Economic crisis puts marriage under pessure

Next year, a few thousand marriages more will break down due to economic problems. Also less marriages will occur due mainly to economic problems.

The ING Economic Desk analyzed statistics from the Central Bureau for Statistics in The Netherlands about marriage over the last 30 years, and the effect good and bad economic times had. Chief Economist Charles Kalshoven said that increasing unemployment led, a year later, to an increase in marriage breakdown. The analysis showed that over the past 30 years there is a clear correlation between unemployment and divorce.  “On this basis, you could expect , between 2000 and 4000 extra divorce cases extra next year”,  he says. On the other hand, 1% extra economic growth can have a positive effect on the number of marriages, and one can expect a growth of 2000 marriages more, two years later. When people have a good perspective of a permanent employment or increasing prospects, the decision to marry is much easier.
“In the current economic uncertainty, it makes sense to delay the marriage,”says Kalshoven, “because an average marriage costs easily €10,000.”  Source Leidsch Dagblad March 14, 2012.

I can remember our own wedding, almost 40 years ago. Cost the equivalent of about €250. Our first home was a flat in west London with a shared bathroom! Money would never have kept us from marrying! Our love was stronger than desire for material stuff. This analysis from the ING reminds us of how strong the grip is of money on our social institutions.

The words of Jesus of Nazareth remain challenging ..”You cannot serve both God and Money”. If we take decisions solely on economic grounds, then we are serving the wrong god… in this case, the god of money. Couples can learn to be content with less and trust in their love for one another, learning to be thankful for the little they have. It is only when we learn to be really thankful for what we have, and using this wisely, will we be ready to handle much.  Jesus also said, “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much!”

Learning, as a couple, to live from a small budget, learning financial discipline, being content with what you have, will give a firm foundation to be able to weather any economic storm which may happen in the future.






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