by the book blog

So are Christian couples really divorcing at the same rate (or higher) than non-Christian couples? Well, that depends. It’s true that in areas of the country where a majority of the population is conservative Christian (say the South, for example), the rate of divorce is higher. But no one is accounting for the percentage of this group that is practicing Christians.

And that is usually the story with statistics. Like some sushi rolls I eat at my favorite Asian restaurant in town, many things are mixed together. Consider this: It is also true that people who are not affiliated with any religion are most likely to divorce, but it is not politically correct to remind people of that.

I find it most interesting that one study actually found that couples who are active in their faith are much less likely to divorce. Catholic couples were 31% less likely to divorce; Protestant couples 35% less likely; and Jewish couples 97% less likely. Hmm. Some Jewish guys might be updating their profiles on those dating sites right now (yes, I have Jewish readers, believe it or not).

There are many other statistics related to marriage and divorce in the U.S that are not totally accurate, including that one that says that 50% of marriages in this country end in divorce. But I don’t have time to elaborate more. If you are interested, please read Ed Stetzer’s article here.

Marriages end up in divorce for a variety of reasons but I believe when you peel the onion you see one thing and one thing only carved on the core and that is selfishness. Couples who are quick to divorce normally put their needs ahead of the needs of others. Though they think about future adverse affects on their children, they don’t think they are bad enough to keep them from divorcing when compared to their own suffering in the present. They may consider income loss and a protracted court battle, but in the end conclude that anything is better than the misery they are facing in the present. People who divorce are normally thinking of a better future – for themselves.

Now, who am I to judge people’s motives and circumstances? Not everyone who divorces does so for selfish reasons. I personally know people who worked hard to maintain the relationship, only to be rebuffed by their partner at every turn. Marriages sometimes look like a tightrope act and before the one carrying you drops you, the only recourse may be to gently back away while your feet are still touching the rope.

But sometimes you stand still together on the rope, orchestrating an incredibly difficult and dangerous dance, at times losing your footing, at times moving ahead, only to slip suddenly with no warning. But you slide along the rope together, literally inching your way to the destination. And when you arrive there, you are standing closer together, feeling elated from the experience, and belting out across the precipice, “Can we do it again?” Or maybe not…

This week we get to hear from a couple who has done this dance called marriage for 43 years. Pastor Dan and Judi White, from York, PA, will share with our people the joys and perils of a lifetime together and what happens when you decided to put God at the center of your relationship. You will not want to miss it. If nothing else, it may help you become a better dancer.

Pastor Ivanildo C. Trindade