Such a powerful statement! Such a huge verbal commitment, that gets repeated over and over again, by couples on their wedding day! BUT……. 50% of these couples will be separated long before death separates them!
Spiraling divorce rates, broken homes and broken people everywhere. Kids scarred for life, and adults carrying emotional baggage from one relationship to the next! There’s no difference inside the church or outside.
Are we the church doing enough to reverse these horrific trends?
Almost all churches insist on pre-marital counseling, but that’s where many stop. Once married, the couples are “on their own!” I know some counselors do demand that the couple return 6 months after their wedding day, and some churches do run marriage enrichment courses, BUT IS IT ENOUGH, given the need of our communities? Are we not just living with the scenario versus addressing it?
The question is “what more can be done?”
How do we teach young people about commitment; about relationships, love and communication? How do we not only teach it but more importantly how do we model it?
Imagine if your church was the church in your city with the lowest divorce rate! In Acts2 , we are told that people were drawn to the church because they witnessed the congregation’s love for one another. Not just for other people in the church, but also husband to wife, wife to husband and parents to kids!
Experts tell us that there are many different causes of divorce, but here are the most common ones:
1. MONEY: Usually this is named as the number one reason! Couples fighting over who spent what; over running up accounts versus saving; your money and my money; not enough money! This should be an “easy” fix for the church. There are many sitting in our churches who could give this type of counseling.
2. COMMUNICATION: The lack of, is the root of all problems! How is he wired? How is she wired? The inability to handle conflict! There are many tools out there to start a process of learning to understand and communicate better.
3. WRONG EXPECTATIONS: Don’t see your partner as a perfect person, BEFORE you get married! This should be addressed obviously during the premarital counseling, but should definitely be re-addressed at regular intervals going forwards.
4. COMMITTMENT: The lack of!!! It’s too easy to hit the edit button or the delete button and start again! The world’s role Models have made it ok, to just walk away when the going gets tough. We’ve got to model and teach God’s way!
5. ADDICTIONS: Addictions become a life pattern! A few drinks after work…! This is one area that many churches do. Offer support ministries – but AFTER THE FACT!
6. SEX: Another huge area of high expectation and stress! The world tells us that it should be WOW all the time! What can the Bible teach us? What can the folks in the church that have been married for +20 years teach young marrieds?
7. MID-LIFE CRISIS: For both men and women, the realization that their wonderful dreams are not going to be for filled! Men will change a job, location or lifestyle because they need a new challenge. They are looking for a new lust for life! Abrupt changes have a huge impact on spouses. This all comes as no surprise! We all age at the same rate, so it should be very predictable and therefore fixable!
8. LITTLE THINGS: Those little irritating small things that build up and become huge if not addressed – snoring, toothpaste caps, toilet seat, different career goals.
9. SOCIETY: There’s no stigma any more! Legally the laws are too lenient! It’s too easy to divorce! Dual careers adds pressure. The wife feels she’s carrying all the burden of the home plus having to work! Couples needto know how they are going to function before they get married!
So, that’s the list! This is what the evil one is using to destroy homes and families! With the brain power that God has given you in your church, every one of the major causes of divorce can be countered ! All we have to be is FOCUSSED and INTENTIONAL!
In the 9th and 10th century the divorce rate was at its lowest in history! Why?
Because THE CHURCH WAS AT ITS STRONGEST! It’s time to start taking back ground!
What’s your strategy going to be?