Out of curiosity, sparked by a conversation my wife and I had recently, I did a little research into the claim that the divorce rate among Christians is no different than that of non-believers. I came across the “General Social Survey.” It’s a vast demographic study conducted by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago.
This study found that, specifically born-again Christians, have a divorce rate of about 42%. The rate among religiously unaffiliated Americans is 50%.
When the statistics on evangelicals were examined, it was discovered that worship attendance has a big influence on the numbers…
Six in 10 evangelicals who never attend had been divorced or separated, compared to just 38% of weekly attendees.
This isn’t theoretical physics here.
This simply makes sense, doesn’t it?
In no way, however, do I believe that by simply going to church, you will save or sustain your marriage… But Christ can. What better place to start than with a body of fellow believers?
When I consider this truth, of regular attendees having a better shot of staying United as one flesh, two things come to mind…
1. A born-again, faithful church-goer demonstrates, among many things, commitment…especially if he/she is involved with a ministry. Marriage is the ultimate commitment to another person and showing one’s self to be dependable in serving God through His church gives further affirmation to the fact of that person being able to serve their spouse sacrificially as well.
Thats what marriage is all about; out-serving one another.
2. A believer has Christ who is the ultimate redeemer and forgiver and is therefore the strongest foundation in our marriage relationships. It is by His grace we both know what forgiveness is.
We are human. We are defective and will therefore fail each other at some point.
No marriage can survive without forgiveness and grace and the only way one can truly know forgiveness and grace is to have a relationship with the universe’s champion in forgiveness and grace: God.
Were it not for my own wife’s gift of forgiving, I’m sure we would have many more struggles than we do…. Because I mess up.
A good fail safe when considering marriage is Pre-marital counseling.
The hope here is that through counseling sessions, folks will be forced to take an honest look at their lives and be assisted in coming to a mutual understanding on never before discussed topics (i.e. finances, children, budget, commitment, divorce is not an option, sin) and devise a winning strategy to run into battle together, with swords raised high against the enemy, rather than charging toward one another with guns drawn.
It also gives a Pastor (assuming he is wise in understanding and mature in discernment) the opportunity to take a deeper look into a couple’s relational pensieve and be able to definitively proclaim to couples either,
“yes! you two will be great together.”
“do y’all know what a restraining order is?”
I wonder how much the evangelical divorce rate of 38% would go down if every potential married couple sought Godly counseling before leaping into the uncharted territory that is marriage?
It amuses and saddens me when I hear non-believers, but especially believers, attempt to rationalize unholy decisions when it comes to HOLY matrimony.
“life if short. Might as well go ahead and get married.”
“I probably won’t find anyone better.”
“we’re getting old… Better settle down before no one wants us.”
Just yesterday, an acquaintance of mine was describing how happy he is…
Though, divorced, 3 kids and 4 girlfriends later, he NOW, has found a gal that really gets him.
Sadly, he is setting himself up for another failure.
She herself is previously divorced as well, only one child, and the happy couple have known each other for 4 months now and they will be getting married in April by her brother who got ordained online.
Its like the story of the titanic… The Captain sees the tip of the iceberg coming, rationalizes that this “vessel” can handle a measly problem as minuscule and unimportant as this insignificant block of ice, and decides to barrel right on through without fully realizing the massive life threatening danger that lurks beneath the surface.
What a weighty responsibility marriage and family are and yet, so many are being sunk every day, by icebergs that could have been averted.
Marriage relationships are whimsically walked into today with a total irreverence and lack of respect for what marriage is meant to be.
There are some people who think they have a relationship with their cat. They think they have a relationship with their dog, or their snake or even their fish.
That is not a deep relationship that touches the essential nature of the soul. It is superficial; in fact it shouldn’t even be called a relationship. Relationships have to do with essential compatibility at the truest level of personhood.
Take Adam and Eve for instance… Adam was surrounded by all of God’s glorious creation… Every creature in the world and God said,
“its not good for man to be alone.”
Then of course, God adds “anesthesiologist” to His many titles and conducts the very first surgery, creating woman. The most magnificent creation Adam had seen yet.
This Man/Woman model is the original intent for marriage.
Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.
* and its no mistake what’s said next in verse 5…
5 Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
How many financial arguments would go out the window if we were all content with what we have? With what God has entrusted us with.
You want to talk about restoring marriages and families and lowering the divorce rates among God fearing-bible believing Christians?
It’s time the family got back in the church and back into the word of Almighty God.
It’s time that Fathers started acting like Fathers – loving and leading their children to Christ.
Time for Husbands to act like husbands and love their wives like Christ loves the church and be willing to die for her.
High time men acted like men and burried their noses in their bibles. Get to know the greatest Daddy and Husband of all time, become more like Him as you grow closer to Him, and your marriage will be radically transformed.
You don’t need some crude, inappropriate, sexed-up bible study on marriage to revitalize your relationship with your spouse. Nor do you need a “Sexperiment.”
Just open your bible. Fight for your family.
“Fight like a man, scriptures in hand.” -Supertones