New Study Finds Educated and Well-Off Are More Likely to Choose Marriage; Authors of New Book Know What Makes It Last
Dr. Paul and Terrie Chappell Write in ‘Are We There Yet?’ That Success in Marriage is Opposite to the World’s Standards; Having God at the Center is Key
LOS ANGELES—A new study from the Pew Research Center and reported by Fox News has found that while marriage rates have remained relatively stable, although declined since the ’70s, those who are more educated and financially stable are more likely to wed.
For instance, Pew found, adults 25 and older with a four-year college degree had a marriage rate of 65 percent, compared with 55 percent for those with some higher education and 50 percent for those with only a high school diploma.
The survey also found that financial security is a major concern for adults who have never been married. More than 40 percent with family incomes below $75,000 cite finances as a major obstacle in getting married. As income levels decline, more individuals say financial stability is a reason they are not married. That trend is also evident among millennials (ages 18-29); more than half say they are not financially stable enough to marry.
Authors Paul and Terrie Chappell, married for 37 years, write in their soon-to-be-released book, “Are We There Yet? Marriage—a Perfect Journey for Imperfect Couples,” that regardless of the reasons people choose to get married, the work and commitment that follows is universal—and the level of education or financial status won’t matter in the long run.
“Total acceptance and unconditional love are not common in today’s relationships,” writes Dr. Paul Chappell in “Are We There Yet?” “Some would even say it is impossible or foolish. The world believes that couples who stay married 50, 60 and 70 years must have been perfect for each other—that their success is rooted in the fact that they were two lucky people who found their soulmates and that the rest of us mortals are foolish to insist on cleaving to one another during times of pain or difficulty.
“The world is wrong,” Chappell continues. “Marriage, as God designed it, carries a commitment to cleave—to hold onto your spouse. It is a decision you make when you exchange marriage vows with one another and a decision you keep every day of your lives as you freely give acceptance and refuse to let your hearts wander from one another. This is where the real work of marriage comes in. It is the intertwining of lives that happens over time. And it is the stuff of marriage. Marital intimacy is a gift of God, the physical celebration of oneness and unity. But the weaving of two lives together is more than physical. It takes place through daily decisions to pursue your spouse’s heart, to draw near to each other in acceptance, to entwine your lives around each other. Weaving in the fullest sense cannot happen without spiritual growth together. When you take two lives who are committed to one another and are daily drawing nearer to the Lord, there is an intertwining of souls that is constantly being strengthened by the power of God. This isn’t the result of one day, but of habits carried out day after day—praying together, reading God’s Word together, worshiping together, serving together, and living out God’s will with one another.”
In “Are We There Yet?,” a travel-themed guide for marriage out on Oct. 17, the Chappells candidly share biblical principles and personal, transparent illustrations that will equip couples to travel down the road of marriage further together. Whether newlyweds or married for decades, husbands and wives will find truth in “Are We There Yet?” to help them clarify their destination, communicate their needs, grow as a couple and even shed some baggage along the way.
With chapter titles such as “Paying with Foreign Currency,” “It’s a Two-Lane Highway,” “Roadblocks” and “Booking a Room,” “Are We There Yet?” explores topics from needs and communication to conflict and intimacy.
Many couples have provided words of praise for “Are We There Yet?” including Dr. and Mrs. Tim Rabon of Beacon Baptist Church in Raleigh, North Carolina, who wrote: “From the beginning to end, these pages are filled with spiritual challenge and practical advice for every couple. Read this book together, and discover principles and purpose for your marriage journey.”
Along with the Chappells, the Rabons and Dr. Mark and April Campbell will be featured speakers at the Couples Conference at Emmanuel Baptist Temple on Oct. 19-21 in Hagerstown, Maryland. “Are We There Yet?” will be released on Tuesday, Oct. 17, with a launch event at the three-day conference that aims to give couples a boost of strength and encouragement for their marriage.
The “Are We There Yet?” launch reception at the conference is set for 5:45 p.m. October 19, and the event will also be aired on the Emmanuel Baptist Temple radio station. View further details about the Couples Conference here.
Pre-orders for “Are We There Yet?” are beginning now online at www.AreWeThereYetBook.com. Bonus items for those who pre-order before the Oct. 17 release date include: Chapter 1 in PDF format, a marriage Q&A video session with the Chappells, downloadable “Travel with Me” cards—52 questions to inspire your marriage journey; and a printed “Are We There Yet?” companion guide for the first 1,000 pre-orders.
For more information on Dr. Paul Chappell and Lancaster Baptist Church, visit paulchappell.com or www.lancasterbaptist.org, or connect via social media on Facebook, Twitter or the church’s YouTube or Vimeo.