Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Marriage and divorce

While listening to a radio program this afternoon, I heard a passing comment that the difference in the divorce rate of Christians and non-Christians is negligible (so small as to be meaningless).

I have heard that "statistic" several times. I have no reason to suppose it is incorrect, though I have seen no hard evidence one way or the other. I believe those who mention this are usually speaking of the Western world or possibly just mainly the United States.

I have given this a little thought. Assuming this is correct, why is the divorce rate for Christians almost the same as for non-Christians?

A few possibilities why this may be so:
Many Christians are Christians in name only
Western Christians are likely to be involved in their culture rather than separated from it
Some Christians are married to non-Christians
Christians are sinners, too

Nevertheless, most people would probably think that Christians SHOULD do better in marriage statistics than non-Christians. Here are three reasons why: the indwelling Holy Spirit to guide them, the ministry of the Word to train them, and the ministry of the body of Christ to edify & assist them.

Should Christians, on average, have a better record of staying married than non-Christians? Why or why not? If they should, why don't they?


amity said...

Yes, Christians should have a better record of staying married than non-Christians. The Bible strongly discourages divorce and gives precepts for marriage that, if adhered to, will result in a successful marriage. Most Christians are not familiar with the Bible, or don't take it "literally."

Reason #1: Many Christians are Christians in name only.

Sorry to be so blunt, but that is truly what I believe.

Anonymous said...

A recent study was done in Canada, and divorce is on the decline. Couples are waiting longer to actually get married, refraining from premarital sex (based on the disease factor, and not religion).

This lack of commitment thing is true in so many areas beyond marriage, but is reflected in marriage when the crunch arrives.

The chief cause of divorce, it was found, involved financial debt load. Soon people began to argue over little things. This fact was known years ago, and I included financial counselling as part of my premarital counselling. It included the prudent use of credit cards and borrowing monies, living within one's means. Some couples, amazingly, were thousands of dollars in debt before they got married,,,,What a way to start!

I agree that actual biblical knowledge is lacking. They can quote key scriptures, but don't ask them what they actually mean. Is this a reflexion on what we are not doing as pastors? I like to preach expository sermons, but I do not ignore topical sermons, where I can talk about the social issues of life in a biblical context.



amity said...

Jim, financial difficulties seem like reason #2: Western Christians are likely to be involved in their culture rather than separated from it.

The Bible says do not covet. But modern consumer culture is geared toward separating us from as much of what God provides for our sustenance as possible.

clinch64 said...

It seems that our culture is going towards a land of make-believe more and more, instead of reality. I feel the media is to blame more than any.


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Anonymous said...

Is that some kind of code? I don't understand a word of it.



Anonymous said...

"IF" a "Christian" simply reads the BIBLE it is amply clear, even for the non-Christian, to understand that the Christian is NOT to engage in marriage-divorce-remarriage. See Mark 10:11-12 "Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery".

R. L. Vaughn said...

Yes, Hoyt. That seems pretty straight-forward to me.

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