World News and Trends: Growth of British stepfamilies

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Growth of British stepfamilies

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"A Family Policy Studies Institute report claims that by 2010, marriage, divorce and remarriage will be the normal pattern of domestic life and, assuming that at least one of the remarrying partners has children, stepfamilies will outnumber nuclear ones."

The numbers of stepfamilies are mushrooming. Of children who are victims of divorce before age 16, more than half will live in a stepfamily. With the 40 percent divorce rate in Britain, 18 million children and adults are part of stepfamilies. Sixty percent of second marriages fail, further complicating the problem.

Lesley White observed: "As lifelong partnership [marriage] fades from absolute convention to romantic ideal, remarriage is ... the choice of those—especially women—with economic options and a personal fulfillment to pursue. Even the House of Windsor [the British royal family], constitutionally obliged to keep the lines of dynasty pure, has become an extended network of modern parenting arrangements."

This is not good news for Britain. Although we can and should sympathize in individual cases, the phenomenon as a whole is exacting a fearsome toll on the nation. The National Stepfamily Association says that "it takes two to 10 years for the stepfamily to become a cohesive unit." Research by the Family Policies Studies Centre shows that stepchildren are more likely to leave school with fewer qualifications, experience worse career prospects, start sexual relationships earlier and run twice the risk of teenage illegitimacy.

The Bible record shows ancient nations murdering children by making them "pass through the fire"—by burning them as a sacrifice to pagan gods. Many modern families are sacrificing their children to a much more arduous life than necessary. Such difficulties result from wholesale societal rejection of God's laws of marriage as given in the Bible.

The apostle Peter spoke of "the restoration of all things" during Christ's coming millennial reign on earth. Few things are more in need of restoration today than that basic building block of society, the family unit. (Sources: The Sunday Times Magazine [London]; Deuteronomy 18:10 Deuteronomy 18:10There shall not be found among you any one that makes his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that uses divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch.
American King James Version×
; Acts 3:19-21 Acts 3:19-21 [19] Repent you therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. [20] And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached to you: [21] Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.
American King James Version×