U.S. families are in crisis; Elliff cites the statistics

DENVER (BP)--The family, God's first institution, is in trouble, Tom Elliff, pastor of First Southern Baptist Church, Del City, Okla., said, noting that the evidence is overwhelming.

Speaking at the Kingdom Families conference sponsored by LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention Sept. 4-5 in Denver, Elliff gave these statistics:

-- More than 3,500 families in America end in divorce each day.

-- America's divorce rate is now more than double than that in 1960.

-- Currently, more marriages are terminated by divorce than by the death of a spouse.

-- One million children a year see their parents divorce.

-- More than 50 percent of the children in America's public schools live in single-parent homes.

-- 35 percent of America's children live apart from their biological fathers.

-- 50 percent of children who live apart from their biological fathers have never stepped foot in their father's house.

-- Children in single-parent homes have a 300 percent greater possibility of a negative life outcome than children raised in homes where both parents are present.

-- In the past 40 years, pregnancies out of wedlock have increased 600 percent.

-- 32 percent of all births in 1995 were out of wedlock.

-- Most people now live together before they marry for the first time.

-- In less than 40 years, cohabitation by unmarried couples has increased 1,000 percent.

-- Fewer than 40 percent of married couples claim to be very happy.

-- Among evangelicals, Internet pornography is now a major factor in the dissolution of families and departure from ministry.

-- Personal bankruptcies are at an all-time high in America. Tithing and giving are becoming practices that are lost to succeeding generations.

-- The majority of children in America have less than 10 minutes of significant and meaningful conversation with their parents each week.

Elliff is chairman of the Southern Baptist Convention's Council on Family Life and author of a new book, "Unbreakable: The Seven Pillars of a Kingdom Family."


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