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Study reveals a major reason for child poverty: Divorce

Credit: timoni west/Flickr/Creative Commons

Credit: timoni west/Flickr/Creative Commons

An article in the National Post came to the stunning conclusion that one of the big reasons for child poverty in Canada is not capitalism run amuck or the one percent hording all the money, the real reason is divorce.

In his article Surprise! Child poverty in Canada comes from divorce, not capitalism, William Watson dived into the finances of Canadian families provided by Statistics Canada, a government-run organization.

According to the Statistics Canada, there are 1.2 million kids living in poverty. They define poverty as children living in families that earn less than half of Canada’s median income which for a mixed-sex couple is $87,688.

Statistics Canada showed in 2015, the number of children under the age of five living in poverty was 17.8%.  For children between the ages of six to 15, 17% were living in poverty.

But as you delve further into the statistics another disturbing trend begins to emerge. Single families are by far the biggest group where children live in poverty. Of course, not all single parent families are the product of divorce, but a significant percentage are.

Watson writes:

“Half the 1.2 million kids living in low-income, 602,850, live in two-parent families. But almost as many — 531,295 — live in lone-parent families, even though kids in two-parent families out-number kids in lone-parent families almost four to one.”

Despite numbering only 20% of the population, nearly half of the children living in single-parent family are part of the low-family income percentage.

Watson says:

“That’s right. The one-fifth of kids living in one parent families produce almost half our low-income children.”

Of course, this runs counter to the narrative of the liberal left who hate the rich, but approve of divorce.

Though allowing divorce, the Bible takes a strong stand against the practice. Jesus told His disciples that God allowed divorce because of the hardness of people’s hearts

He *said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way. (Matthew 19:8 NASV)

Notice how Jesus added that it was not this way at the beginning. This was not a practice that God intended to be the norm for society as it has become today.

At one point speaking through the prophet Malachi, God declared He ‘hated’ divorce:

16 For I hate divorce,” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “and him who covers his garment with wrong (Hebrew ‘ha-mas’),” says the Lord of hosts. “So take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously.” (Malachi 2:16 NASV)

But notice how the prophet also lists the reasons why God hates divorce describing it as an act of oppression (Hebrew word translated wrong ‘ha-mas” can be translated, wrong, violence or oppressed).

The Bible uses the same word it says days of Noah were filled with “violence” (Genesis 6:11).

Oppression goes hand in hand with violence.

Divorced families are oppressed and the stats show that this oppression often leads to a life of poverty.

I understand that many times divorce is simply unavoidable. Sometimes the differences are irreconcilable and in many instances one person wants out and the other doesn’t.

But whatever the case God promises to become a father to the fatherless. I believe this means the Lord will dispense a special grace for those who have suffered from divorce. God will remove the poverty oppression if we respond properly.

A father of the fatherless and a judge for the widows,
Is God in His holy habitation.
God makes a home for the lonely;
He leads out the prisoners into prosperity,
Only the rebellious dwell in a parched land. (Psalm 68:5-6 NASV)


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