Posts Tagged ‘marraige’

I was walking this morning in our neighborhood and noticed an unfamiliar car just stopped in the middle of the street. Suddenly it started backing up—quite a distance—until it reached the next intersection.  As it turned down the street it backed up to, I wondered what was going on with that driver to make such a risky maneuver—until I turned the corner and saw that one of the main exit streets from our neighborhood was closed due to construction.  STREET CLOSED!

What would happen if the road to divorce was just CLOSED? I mean NO OPTION! IMPOSSIBLE!  CLOSED! What would happen in our churches if we preached that God hates divorce?  What if our view of marriage were so sacred that we believed and practiced “what God has joined together, let no one separate” (Matthew 19:3-12)? I feel the need to stop in the middle of the street and just back up. What if Divorce St. was absolutely closed?

Just this summer two couples from church in our circle of acquaintances have broken up, one after thirty years and the other after about fifteen.  Both have been faithful in attendance, active in church programs, teachers, in small groups, generous contributors—I mean, what more could you expect?

In one case the spouse just announces the end of the marriage—to the total shock and surprise of the other!  In the other case the two are still talking at least.  These are Christians, these are people who have been spiritual leaders. And, sadly, these people are not different from a large number of people in all of our churches.  Something is seriously wrong!

In 2008, Barna Group published results of their latest surveys on Marriage and Divorce and came to the following conclusions:

  • “There no longer seems to be much of a stigma attached to divorce; it is now seen as an unavoidable rite of passage,” the researcher indicated. “Interviews with young adults suggest that they want their initial marriage to last, but are not particularly optimistic about that possibility. There is also evidence that many young people are moving toward embracing the idea of serial marriage, in which a person gets married two or three times, seeking a different partner for each phase of their adult life.”
  •  “Government statistics and a wealth of other research data have shown that co-habitation increases the likelihood of divorce, yet cohabiting is growing in popularity. Studies showing the importance and value of preparing for marriage seem to fall on deaf ears. America has become an experimental, experience-driven culture. Rather than learn from objective information and teaching based on that information, people prefer to follow their instincts and let the chips fall where they may. Given that tendency, we can expect America to retain the highest divorce rate among all developed nations of the world.”  http://www.barna.org/barna-update/article/15-familykids/42-new-marriage-and-divorce-statistics-released

One out of three marriages ends in divorce.  This Barna survey found that there was no statistical difference between “born again/Evangelical” Christians and the general population. One-third of the people at church have been through a divorce—or will! One out of three of your teenagers at church, one out of three of your children or grandchildren!  I hate to even write those words!

Here are some of the questions I think we have to address.  I’ll ask them today and then try to respond to them in future posts.

  1. Is marriage something we do or is it something God does?
  2. Have we obscured or skewed the purpose of marriage? Does anyone really know what the purpose of marriage is?
  3. What are the values necessary for marriage?
  4. How can these values be transmitted to our children?
  5. What would it take to get to a 0% divorce rate among Christians?

I hope you will jump in the deep end  and think with me about these very serious questions.  And may our praying and thinking lead to something that renews our commitment to marriage.

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