Quote Originally Posted by Odysseus View Post
A live-in boyfriend isn't a step-parent. A step-parent is a parent by marriage, and a cohabitating boyfriend is, by definition, not married. You correctly identified the issue, which is commitment to the family. Someone who lacks that commitment and simply shacks up will see a child as something that gets in the way of his pleasure, while someone who has that commitment will see a child as a person to be nurtured, loved and raised. That's why marriage matters. Marriage is a commitment to the long haul, not just between a man and a woman, but between a man, a woman and the children that they will raise together.
I would just add a commitment to the community at large because the commitment to family invariably leads to civic responsibility. Commitment, Duty and Honor, strong suits of the greatest generation that are sorely lacking in the generations that have followed. We can see the results in our families and communities and country.