Divorce In America

The divorce rate in America is the highest in the world. At the same time, America is said to be a Christian nation. How can this be? Why don’t we believe what the Bible says about marriage? Why do we call ourselves Christians and yet have so little regard for the most basic institution that God instituted for his creation?

Divorce Rate In America

The most often quoted statistic from the Census Bureau says that 50% of marriages will eventually end in divorce.

This figure is actually a little misleading because according to the Census Bureau, approximately only 1 in 5 adults have ever divorced. This means that those who divorce, remarry and divorce several times.

And don’t think that just getting a new marriage partner will increase your chance of having a successful marriage. According to Divorce Statistics, 45% to 50% of first marriages end in divorce. 60% to 67% of second marriages end in divorce. And 70% to 73% of third marriages end in divorce.

The reason for this continued failure is that people take the problems of their previous marriage into their next marriage. Unless we are willing to pattern our marriage after God’s ideal marriage (see my other articles on marriage), we will not have a successful marriage, no matter how many times we try.

Divorce Rate Among Christians and Jews

Another shocking statistic is that divorce rates among conservative Christians have been significant higher than for other faith groups, even higher than atheists and agnostics. Only Jews have a higher divorce rate than born-again Christians.

The most shocking of the above report is that the most divorces occur among those who call themselves evangelicals or fundamentals. These are those who call themselves “born-again Christians.”

This tells me that Christians and Jews simply do not believe what they profess to believe. We have a Bible that tells us that marriage is sacred in the eyes of God. That same Bible tells us that God hates divorce. Malachi 2:15-16 (NIV): “Has not the Lord made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth. ‘I hate divorce,’ says the Lord God of Israel.”

Jesus confirmed this teaching when He said in Matthew 19:4-6 (NIV): “’Haven’t you read,’ he replied, ‘that at the beginning the Creator made them male and female, and said, For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.’”

How can you truly be “born-again” and call Jesus the Lord of your life, if you reject what Jesus teaches you?

Is the Divorce Rate Down in America?

According to the latest information (2005), the divorce rate is down in America. Actually, this is misleading because the marriage rate is also down and the number of unmarried couples living together is up. There were approximately 2,230,000 marriages in 2005 — down from 2,279,000 the previous year, despite a total population increase of 2.9 million over the same period.

Remember, when unmarried couples break up, they are not included in the divorce rate.

The Devastating Effects of Divorce

Another shocking statistic is that in America only 63% of children grow up with both biological parents. This is lowest figure in the western world.

It is no wonder that divorce is so rampant in America. Studies have shown that marriages of the children of divorce actually have a much higher rate of divorce than the marriages of children from intact families. You see, children learn about marital commitment by observing their parents.

I know that there are exceptions, but the norm is that if a persons parents divorce, they think that this is a normal thing to do. So, if their own marriage is having problems, their natural solution is to simply divorce and try again. Thus, the cycle goes on and on.

How To Stay Married

God tells us that the simplest way to live in a harmoniously marriage is to put the other person first in our lives. That is, put their happiness above our own happiness.

We can do this if we honestly put God first in our lives. If we really believe that we are just temporarily on this earth and that our eternal existence is with God in heaven, we can and will try to live here on the earth as God intended for us to live.

This means that we put God’s desires and our spouse’s desires ahead of our own desires. This means that we truly believe that if we allow God to come into our marriage and let Jesus lead us, we can work out any problems that may occur.

Disagreements are normal in a marriage. How they are handled will either strengthen or destroy a marriage. If we put our own feelings ahead of our spouse’s feelings, we can easily destroy our marriage. However, if we live according to God’s design for marriage and put our spouse’s feelings ahead of our own, we can easily strengthen our marriage.

Are You Already Divorced?

God is always open to repentance. If you are divorced and remarried, God will listen and accept a sincere repentance. However, remember that repentance includes making right whatever you did wrong, if you possibly can. In other words, if you deserted your first wife to marry another, remember that you promised God that you would provide for your first wife until either you or she died. She is still your responsibility until either she dies or marries another man.

Remember what God said in Exodus 21:10 (NIV) “If he marries another woman, he must not deprive the first one of her food, clothing and marital rights.” If you want God’s blessing, do not disobey this commandment.

God Has a Plan for You and Your Marriage

As long as you think that you know better than God what is best for you, you will never realize that wonderful plan that God has for you. However, if you seek God first, God will reveal his plan for you. Remember what Jesus said in Matthew 6:33 (NIV): “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

This includes His plan for you and your marriage. Have you given God a chance to make your life the most wonderful life possible?

S




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