Christians and divorce

Polly - posted on 06/27/2010 ( 109 moms have responded )

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I'm not trying to start an argument here. I was on another forum and the topic of divorce came up. There were so many differences of opinion/belief about it among the Christians that answered. It kind of surprised and saddened me that Christians looked so fractured on the issue. I looked up the statistics for divorce and sadly, Christian marriages cannot claim any better than the rest of the population. We have just as many divorces as the rest of the world.

Why do you think this is? Aren't we supposed to be distinct from the world? What do you think the reason is that our marriages end just as commonly?

Like I said, not trying to start an argument. I'm not judging anyone who has had a divorce. I'm not even asking what your beliefs about acceptable reasons for divorce are, so we don't need to go there. Just wondering why, as Christians, our marriages don't last longer.

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Kellie - posted on 06/28/2010

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Very interesting question you ask and lots of scenarios to consider, but what first comes to mind is that we are all "sin-stained." We have been saved by the Blood of Jesus and our names are written in the Lambs Book of Life, but we are still very much human. For me being a Christian is more about developing a relationship with God than it is religion. Unfortunately too many Christians don't take this part of their life seriously. It's like Joyce Meyer says--"I can sit in my garage for an hour but that doesn't make me a car."

Basically what she means is that church does not make us Christians. Too many Christians are just going to church or wearing the cross or plastering their cars with bumper stickers and not living a life in obedience to Christ. They are hearers of the Word but not doers. Jesus made it clear that if we love Him we will obey Him.

The doctrines of grace and mercy have also confused many Christians. The teaching that grace is getting what we don't deserve and mercy is not getting what we do deserve. Because the teaching says you cannot earn grace and mercy is freely given some Christians take this to a level that was never intended. The enemy has convinced some that no matter what they do God will love them because grace and mercy cannot be earned. It's a twisted version of the truth. Although it is true that God will love them, that doesn't mean they will spend eternity with Him. Our love for God is what compels us to obey His commands, principles, statutes and ordinances. A humble heart cherishes the gifts of grace and mercy, not takes advantage of them.

I think another reason is that many Christians are unequally yoked. Some even come from different faiths and then they try to join together and get stuck in the doctrine rather than the love. They start debating over who's church does what, believes what, allows what, etc. Instead of coming together in their love for Christ which is all that really matters. A marriage is successful when the partners have agreed upon foundational issues and submitted their union to God. Getting married in church is yet another way of making ourselves feel better about what we are doing and deceiving us into believing that God is actually apart of it when the truth is God is only a part of the marriage when both partners surrender their will and invite Him in to be judge between them.

And lastly, pride in the Body of Christ ruins relationships. Believing that we don't need to tend to our marriages because we tithe, fast, pray, and raise our children in the admonition of the Lord. When we ignore the issues in our marriage they become bigger. Provers 17:14 says "The beginning of strife is as when water first trickles [from a crack in a dam]; therefore stop contention before it becomes worse and quarreling breaks out." We should always go to prayer when we have an issue, but we must address the issue as well. God has His part and we have ours, but far too often Christians expect God to do their part and He won't. Issues in a marriage need to be discussed and worked out. If they are ignored, they will grow to the point where they destroy the marriage.

No marriage is without issues, even Christian marriages. The Christian family has always been under attack and our time is no different. It is unfortunate that just as many believers as non believers are getting divorced, but the truth is it's nothing new. Your compassion for the Christian marriage is heartwarming and I stand with you. My husband and I fight for our marriage daily. We encourage one another, we support one another, we edify one another, and we honor one another. We don't always agree but we are always respectful and nurturing. We did not have good role models growing up. My parents divorced when I was 12 and his when he was an infant so we have no foundation to build on. We rely soley on God to help us manage our marriage and provide our daughter with a stable home life. All the glory goes to God and we appreciate His wisdom and love for us.

"Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapting to its external, superficial, customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and new attitude] so that you may prove [for yourself] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you.] Romans 12:2

God bless you!

Cyndel - posted on 07/10/2010

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From what I've seen Christians aren't as careful as they should be who they marry. Just because a guy says the name of Jesus and can quote John 3:16 doesn't mean he is a Christian...I have met quite a few guys who are "doing the Christian thing" just to get an innocent and nieve girl.
but let's give him the benifit of the doubt, lets say he is a bible quoting, bible toting, Jesus loving Christian, this still doesn't mean that he is a good match for you. You may want to go on the mission field teaching orphans in India, and he may want to be a newspaper editor in Seatle, Wa. That is not a good match.
Or you may be the stay at home, playing boardgames with the kids, tutoring on the side, diner at 7:00 every night, while he is a fun loving, hiking, outdoorsy, hospitable bring four buddies and pizza from work home for dinner with a fifteen minute warning. You realy have to make sure that you are compatible, and willing to give a little. You have to make sure that your goals in life are the same. Or you both will be miserable.
Do you want kids, can you have kids, how many and when? What is the long term goal, stay in one place and work your way up in a single business, or move every four to five years in the military, etc. So many Christians don't take these things into consideration and snap up the first 'chirstiain who proposes or gives you the time of day' Had I done that I would be miserable right now...of this I am certain. Hope this helps.

Darcel - posted on 07/09/2010

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Polly,

I didn't intent to offend anyone in my post about American women and divorce. I was a social-science humanities major in college so I understand how divorce is a complex social-cultural topic not only a religous one. You cannot subtract culture and nationality from the topic of divorce.

For example: Uganda and Kenya have a large population of Christian believers. However they are also two of the eleven African countries with the highest HIV/AIDS rates. It is common for a cheating husband to bring HIV home to his wife. Both countries also have low divorce rates. Why is this?

You cannot give heavenly glory to the fact that Uganda has a low divorce rate and strong Christian believers. What you have is a culture of woman who cannot survive the social ramifications of divorce.


My point is that in American culture divorce is not a stigma for a woman and thus it is common for American women to do so including those with Christian beliefs. We should be Christians first and American's second/third/forth whatever, but unfortunetly American culture effects our thinking and perceptions of what is acceptable.

America's views of divorce may not be the same as other countries. Different country's have different cultures and roles for women, and this directly reflects divorce rates within the global Christian community. This must be taken into consideration when discussing divorce. Divorce is a complex social-cultural topic not only a religous one.

I would like to know the social and legal ramifications of a young mother divorcing in Italy (for example) vs. USA. Have Italy's laws changed since 1910 to honor a mothers role.

For example in 1900 if a couple divorced American laws where written that all children where automatically "property" of the father. Thus if a wife wanted to leave, if she took her children the father could have her arrested for kidnapping because she had no legal recourse to gain custody of them. As a result a love of Gods law would not keep a mother in an unhappy marriage, but a love for her children and wanting to be with them.

This law no longer applies in 2010 in America. But do other countries still have these laws; in Central America for example with a machismo culture and strong Catholic values?

Something to think about. This is a good topic. How much has American culture distortied God laws of marriage where it is common for man to think good is evil and evil is good?

Jill - posted on 07/14/2010

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i believe that Satan has a hand in the divorce rates of Christian couples.... He hates us so why wouldn't he want to ruin our marriages... did anyone ever notice the atmosphere in your house on Sundays... in my house Satan always tries to ruin our day ... making it more stressful so maybe we do not go to church...that way we won't be worshiping the Lord....the kids misbehave more on Sundays...right before church...it is a battle for my husband and i to keep it together ...

Merry - posted on 06/28/2010

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maybe too many christians abuse Gods forgiveness, like " i can divorce him/her now and ask for forgiveness tomorrow"

This conversation has been closed to further comments

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Wanda - posted on 03/20/2011

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In my opinion I feel that the reason why our marriages end in divorce at just as higher rate as the world is because we've stopped putting God first in our marriages. If we start putting God first in our marriages, then our marriages will be able to withstand any and everything that may come our way.

Jodi - posted on 02/15/2011

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I think its because we are all human. We are all part of the same group, no matter what we label ourselves as and no matter how our true nature manifests itself. We all have the same very basic needs such as the desire to belong to something bigger than oursleves, the need for security in terms of what happens to our loved ones who have passed. Every religion seeks to meet these needs in some form or another, and many religions preach the same basic concepts: have faith (in something), help your neighbor, take care of the weak, etc. These are all just ideals that we will always strive to meet but never succeed. Marriage is a committment to another as well as to oneself. Your are committing to never change, or to never change in another direction than your partner. As humans we can rarely make such a committment and keep it. Nobody knows what occurences will change the course of their lives. I agree that marriage SHOULD be sacred. However, if one goes into a marriage honestly and makes these vows with sincerity, how can they then be blamed for changing honestly later? At that point, the person either lives a lie for the sake of the vows that have ultimately already been broken, or they come to terms with the fact that people change and there is still happiness to be found. So, to answer your question, in my opinion Christians are no better or different than anyone else. Christianity just happens to be their form of expression. It goes to follow that their divorce rates would be no different than any other groups either.

Alisha - posted on 07/23/2010

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Marriage is hard, and if both people are not walking with the Lord I have no idea how they make it. Satan is crafty and the father of all lies and deception. He can take one thing a husband or wife is unhappy with (ex: the husband not doing chores around the house or the wife not being at home enough) and turn it into a divorce. Christians are supposed to show the world what Christ's love looks like and that is a nearly impossible feat because we are all sinners! There is no perfect marriage obviously but couples need to be praying together and seeking help from the Lord at all times. No one is above temptation and selfishness, not even the godliest of couples so we all need to be praying that we are not deceived and keep reading God's word (the Bible) every day even if it's just a verse. I don't know what the answer is with marriages but even the best can wither and be torn apart. I know of a couple who ran a Good News Club (which teaches the gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to children) at a public school. They were so dedicated to those children, but sadly they got divorced and now there is no Good News Club at that school. Satan is everywhere and will do anything to destroy. I will add that to my prayer list!

Polly - posted on 07/14/2010

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Jill... my husband and I got into the worst fight of our marriage (up until that point, anyway) on the day that I ended up getting saved, which also happened to be a Sunday. Coincidence? Hmmm...I definitely think you are on to something. I am not a person that likes to give satan more credit than he is due. I don't blame him for being forgetful or having a bad day, etc. But I do think he attacks when we are trying to do things that glorify God, and marriage sure is one of them.



I think you are very wise to recognize the spiritual battle taking place over Christian marriages every single day. Thanks for the reminder. :)

Marisa - posted on 07/13/2010

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Heather, it's fine, I did not think anything bad, I respect everyone's belief..
I am very familiar with the book of Joshua and the story of the peace treaty; But we as Christians have to remember that anyone of us can go back and fourth quoting scripture that supports either Divorce (the right to it) and/or Staying Married; We have to focus on OUR own walk with God, press in, keep praying, FAST and Pray, whatever it takes to get HIS guidance. Be still and listen. We all have different paths.
But I do have to admit, I do get a little annoyed by some Christian's who act like they are "Holy than thou" and judge other Christian's, NOT talking about "YOU", just saying because I know that there are Christians right now, who read these post and are ready to start pointing fingers and acting like they have never sinned and/or are sinless.

God speaks to me, in dreams and when I pray, he has shown me things, (I know this sounds crazy, but it's true). If you have a true relationship with Christ, then you can't go wrong, he will show you the right path and what to do, and he will forgive you if you stumble while on that path.

Heather - posted on 07/13/2010

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I was talking to my husband about this last night, and he thinks it is because it has been engraved into our minds that divorce is better for our children than fighting. That it is better to give up and save everyone the heartache than to even try at all.

Bridgette - posted on 07/12/2010

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I think we have a higher rate than others due to the fact that we seem not to put god first. We always put our own needs first. Which is our happiness & etc. When we need to get our lives right as Christians and do what is right by god. I see many people out there getting married & not taking everything else into consideration. Maybe that's why?

Heather - posted on 07/12/2010

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I am sorry, I just realized how harsh my previous post could have sounded. I didn't mean to be rude. Please forgive me for being so thoughtless. That was actually covered in our Bible study and I wanted to share, I could have done so in a much kinder and thoughtful way. :( I wasn't meaning to judge you or anything like that.

Marisa - posted on 07/12/2010

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No I agree 100% in honoring our vows, that's why I am still married, not happily married, but married. I've been in a lot of prayer, and I told God I will not leave unless he moves me, even though I know my husband will not change and may continue to cheat and lie...
But I am not going to judge anyone who decides to get a divorce, that is between them and God.
Does God forgive them, yes of course he does... Would he forgive me if I did divorce, yes, I know he would. But I'm sure I would have to suffer some kind of consequence as a result of my broken vow.. And as I said before I am a God fearing women, and I will stay as long as he wants me to.

Heather - posted on 07/12/2010

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Marisa, have you read in the book of Joshua about the Gibeonites? They deceived the Israelites into making a peace treaty with them saying they were from a land far away, when they were in fact their neighbors who God had instructed Israel to wipe from the face of the earth. When the Israelites learned who they were they didn't break their peace treaty to do what God had originally wanted, but they honored it. So regardless of what God might have had for you, I would say that if you made a vow, you should honor it. But you are right, a lot of us are married to people that we might not be married to if we had been the Christians we are now when we got married. But that is no reason to get divorced. We need to honor our vows.

Joshua 9

Marisa - posted on 07/12/2010

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I can't speak for anyone else only for myself, but I am married, and I am a Christian women of God.. I fear God, and I struggle with the decision of divorce and I don't take it lightly.

I met my current husband when I was 15 years old, we started our family early and at the time I was a lost soul.. I was young and stupid, and I thought I knew everything. I rushed into marriage and having kids because I felt so empty and I knew I was searching for something but I didn't realize at the time that what I was searching for was God.
Now after being together almost 18 years and having 6 children, I have come to realize that he was NOT the man that God intended for me. "I" made the decision to be with him and "I" wanted my husband, but I don't think that he was my "ADAM"...
My husband is not Christian and hates going to church, lies to me all the time, I am almost 100% positive he has cheated on me (I have found a ton of proof, but he continues to deny it). The only good thing we have in common is our kids.

I think a lot of Christians are like me, they married their partners before they became Christian and once they found God, they realized they were unequally yoked. And although they may try and try to stay in the marriage, maybe for whatever reason they feel like God has something else for them..

Jennifer - posted on 07/11/2010

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Well i can respond honestly, when i got married to my husband Matthew i was a Roman Catholic n we got married in a Catholic Church, however i knew Matthew was a nondenominational Christian, Catholics are Christians too but through a good friend back in 2003 and after much heartache i truly accepted Christ into my heart. My husband is a recovering drug addicted and i have let him back into my heart and my life but i finally got over it just a few months back. He is still sober and i hope he stays that way, but u are right... Christian Marriages if not right or not meant to be can end in divorce just like any other..... i wish my heart didn't change but it did... now i am in love with another man, a good strong Christian man too but it's complicated and i am not sure where that will go either. I am just praying on it...

Karen - posted on 07/11/2010

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I think a very hard thing is when you are a christian, but your spouse is not. Sometimes when you're young you make impulsive decisions and marry someone whom on second look you can see was not a good choice. Then I wonder, did God put me here on purpose to make some kind of difference in my husband, or even to use my non christian husband to mold me in to a stronger christian? My life has been very difficult to say the least dealing with a non christian husband. Very difficult. But I know that God is with me and he put me here for a reason, even in my mistakes. I was married and divorced before that when I was even younger, and I felt very wrong about that. I dont want to make another mistake again. I made the first mistake now I guess I wait for God to make it right rather than try the next one. What tortures me is that I have kids in this situation where my marriage is just plain not good for any of us so far, and it has been 20 years. But what else to do? Go to the next one? I think I have to find healing inside of me before blaming my spouse, so I figure I'll do that where I am. The hard things are there for us to gain strength and courage, and theoretically if we go through them together it seems to me it would bond us closer? So far all I have been is anxious and confused but definately not sure divorce is the answer either.

Patricia - posted on 07/10/2010

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I think couples just find it so easy to give up then to fight for something that was to be forever. I think sometimes people think marrage is all rosey when in fact it is one of the hardest thing to do some times. Then you put in the facture of satan if you beleive in the bible. He wants so bad to break up the family unit. He knows that the family is very sacred to God and to break it up would be a victory. So if your married please stay close to God, pray together and TALK and remember that the bad times can be short and few between if you stay three cord in your marrage, You, your mate, and GOD. Agape patty

Cassandra - posted on 07/10/2010

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Unfortunately, I think that in many instances, rather than trust (rely) and obey God's Word, we are moved by what it around us.

Polly - posted on 07/10/2010

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Darcel - Thank you for adding that post. It helped clear up your first one. :) It didn't offend me, I just know that there are women from many different countries that are involved in here. I wasn't sure why America was being pinpointed specifically.

Your post was fascinating and I whole-heartedly agree that the culture we are in greatly influences everything including our marriages. I think that is one of the biggest problems. As Christians we should strive to be "in the world but not of it". But of course that is impossible without God. We are bombarded daily with the culture's view of what is acceptable, what our lifestyle should be, what we "deserve", etc. God's ways are drastically different. So often we try to fit God into our culture, but He doesn't work that way.

I think you make a good point about the divorce rate not being an accurate representation of healthy marriage. Just because a couple stays married does not mean they are in a relationship that is pleasing to God. Our goal should not be simply to stay married. Our goal should be to have our hearts right with God and have His love and grace shine through us to our spouses so He can bless our marriages and families. That doesn't mean being happy all the time, but it does mean having God's joy in us no matter what the circumstances.

That sounds lofty, doesn't it? Thats ok. My grandmother always said "Better to aim for a star and miss, than aim for a pile of manure and hit it." lol God has great things in store for those that aim for His plan, even if we miss the mark sometimes.

Its 3:30am and I am rambling. Hope I'm making sense. Anyway, thanks again for your post! :)

Loretta - posted on 07/09/2010

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Excellent!!!!!....I will only add that many young couples think you fall in love and live happily ever after. The very fact that we are human and therefore not perfect should tell us different. So many think that a marriage is a 50/50 proposition....again this is false. A marriage should be 100/100 with each partner giving 100% of themselves to the nuturing of the relationship. Our Joy is from the Lord but our happiness is a choice and it comes from within. We can choose to be happy in whatever circumstance we are in or we can choose not to. I know that sounds like an over simplification but it is the nuts and bolts of the matter. God never promised us a life without pain, sorrow and hard times but He did promise to see us through all of these if we choose to have faith in Him. I find it hard to believe that any relationship can last apart from God.

It is so sad that so many marriages end up in divorce and yes even among Christians because it is the children, if there are any, that suffer the most. So many young people today think, oh I love him/her so, lets get married and if it doesn't work out then I will get a divorce. That is hard enough for the couple to understand but almost impossible for a child.

I, too am not judging anyone because that is not my place. I have been married to my one and only husband for 44 years, but it hasn't always been easy. The difference for us is that we both have faith in God and take him at His word and with prayer, and choosing to love we managed to hold it together and are happier now than when we married. We were both blessed to be raised in Christian Homes and in the church, and I believe it is that stability that allowed us, with God's help to get through the hard times. I was raised on a farm and one of 7 children, but even when times were hard we always knew we were loved and had a stable home life. So many children today do not have that and that makes it even harder for them unless they know the Lord and allow Him to help them through.

I have friends and family who have gone through divorce so I know the toll it can take on a family especially when children are involved.

I Loved your entire response Kellie Titchnell.

God Bless You All.

Tammy - posted on 07/09/2010

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One comment was that we were not taught how to chose a mate, etc. I can relate to that, so without going on a tangent, I encourage all of us to pray for, teach all we understand the Bible says about marriageto our children and to talk to them at an early age about all issues concerning Godliness!

Tammy - posted on 07/09/2010

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I haven't read all the posts, so if I repeat or step on toes, that is not my intention. We all need to pray for one another and our relationships, with God and others. What ever advice you take, please pray, and sift all the advice through the Bible. God tells us about divorce. Loving, forgiving and that we are all responsible for our actions and the consiquences, and that Jesus died for our sin if we confess it. We might want to look at what is a true Christian. God calls us to continue in faith, and faithful behavior. As for reasons for christian couples and divorce. it is our sin nature that gets in the way of us being different than the world. If 2 people do what God intends, love, honor, obey, respect, there is no divorce.

Quatia - posted on 07/09/2010

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I think a lot of people get married as Christians but have worldly beliefs for their marriage. There is this big assumption that marriage equals happiness, but that is not true. Marriage is a ministry and therefore, it will go through hard times. There will be times of struggle and tears, disappointments and failures but we as Christians sometimes tell ourselves "God wouldnt want me to suffer" but to be Christ like is to suffer as Christ suffered. He suffered for His marriage so why wouldnt we suffer for ours at different seasons. The way I see it is if your husband had a drinking problem when you were dating, engaged and married, dont try to justify your divorce with his drinking problem NOW. The best preventative for a lot of divorces is to encourage premarital counseling, but most people dont take the preparation. They go into marriage based on how they feel, instead of getting married because its God's will. Those are just a few reasons I think divorces are common in Christian marriages and secular.

Kathi - posted on 07/09/2010

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I think we don't often ask God to choose our mate for us and choose for ourselves. Face it we just don't have the perspective that God has on our lives.

I think a second factor is how infused with sex our society is. Men(and women) are inundated with pictures of beautiful people who seem so happy and better maybe than our mate who can be grumpy. Think about it. In the past when we lived more rurally men sometimes didn't see more than 10 women in a lifetime and the women he say mostly was his wife. Men are so visual that I think this has had a profound effect.

Sandra Kooky - posted on 07/09/2010

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Carina, I agree with everything you say. As I said, divorce is rampant in my family - and some should have divorced, but didn't! I feel, though, that sometimes people do not completely submit their wills (it takes 2) to the Lord in this matter. He can heal anything and anyone.
We are on the same page, different paragraph! Thanks for clarifying my "sermonette". By the way, I just taught that lesson in I Corinthians7 two weeks ago to a mixed class of ladies - happily married, unhappily married, widowed, divorced and never wanting to remarry, single & never married, and divorced and wanting to remarry. It was an interesting discussion!
Praying for those who have need of Divine intervention - especially those in danger. Yes - GET OUT & GET HELP! IMMEDIATELY!

Carina - posted on 07/09/2010

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I agree with some of Sandras comments, however, sometimes the wrong decision is to stay in a relationship that damages lives and futures and service to God... God can save a marriage, just as God can save someone from dying from a disease, but sometimes he does not. Sometimes divorce is an unfortuante reality. We don't live in an ideal world - it would be nice though.

Sandra Kooky - posted on 07/09/2010

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Go to the Bible ( specifically I Corinthians chapter 7) for answers. First, God has an ideal for marriage (see Genesis 2). In Christ, the ideal can be achieved - one man, one woman, both devoted followers of Jesus who have never been with anyone else. Sin messed up a lot of God's ideal. That does not excuse sin - just explains our mess.

As for divorces in churches - many times the problems were in the marriage before church ever entered their minds. For whatever reason, the problems were not solved by the God Who can solve everything (could have to do with unwilling to change on the part of one or both of them). However, there are some people who divorce after both being Christians.
Could the marriage have been saved? Only God could have.

My question - how many of us were ever trained for finding a marriage partner, being a marriage partner, or maintaining a marriage partner? We have to go to classes to learn to read, write, and obtain other knowledge. We have to "learn" how to drive. We educate ourselves on how to use the computer. This is one of the most imprtant decisions of our lives. Marriage counselling after the fact is like reattaching severed arm for someone who never learned to how to use a saw.

My family has had divorce all the way back to 1903 - an almost unheard of time for a divorce. I have asked God to stop this cycle in the present generation and that we be plagued no more with it. By the way, I have also prayed the same thing about alcoholism in the family.

Solution - don't make the wrong decision in the first place (Amos 3:3; II Corinthians 6:14). If you find that you have made a wrong decision, do not make another one by divorcing.

Conclusion: If you are divorced, ask God to mend your heart because of this hurt and betrayal and ask Him to be your everything.

Modupe - posted on 07/09/2010

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The pressures on marriages are huge regardless of whether you are a Christian or not. However as Christians we should as a last resort and not a quick fix solution.

Vui Hin - posted on 07/09/2010

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I don't know what to comment....to touch on the christianity faith one must be very intimate with the Lord, God Amighty...To top it us the 2 greatest commnandment - Love the Lord your Godwith all your heart ,. all your sould and all your might and then love your neighbour....Sounds easy.
yes, we can't do it without the help from the Lord....seek Gods help thru fasting and praying wish you well

Polly - posted on 07/09/2010

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I didn't ask about divorce rates in America. I have no idea how the rates in the US compare to other countries. My concern is mainly for Christian marriages, no matter what country.

Darcel - posted on 07/08/2010

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Why don't Christian marriages last longer?



My take: just because of Christians doesn't mean we have an edge on sucessful marriages. We are just people just like everyone else.



In theory two God-Fearing practicing Christians should lean on God's words and practice patience, forgiveness etc and have life-long mostly happy marriages. Reality has yet to meet tthat expectation. We will one day I have faith. We just are not there yet.



Why are divorce rates in America higher?



My Take: It is not a social stigma for a woman to be divorced anymore. It is socially acceptable for a woman to work. In previous generations, women took alot of emotional, physical, and mental abuse from husbands because lets face it, marriage and having kids was our only socially acceptable role in American society. And life was harder for you if you where poor and/or a minority race. The last thing you needed was to be a failure at the only thing you are required to be good at, being a wife.



Now that the public stigma of divorce is gone, and getting an education and working or a living is the norm for an everyday American woman; it is more common for an everyday American woman to divorce. For example: An American woman will divorce her cheating husband in 2010 because she knows that she can afford to live and raise her children without him. 50 years ago, this may not have been the case.



Final reason why Christian marriages don't last longer in my opinion:



WE DON'T ASK THE RIGHT PEOPLE FOR HELP WITH OUR PROBLEMS SOON ENOUGH! Some Christians are ashamed to ask for help when they have emotional problems, mental problems, dependancy problems etc. and this can lead to marriage failures!



Some of us Christians have the problem of believing the hype. The hype or the lie is that Christians are supposed to have it all together because we serve God. We always rise above our problems so we don't need "professinal" help. As a result of believing this lie, alot of Christians are suffering needlessly and our marriages are failing as a result.

Cheri - posted on 07/08/2010

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It's not a Christian thing it is a society view that breaks up marriages. People don't take vows seriously anymore.

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I don't know why, but I can tell you that my marriage ending had nothing to do with me. I tried my hardest to keep it working, even though it was falling apart in my fingers. People are sinful, even Christians. It's a sin no different than any other, though I think the effect are further reaching into our lives than others (and especially the lives of our children).

Carina - posted on 07/08/2010

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I am a Christian in ministry, I have a theological degree, I am divorced. I am divorced following 4 years of abusive marriage to a man who was highly unfaithful. In the end, God hates divorce, BUT There are things God hates more than divorce. Broken destructive relationship and broken covenants is in that list. It took me a long time to accept that this would be a part of my life, and I held out as long as I could. But it was very necessary, espeically for the children. I do not believe that I would be alive today if i had stayed in that situation. I know that prayer can change many situations, but people also have a choice to not be directed by God and turn their backs to Him, hence the broken world we live in.
Statistically, there is a higher rate of divorce amoung christians, especially in Bible colleges than the general population. My understanding is that many Christians get married without a lot of intelligence, with the quote: God will carry us thru. Yes, God will, but marriage is not easy, and choosing stupidly is still stupid. Marriage is a partnership that requires 'equal yoking' not just in beliefs, but in all areas of life. It is not sufficient to say - i am female, you are male, we both feel hormonally, lets get married and God will make it work. Our western culture does not help the situation either, but I dont thing we often help ourselves in the process, we are just to unrealistic about what it takes to stand by another person and faithfully commit to building each other to be the best we can be before God. We expect instant gratification and to live in the bliss of lovey dovey relationships. Patience, unconditional love and hard work are outdated and most people do not have the character development to live this, though most desire it.
I do believe in marriage and I do believe it is possible. Couples need good support structures and a healthy prayer life together. But it takes 2... I wish it had been possible for my situation, but it was not, and it is better this way. Its not best, but it is better.

Loziba - posted on 07/08/2010

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We are in a war, the devil is attacking God's creation in various way. One of the institutions under attack is the marriage institution. Challenges are ever there in marriages, and how we come out of them, its all through God's Intervention. Lets continue to pray for our marriages. The devils is out there roaring like a lion, seeking who to devour.

Vicki - posted on 07/07/2010

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Lisa, I am in no way suggesting I am perfect nor is my marriage but I do know when my husband does things that don't seem right for a christian man to do I ask God to show him how to act and to cause the fruit of the spirit to rise up in him. I bind the selfish ways and loose love in his life and every time he does better. God cannot make a person do something but He WILL change their hearts if we pray for them.

Anne - posted on 07/07/2010

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I really did not want to respond until I had time to read each post in this thread. So now that I have I would like to add my opinion.

My husband and I have been married for a little over 30 years. Most of it very happy. However because we are human some of it not so happy. WE have had finical issues because I had a sinful habit of maxing out the credit cards. Yes for me it was sin. I knew I did not need the things I bought and could not really offered them. Yes if we paid the minimum amount due on the cards we could make ends meet. But we all know that does not work long. Then on top of that we were audited by the US IRS. Then to make matters worse I hid the paperwork and cost us 5,000 extra dollars. At anytime my husband could have washed his hands of me and the world would have sided with him. Even I would have agreed he had a "Right" to walk away.

I will always be grateful that my Husband continued to love me and hold me accountable for my actions. Although I still struggle with overspending if I get my eyes off Jesus, do not spend time in the word and in Prayer, God has been good and restored what the locust ate.

Now as to why my husband did not leave me, simply put He Loved God and Was Committed To Our Marriage Vows More Than He Loved ME! I know that is not Romantic to hear, but when my husband was totally disgusted with my behavior He Loved God and allowed God to Love me for him. It took several years before my husband really trusted me again. I can only Praise God for restoring our marriage. WE now both Love God before and ahead of each other. If we are Truly doing this God will give us the tools to use if we choose to use these tools to see to it that our marriage is solid and lasting.

I do need to say one more thing to our moms who have been divorced I am not a better Christian just because my marriage survived.

Julie - posted on 07/05/2010

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If I might hazard a guess, maybe she is referring to the difference between accidently sinning because we are weak imperfect beings vs those who willfully sin.

There is a fine line between the two - because all sin is wilful in a way.

One example I can think of is using swear words. It is obviously sinful to use them, but the difference between an imperfect christian and a fake christian is an imperfect christian may accidently resort to using such words in times of stress, but a fake christian uses them knowing they are wrong before they come and choosing to use them anyway.

When it comes to divorce, and why it is looked on as a "worse" sin than others, isn't because it is a bigger sin in God's eyes - no sin is bigger than another - but rather because the motivation behind it. Lying, stealing, words said in anger, even violence, for examples, are often spur of the moment things that the person doing them doesn't think about the wrongness before they do them, and as soon as they realise what they have done, they are immediately remorseful (unless they are a really bad person), but when it comes to divorce, it is pre meditated, thought through. It is not spur of the moment.

In some cases, it is justified - because of adultery or is it the only way to escape an abuser but even in christian circles, it is rarely because of this - or in the case of adultery, it is the adulterer demanding a divorce to marry his mistress.

An unjustified divorce is no different from any other calculated sin - if someone deliberately plans to commit a sin and refuse to make things right - both with God and their spouse - sometimes with many years to set things right - how can one be in union with God while deliberately unrepentant about an issue?

That's what it comes down to. Not that divorce is any worse or better than any other sin, but that it is one that the sinner often does very deliberately and deliberately remains unrepentant over.

Before I met my wonderful boyfriend, I spoke to a lot of guys on christian dating sites that my friends pushed me to join. I grew tired of the appalling attitude of most guys towards divorcees - they didn't care if a woman fought with every fibre of her being to save her marriage and that she has never had sex outside of marriage - in their eyes, a divorcee (and many even felt the same towards widows), was utter garbage - "used goods" and beneath them.

So for a while there, I chose only to talk to men who were divorced or widowed. But their attitude stunned me. Firstly, I never actually found a widow remotely near my age. But more importantly, the resounding theme of the divorcees, was that not one of them was a true christian. They split up their marriage and families simply because they weren't "in love" anymore. They were not the slightest bit sorry about having divorced a wife for no other reason other than they no longer were attracted to her. When each of them got to the point of explaining this, I began to see all the other ways that their claim to be a christian was simply false. They couldn't even see that splitting up their family was even a sin that they needed to repent of.

There was one exception. A man who was in the exact same position I was in - except he was an unemployed dad to five kids - his wife had run off with her lover and he had tried everything humanly possible to save his marriage and had begged God to restore their marriage. But his wife demanded a divorce as she was pregnant to her lover and wanted to marry him.

I seriously considered getting to know him better until I found out he was a total bigot in other ways. As I mentioned, he was a stay at home dad to five kids - he was also 13 years older than me, overweight, balding and to put it bluntly, definitely not good looking. None of that bothered me though - I honestly didn't care what he looked like. Unfortunately he didn't feel the same way. He made it clear that he didn't take anyone bigger than a size 10 (that's a size 6 for you US ladies) and that she had to be blonde and that I was too OLD for him at 13 years younger than him. Oh and the fact that I worked casual part time wasn't good enough for him. Even though I have a child of my own, he wanted a woman who would work full time to support him and his kid and dump their own child in childcare.

It came as no surprise to me he hadn't had a date in five years with that attitude that he could be overweight, old and unemployed, but a woman had to be skinny, hot looking, half his age and work full time.

Maybe I just had bad luck with the guys who I spoke to - or maybe guys who use online dating sites are prone to being jerks. But I do know many, many women who did nothing to cause themselves to be divorced - they were loving, faithful women who fought hard to save their marriages and have nothing to repent of. That's not to say I haven't met women who walk out on their marriages for no good reason - unfortunately I've met all too many of them, but in all of those cases, it's a two way street - an average marriage that both spouses get tired of and go for a mutual divorce.

But anyway, I hope that explains a possible explanation of the difference between sinning and having a sinful attitude - we all sin, just a real christian doesn't mean to and does what is necessary to correct things as soon as they realise they have, a fake christian does it on purpose and refuses to make things right.

Mom - posted on 07/05/2010

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I am not sure what Tiffany was trying to say or who she was talking to. Maybe you could clarify. Thank you. I am referring to the post right after mine.

Polly - posted on 07/04/2010

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My heart goes out to all the women here who have been hurt so badly by their husbands. Praying God's peace and comfort will heal your hearts.

Leisa - posted on 07/04/2010

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I am a 50 year old mom of 2 who came home from work on May 10th to find that my husband of 28 years had packed and left without talking to me or our boys who are 26 & 24. He just up and left, it was already planned along with the lawyer and separation papers. I agree the world we live in has made divorce the answer instead of trying to work out your problems. I would have appreciated at least the chance to talk over and an attempt to work them out. I've never been through that hurt this bad. Society just makes Divorce easy and acceptable.

Tiffany - posted on 07/04/2010

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Generally speaking I believe it comes down to a commitment to Christ. If our life is truly as Christ centered as we profess it to be, then so called Christians wouldn't be doing alot of the things that they/we do. I know that we live in a sin cursed world and we do all still sin, but I question whether someone who truly knows Jesus as Savior can continue to commit the same sinful acts. We are to confess and be born again in Christ, you cannot continue in a sinful life and truly be filled with the Spirit. Sin yes, continuing in the same path NO. Cannot do it. Many who profess to be Christians simply put....are not saved. Christ speaks of this Himself.

Mom - posted on 07/04/2010

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After 30 years of marriage, my husband left and filed for divorce. I wanted no part of it, but the courts granted the divorce anyway. It was final on June 30th. I am sad, but I know God is with me always. I have no intentions of ever remarrying so that should tell you that I certainly won't date--even if my husband (I mean former husband) does so. I feel that in God's eyes ("What God has joined together, let no man break apart"), I am still one with my ex-husband. I will have other things to do for God as I am a mother of two grown sons who will someday (hopefully) make me a grandmother, and I am an elementary school teacher. I believe God has missions for me in those places, so, even though I mourn the demise of my marriage, I still have work to do.

Christy - posted on 07/04/2010

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I think there are a lot of factors. One major one is lack of commitment...nowadays, people believe everything should come quickly - including marital bliss. No one understands that marriage is hard work, and sometimes you may not like the person that you love..but, you CHOOSE TO STAY..not because he/she is wonderful, your marriage is heavenly, yadda yadda. But, because you made a COMMITMENT to this marriage - and through thick and thin, you WILL STILL be a part of it...But, today, it isn't working how the spouses want, so they leave to look for what they want that they can get right then.

Iraida - posted on 07/03/2010

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i just think that many Christians out there do not really follow what the Bible says, i have been separated for over 4 years, my husband abandoned us, and i have been strugling with the issue myself

Leah - posted on 07/03/2010

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I agree with most ladies here. Im happily married of 8 years and have 2 boys. The one thing that I think we need to remember is that Ultimately God is LOVE. His 2 greatest commandments was first to Love the Lord God above anything or anyone. Second to love others as you love yourself. He said those were the most important commandments. The Bible is a guide for us to walk the rest of our faith out with. God loves you no matter what choices you make. No matter what you wear, how you act, or the actions you take. Divorce is forgivable just as a negative thought against someone or not following God's direction for the day. No sin is greater and no one in this world is less guilty than the other. Whatever choice you make, is your choice with God. Pray and walk it out. If you veer from the path, God is still waiting for your return and He will not let you go too far. He loves you. Marriage is hard and if you walk from it, remember God loves you no matter what. Love heals all things and He will help you back on the path that you left from.
Im reading some of these post and I think back in my history classes. All the many beliefs some will stand on and forget the true essence of Jesus and why He came. He came to heal us and give us forgiveness because no matter how many lambs we would slaughter it still would not be enough. Religion is used for a safety blanket to sometimes give people ideas to judge others with. The Word of God is not used to make people feel bad with. It is used to uplift them and help them through life. Life is hard enough without the judgmental words from our brothers and sisters in Christ.
When friends come to me about divorcing their husbands I tell them all the time its between them and God. Pray about it. The Word is there for direction but its not used for judgment from us. God is the ultimate judge and we will all stand before him and be held accountable. But if you are under the blood and focus on your relationship with God, then you will be blessed. Keep your head up for those in marriages that are suffering or marriages that have ended in divorce because God loves you and is waiting for you on the path. He doesn't look at you with judgmental eyes, but eyes full of love.

Julia - posted on 07/03/2010

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Well of course we are the same divorce rate-wise. Christians aren't any more perfect than anyone else, we're just as flawed- but we have resources to fight it that others don't use.

My pastor did a sermon on this a while back. I can't remember the exact rates but he was talking about how marriages where the couples attended church EVERY week had about a 25 percent divorce rate. Marriages where couples attended church and other events had even lower rates of divorce. Marriages where couples prayed together EVERY night were 99 percent likely to NOT get divorced (as well as attending church).

The closer you get to God WITH your spouse, the more solidified your relationship can be. It takes work and it takes A LOT of determination, but we have tools that make it easier.

Also, my husband and I banned the word 'divorce' or 'seperation' from our marriage. We won't live that lie. There's no sleeping on the couch or going to bed angry. It's just making room for resentment. (although I did sleep on the couch when I was pregnant since it was the only thing that helped, hehe)

Marriage is made to be beautiful, but people think it's all about feelings and not about actions. When you don't feel in love anymore, thats when you practice love, you do the actions and the feelings eventually follow.

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