Divorce is a Dirty Word2
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God says, “I hate divorce” (Malachi 2:16). Jesus said the reason why people get divorced is because their hearts are hard (Matthew 19:8). God intended for married couples to stay together until death.
Unfortunately we have public policies today that encourage no-fault divorces. No-fault divorces allow two adults who have made a lifelong commitment to each other to walk away from the marriage for any cause, or even for no cause. More than 80% of no-fault divorces involve one spouse abandoning a relationship that the other wants to keep alive (DivorceRoom.com).
Divorce has a significant negative impact on the individual.
Divorce also has a significant negative impact on the children of the couple. Here are some telling statistics…
- Children from divorced homes experience lower scores in school, higher absenteeism, and a dropout rate of 31%, compared to only 13% for children from intact homes ("The Evolution of Divorce").
- Children who have experienced a divorce are 50% more likely to develop health problems (Institute for American Values).
- The adult children of divorce are 89% more likely to divorce than those raised in intact families ("The Evolution of Divorce").
- The annual average income of a traditional family is $101,000 but a single-mother family is $35,000 (2012 US Census Bureau).
If you are from a divorced home, I’m not saying you will never be able to recover. I know of many people who are very successful and have happy marriages who have come from divorced homes. What I am saying is that overall, divorce has harmful and negative consequences.
Marriage is tough, and there will be times when your spouse isn’t meeting your needs. There will be times when you may feel like your spouse is a stranger.
When you face these times, don’t give up! Identify the barriers in your marriage and talk about them. Seek help from an older couple you respect, a Pastor, or Christian counselor. There’s no shame in this because we all go through hard times in our marriages.
When you hit a wall in your marriage, it’s easy to be quick to pull the trigger. But, let’s say you get divorced. You will then meet someone else only to realize they too have deep, hidden flaws. Why not try all you can to work out your issues with the person you are already married to? Longitudinal studies reveal that 2/3rds of unhappy marriages will become happy within 5 years if people stay married and do not get divorced (The Meaning of Marriage).
Some of you reading this have gone through a divorce. Some were divorced for Biblical reasons (Matthew 19:9; I Corinthians 7:15) and others not. Whether you’re divorced or not, the reality is that we all are broken in some way due to some sin or action we’ve done. The beautiful picture of Christianity is that God offers forgiveness. God forgives our sins and removes them as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12).
Although there will be consequences for our actions, God still promises to help us through whatever struggle we face. God gives us strength for today and a bright hope for tomorrow.
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Seth Hammond Apr 19, 2015 @ 2:51 pm
Paul, thanks for sharing such great wisdom! You're right about how our feelings can change but our commitment does not. Well said, my friend.
Paul Fitzgerald Apr 15, 2015 @ 12:40 pm
My parents were married over 62 years before my Dad died. Sue's parents were married a long long time as well, before her Dad died. Sue and I are coming up on our 40th next January. I think the main lesson I have learned from all this is that love - marital love - is far more of a decision and commitment than a feeling - though our feelings run deeper and deeper for each other with each passing year. Feelings can wax and wane with time, but our commitment to the marriage and each other does not.