*Originally written June 2006*
The other day, a friend and I were talking about divorce rates these days. Exasperated, she said, "I'm just to the point where I am sick and tired of people giving up so easily!"
Quite frankly, I am, too.
One couple we know, love, and respect mentioned that they entered marriage with the thought: "This is it. It's a done deal. No matter what, we have to make this work, because divorce is NOT an option!" (they have been married for over 20 years, and are one of the happiest, most loving couples I have ever known.)
My Airman and I completely agreed with that position, and we made the decision that the "D-word" would not be a part of our vocabulary, either. (You'll be happy to know that it hasn't come up in over 5 years of marriage -- thank the Lord for that! -- and we intend for it to remain so for the rest of our lives! I have to wonder if that thought alone would save a whole lot of marriages today.)
It is really just sad that a couple would give up something so sacred -- something that should be permanent -- because "it's too hard," "it isn't what we expected," or whatever other reason they want to cite. My heart hurts for friends, acquaintances, and even strangers who have gotten divorced; and I have cried many tears over them all.
I once saw an episode of Dr*Phil. (I know; I totally shouldn't even be watching him... but I digress) He was talking with couples that were "pressured to the altar" or "rushed" or whatever you want to call it. Surprisingly enough, I didn't disagree with a lot of what he was saying. Even so, it was still irritating to watch couples so close to just throwing away the past 10 years of their lives. (Just to clarify, even if they had been married less than a year, it would have bothered me.)
Throughout the show, he mentioned a few statistics, and one of them really stuck out to me: couples who get married before the age of 20, about 43 percent of those marriages fail.
I don't doubt the numbers, but they are still shocking to me.
My best friend and I were talking about an article she had read somewhere about things that will (supposedly) help make your marriage run more smoothly. For example, if you make $50,000 annually and waited until after you were 25 to get married your marriage will last. There were others, but I can't even remember them right now. Regardless, we both think those principles are completely false -- as she put it, "Yeah, maybe if I were worldly they would work!"
I know of people who waited a long time to get married, were older and "more mature," and are now divorced. I also know of couples making quite a bit of money who are now divorced.
Did those rules help them?
Do you want to know why?
Because they didn't follow Biblical principles.
I don't care who you are -- saved or not, young or old -- if you apply what the Bible says to your marriage, it WILL be successful! Praise the Lord that His Word is timeless, and can apply to every couple and every generation!
When I was taking Faith Bible Institute (FBI) classes, our instructor quoted some other statistics on marriage:
1 in every 2 marriages (50 percent) end in divorce.
Now, of the couples who are Christians regularly attending church services together, the numbers decrease to 1 in every 100 (1 percent).
AND, for those couples that also pray and read their Bibles together, the rates go even lower -- 1 in every 1,000 (.1 percent)!
The numbers continue to drop as more and more Bible principles are applied/included in the statistics.
Personally, I like these statistics much better!
When My Airman and I were engaged, one of the first things people would say to us was that we were "too young" to get married. Or, we "had plenty of time, so why rush things?" Or, we needed to "get out and experience the world before tying ourselves down."
Oooh, I hated hearing those discouraging words! We were 19 and 20 when we married, and I have to say, many couples were married much younger several decades ago, and you know what? The vast majority of their marriages lasted.
Why? Because they had dedication, showed commitment, and exercised responsibility. They understood the gravity of the words 'til death do us part. I realize we were (and still are) fairly young, but I honestly don't think age is the key to a lasting marriage.
I guess my point is this: if you want a happy, healthy marriage relationship, you don't need to spend lots of money on Dr*Phil's books. You don't need to waste time visiting some liberal psychologist to help you. You need Jesus! (Seriously, He has the best marriage relationship book on the market -- it's way better than Dr*Phil's! ;o) LOL)
As a couple grows and matures in their relationship with the Lord, their love will grow and mature into a deeper, stronger love for each other as the years go by. I already love my husband more than I did the day I married him, and I can only imagine how much different and how much stronger that love will be a decade from now. :o)