- Currently of women under 35, only 40% have ever been married .
- Seventy percent of African American women and fifty-one percent of Hispanic women are currently unmarried.
- Forty-five percent of white women (non-Hispanic) and
- Forty percent of Asian women are unmarried 
Some have suggested that the cause of this is romance -- the desire to find the perfect mate. Others say that marriage is not only optional but seen in negative terms. Still others point to the high divorce rate and suggest that fear of failure is one reason why young people are so cautious about marriage. No one can deny that the acceptability of co-habitation has had a profound impact upon marriage. In the end, perhaps we have taught our children too well to be independent and not to settle for less than perfect -- oh, wait, are these the same young people who are moving home in, well, unprecedented rates? I guess my point is that the whole discussion is fraught with issues and problems so that no single or simple answer can be found.
For the Church this presents a profound challenge and opportunity. I am not sure when we will begin talking again about marriage as divine intention and mean it. We are so worried about offending people that we act like marriage is something like the choice of side items to go with your entree -- some like and some don't -- when according to Scripture, marriage is the entree.
The sad truth is that many churches today have decided that you cannot argue with the idea that sex is the expected choice and marriage is the occasional option, that marriage is for all things you decide and, may also, for children, or that you getting what you want is the goal and purpose of life (vs you giving and serving anyone else). We have stylized worship to make it fun and we have adopted and baptized the self-centered approach to things so that faith is primarily a matter of self-interest or personal choice.
And then we wonder why we have so few weddings.... or why Sunday school attendance is down...