Tuesday, January 16, 2018
In 2015, the average age of marriage in China was twenty-six and the expense for marriage was exorbitantly expensive, exceeding what most Chinese of that age could afford. It is a special blessing for a church to host a wedding which is a sign of vibrancy in the church to be followed by adorable little ones later. We pray that God will bless many churches in China with young and newly-wedded couples bringing joy and renewal to them.
In 2016, the average cost of a wedding in Shanghai was 200,000 Renminbi or about $30,000 U. S. This does not include the cost of an apartment and a car which are widely considered prerequisites for an engagement and are typically purchased by the parents of the young man. Parents prepare financially years in advance for the marriage of their only child. We pray that those who are believers will pray for Christian friends for their children and it is never too early to pray for a godly spouse for one's children.
In China, matchmaking remains popular because each side knows exactly what the other’s background is and candidates are approved by parents from the beginning. Chinese parents and churches alike are usually timid on subjects of dating and sex. We pray that parents and churches alike should have sessions on what God desires of them and about Biblical dating way before the dating age comes.
Patriarchal values are making a comeback in modern China. Many Chinese families have entered the middle class and they want to solidify their status by marrying people from a similar background. Marriage is a decision that affects the whole family. Without a good parent-child relationship, it is difficult for Christian parents to insist or even suggest seeking a believer for marriage for their child. We pray that Christian parents will improve their parenting skills and know how to rear a godly child as well as be an example of faith for their children.
In 2010, the birth rate in Taiwan dropped to 0.895 per childbearing age woman, lowest in the world. It did improve to 1.175 in 2015. But, by 2060, Taiwan will be the country with the lowest birth rate. Declining birth rate will invariably affect the second generation ministry in a church, especially children's Sunday School. We pray that church leaders will have strategies in place and concrete approaches to improve their current programs.
In 2016, in Taiwan the average age for marriage was 34.4 for men and 31.4 for women which is much higher than it was a decade earlier. "Marrying late and being childless" and "staying single" are serious social issues requiring the intervention of the government. Taiwan is the most liberal country in Asia in terms of the gay movement. We pray for churches there as they speak out against legalization of homosexuality, non-traditional families and other social issues.
Young people in Taiwan pursue college or advanced degrees, but the job market is very competitive and salaries are depressed. They worry about starting a family, delay marriages and hesitate to have more than one child. Young people in Taiwan are very political. We lift up the young believers in Taiwan as they try to express the Biblical family values in the public arena and engage in political processes.