This week, our church started a series on marriage. The idea of the series will help many in our church. The series encouraged me to find the research I’ve done on the subject. I’m sharing my conclusion on the research on marriage in a 5 part blog series. I pray you find the information beneficial.
Marriage is a commitment between one man and one woman for life; however, the sanctity of marriage is under attack. Today’s society has reduced marriage to being a union until one or the other person is ready to walk away. With the divorce rate giving a couple a 50/50 chance to last, many are wondering how to make a marriage last for a life time. Marriage takes more than love; a life-long marriage is a decision to keep the commitment to each other and to the God Who put two people together. A marriage can be destroyed before a couple are ever wed; diverse issues from a couple’s past can and will affect how each communicates and how each views the other will shape the foundation of a marriage. The series of posts will explain how to fortify a marriage to ensure a life-long and God honoring union by seeing how to lay the right foundation, seeing how past experiences play a part, and keeping God as the focal point. Sources include the book Love and Respect, the book Why You Do The Things You Do, the book Caring For People God’s Way, and others.
According Genesis 2:24-25 (For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.), God instituted marriage. God designed humanity for intimacy. God created humanity for the most intimate of intimacy; man and woman are to become one flesh (Clinton, 2006). In the beginning, marriage was a prefect picture of the relationship between God and man. Marriage is sacred; based on Genesis 2:24-25, the couple (both man and woman) are to leave their families. This means more than leaving in a moving away sense; it’s more of an emotional leaving in order for the couple to cleave to one another. Cleaving to each other, the couple creates a permanent union that cannot and should not be broken. Lastly, in marriage a couple is to weave or form a oneness. This is the idea God had for marriage and it was this way until sin entered into the world and sin warped the ideal of marriage. The warping of the ideal of marriage affects both secular and Christian marriages.
The warping of the ideal of marriage can be seen in the statistics on divorce. Current divorce statistics in America is estimated at 50%. This data is not accurately correct, however, it is reasonably close to the actual rate. The Americans for Divorce Reform estimates that “Probably, 40 or possibly even 50 percent of marriages will end in divorce if current trends continue”, which is actually a projection. Commonly said, 50% of all marriages in the America end in divorce (Divorce Statistics. n.d.). According to Dr. Clinton in his lecture “The Marriage You’ve Always Wanted,” he cites a number of statistics that may surprise most people. He states the regular data that 50% of marriages end in divorce, but goes further and states that the percentage of couples who separate and remain separated without actually officially divorcing is 66% to 67% (personal communication, August 21, 2012). With the different information that is available and resources available, the change of a marriage lasting a life-time is 50%; at best. To ensure a marriage can be long-lasting and God pleasing union, the marriage must be fortified.
Clinton, T., Hart, A., & Ohlschlager, G. (2005). Caring For People God’s Way. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc.
Clinton, T. & Ohlschlager, G. (2002). Competent Christian Counseling. New York, NY: WaterBrook Multnomah.
Powlison, D. & Yenchko, J. (2000). Pre-Engagement: 5 Questions to Ask Yourselves. Phillipsburg, NJ: P & R Publishing Company.
Tripp, P.D.. (1999). Marriage: Whose Dream. Phillipsburg, NJ: P & R Publishing Company.
Smalley, G. & Trent, J. (1989). Love Is A Decision. Nashville, TN: Word Publishing.
Smalley, G. (2000). Secrets to Lasting Love. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Clinton, T. & Sibcy, G. (2006). Why You Do The Things You Do: The Secret to Healthy Relationships. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.
Eggerichs, E. (2004). Love & Respect. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.
Divorce Statistics. (n.d.) Precept Austin. Retrieved from http://www.divorcestatistics.org/
T. Clinton, personal communication, August 21, 2012.