years to a parent’s level of education has.”

Bottom line: Traditional marriage — a lifelong union of one man to one woman — is good for everyone.

Articles appearing on this website are written with the aid of Family Council’s researchers and writers.

Traditional Family Values: The Nuclear Family

This is part of Family Council’s ongoing series outlining the importance of traditional family values in society. Today’s installment focuses on the value of the nuclear family.

The nuclear family consisting of a married mother and father with their children is a cornerstone of our society.

Below are two key points to consider.

The Nuclear Family Provides Stability and Structure

Strong families are essential for building strong communities and a strong society. The nuclear family provides a foundation for that to happen.

Families offer a stable environment where men, women, and children to flourish and contribute to their communities.

The nuclear family is especially important for children, because it provides them with stability and structure. Children thrive when they are raised in a home with a married mother and father who are committed to one another and to their children.

The Nuclear Family Helps Prevent Poverty

Marriage and family provide a hedge against poverty.

An exhaustive report from the Heritage Foundation found that people were 82% less likely to experience poverty when they graduated from high school, then got married, then had children, and then remained married.

The same study found children from single-parent homes were:

  • More than twice as likely to be arrested for a juvenile crime;
  • Twice as likely to be treated for emotional and behavioral problems;
  • Roughly twice as likely to be suspended or expelled from school; and
  • A third more likely to drop out before completing high school.

A 2014 study by officials from the National Marriage Project found, “Growing up with both parents (in an intact family) is strongly associated with more education, work, and income among today’s young men and women.”

Marriage and the nuclear family provide a hedge against poverty and other bad outcomes for children.

Public Opinion Trends Towards Nuclear Family


According to Pew Research, a growing number of Americans are realizing the importance of the nuclear family.   

Just three years ago, 40% of Americans agreed with the statement “single women raising children on their own is bad for society.” That number has now jumped to 47%. The same is true of cohabitation, which nearly a quarter of U.S. adults say is “generally bad for society.” That’s up 5% from three years ago.  

It’s an encouraging swing for public opinion, especially with both trends still on the rise. Kids do best with both a mom and a dad in the picture. They do better still when mom and dad stay married to each other.  

Of course, there are a plenty of heroic single parents raising kids on their own, who will do everything they can to help their kids succeed. Data isn’t destiny for all individuals, but it is destiny for a society. The loss of marriage is unsustainable. As the world leader in single-parent households, Americans will either have to reckon with that basic truth, or the next generations will continue to pay the price.

Copyright 2024 by the Colson Center for Christian Worldview. Reprinted from with permission.