A word about this blog

Daily News and Prayer is inspired by The Christian Science Monitor, one of the most important (and most underappreciated) newspapers in the world. Posts are usually (but not always) responses to articles in the Monitor about events and trends that call for prayer.

The blog's aim is to help strengthen humanity's collective confidence that we can triumph over even the most deeply entrenched evils, in ourselves and in the world.

Notifications: If you would like to be notified about new postings, please send an email to, with "Blog mailing list" in the subject line. I'll be sure to let you know each time a new item is posted.

Note on submissions: If you would like to contribute to this blog, I would be happy to consider your submission. It should be 500 words or less, well written and fit the topic. Read several postings to get an idea of the subject matter and tone. It should also fit the audience, which is general, international and non-denominational.

Please email your submission to me at I will get back to you as soon as I can. Please be aware that, while I appreciate the interest and efforts of anyone who wishes to write for the blog, publication is not guaranteed. If I feel your piece is promising but needs revision, I will let you know. Nothing will be published without your seeing the final copy.

« | Main | »

Living arrangements

Stability. So many things don’t have it anymore: jobs, relationships, whole countries – and marriage. The single life is more attractive and possible than ever, and for those who don’t want to be single but find themselves without a marriage partner, they have options; their status is no longer questioned.

Stephanie Hanes has an excellent piece on the status of US marriage in The Christian Science Monitor today.

And the trend is not just in the US. As Philip N. Cohen, a sociologist at the University of Maryland and author of The Family: Diversity, Inequality, and Social Change, points out, 87% of people in the world live in a country with a falling marriage rate. This in itself is not necessarily a sign that marriage is in trouble, Cohen says. “Delay in marriage could be positive sign, of marriage’s significance.” But in most countries marriage is not the only accepted route to happiness now, despite the fact that in the two most populous countries, China and India, marriage is still virtually universal.

What does all this mean for children? Researchers in the UK predict that if the trend continues at the current rate in their country, by 2016 the majority of children will be born to parents who are not married. A recent study of 9,000 men and women in the US found that 57% of births had occurred outside of marriage for both men and women. Moreover, 64% of women (and 63% of men) who reported a birth had at least one child outside of marriage.

This is a tough issue to pray about. Many people don’t even see a problem, just a “new normal.” Yet it’s clear that instability has grown. If adults have adapted to all the new arrangements, one wonders how children as a whole are being affected. Children need stability to thrive.

It’s a good direction for prayer.   

If God is Love, She is our divine Parent – constant, steadfast, reliable, dependable, the very definition of perpetual strength and tenderness.

Today I wanted to do something tangible to bring these qualities into my own life in some way, for the sake of the one child I know best, my daughter.

So I got to school on time to pick her up. She’s been after me forever to do it, to be on time, to be there before the bell rings. She’s learned to live with the wondering if I’ll ever make it, but it’s not fair to make her wonder!

Is it silly, to make such a big deal of this? Maybe. But as I saw it today, it was a small thing I could do to help create an environment where stability is a given. It was my own prayer, I guess, for one child.

Bonus: There’s a nice religious message in this little podcast from a woman in Los Angeles named Michelle Armstrong, about God helping people find the way when they feel lost. 

Reader Comments (1)

Thank you, Keith, for this love-based foundation laid for stability in families. I would like to suggest that readers here check out the "Upfront" posts of former Monitor Editor John Yemma. This one in particular:

June 15, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDavid McClurkin

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>