US Divorce Rate In Decline

We’ve all heard that 50 percent of marriages in the U.S. end in divorce.

And while that disheartening stat continues to get tossed around, the divorce rate isn’t really at 50 percent — and it isn’t rising either. In fact, a new piece in the New York Times’ data blog Upshot suggests that the divorce rate has actually been dropping for some time now. Looking at the numbers, the Times suggests the high divorce rate of the late 1970s and early 1980s may have just been a “historical anomaly,” rather than a trend.

Below, a few of the most interesting tidbits from the Times:
•About 70 percent of marriages that began in the 1990s reached their 15th anniversary….
•The feminist movement of the 1970s played a considerable role….
•The fact that people are marrying later in life, resulting in more mature marriages, has helped matters
•If numbers continue to go down, roughly two-thirds of marriages will never involve divorce….

By Brittany Wong – Huffington Post –

Cleaving and Putting Asunder: Marriage and Divorce

In a Christian marriage ceremony the groom and bride exchange covenantal promises with one another and make vows to God that the marriage will continue “until death do us part.” God says of the marriage relationship, “Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” (Matt 19:6). Sadly and unfortunately, the covenantal promises to one another and vows to God notwithstanding, some Christians choose to terminate their marriage before death by divorce.

Cleaving and putting asunder:

The word cleave = to glue, to stick, to adhere firmly and closely or loyally and unwaveringly. The word implies permanence.

The word asunder = all to pieces, one part from the other, to shred. To put asunder is to tear. The same Greek word for asunder is used in Acts 1:18,: “Now this man [Judas] purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.”

It is God that joins together in marriage. The two are one flesh. It is impossible to separate one flesh. But it is possible for one flesh to be torn, cut and, broken asunder by divorce.

It is God that commands that marriage not be put asunder – torn, cut, or broken apart.

Divorce hurts, but it does more than hurt. It causes anguish, anger, animosity, and bitterness – spiritually and emotionally of the husband/wife, children, extended families, and friends. Divorce is one tragedy that is worse than death. It never ends.

Marriage breakdown and violence:

There are ever-increasing reports of meaningless, senseless violence wracking havoc in every segment of our society. Polls report that most perpetrators of this violence are products of broken families. Children and teenagers are either living in a single-parent home (single as the result of divorce or a parent who never married) or living in a foster home. But the violence that makes the news merely serves as a cover for the mass of unreported violence.

Divorce, remarriage, broken families, a step-parent home, a cohabitation home, a foster home are the root cause of most of today’s anguish, anger, animosity, bitterness, and violence.

Here’ one person’s thoughts:

The divorce statistics have fluctuated some but basically, they haven’t moved much in years. The rate of divorce for first marriages is close to 50%; for second marriages, it is close to 66%.

So it probably doesn’t come as a surprise that you or someone you know has had experience with divorce.

In my family, the divorce tally is: my parents, two aunts, an uncle, a sister (twice), and a stepbrother. My parents both remarried to spouses who were also divorced. All told, total divorces: 9. Total number of children impacted: 16.

The National Opinion Research Council conducted a survey of adult children of divorce that spanned more than 20 years. Here’s what they found: In 1973, adult children of divorce were 172% more likely to get divorced than adult children from intact homes. In 1999, adult children of divorce were only 50% more likely to get divorced than adult children from intact homes … which sounds like good news.

However, the bad news is that the survey also found a 26% lower rate of marrying in the first place among adult children of divorced parents.

The reality is that your parents’ divorce will have an impact on your marriage. We first learn about love and marriage from our parents. We learn what it means to be a man, woman, husband, wife, mother and father from them. We learn about trust. We learn how to handle conflict and difficult times … or, not. Leslie Doares

Responding to the crisis:

All of the teachings of God’s Word on marriage, divorce, and remarriage notwithstanding, it is a fact that an ever-increasing number of people, including Christians, are divorcing and remarrying. Sadly, some are now divorcing and remarrying multiple times. Among the many factors contributing to this divorce epidemic are: One, neglect by the Church in scripturally preaching and teaching on the subject of marriage, divorce and remarriage, and two, “no-fault” divorce laws in all 50 states.

Only the Lord’s Church can provide the truth and solution to the rapidly increasing divorce epidemic. But this will happen only when the Church and Christians choose to agree with God about marriage and divorce. Divorce violates God’s Word and orderly way. God hates divorce. We must hate what God hates. The sin of divorce must be acknowledged, confessed, repented of, and forsaken. Of course, God will forgive the sin of divorce if and when the terms of His Word are met.

The past cannot be relived and, generally speaking, the past cannot be changed for those who have experienced divorce and remarriage. And let’s face it. The combined efforts of the Church and the legislature will never completely eliminate divorce under the best of circumstances. But since divorce is first and foremost a spiritual issue and not principally a legal problem, the Church must provide the leadership to stop the hemorrhaging and minimize the damages of divorce in the future.

Christians who have divorced and/or divorced and remarried are not offended by nor do they object to and resent Scriptural preaching on these subjects if they have truly dealt with the subject in obedience to God’s Word. Rather, they will joyfully accept such preaching as a springboard of praise and rejoicing that God has extended His grace and forgiveness to them.

Reaping the whirlwind:

Having sown to the wind by rejecting God’s ordained and orderly way of marriage America is now reaping the whirlwind.

Biblical marriage of “one man for one woman and one woman for one man until death do us part” is now the exception and not the rule; biblical families are now the exception and not the rule; divorce and divorce and remarriage are now practiced and accepted as the norm; cohabitation is now practiced and accepted as the norm; interracial marriage is now practiced and accepted as the norm; ‘same-sex marriage’ is now practiced and accepted as the norm. God’s ordained foundation and original building design for marriage and families has once again been perverted and is in shambles.

First things first:

America’s so-called ‘same-sex marriage’ debacle is will never be solved until God’s ordained orderly way of marriage is obeyed. A Herald subscriber said it well, “The final litmus test for all parts of our pagan American culture including Christendom will be the homosexual issue. Embrace and live at “peace,” reject and live under growing scorn and eventual persecution. When a people reach a point of utter generational rebellion and reprobation the Lord turns them over to the destruction of their vile choices (Rom 1). As they grow in reprobation those choices become holy and sacred to those that embraces them. Thus, the divide between the righteous and wicked will grow in increasing animosity for An unjust man is an abomination to the righteous, And he who is upright in the way is an abomination to the wicked. Proverbs 29:27. Never the twain shall meet … even so come Lord Jesus!”

By Robert McCurry – The Wake-Up Herald –

10 Women Christian Men Should Not Marry

In a former post, I detailed 10 men that Christian women ought to avoid when considering marriage. Today, I present to you my list for Christian men.

“I have perceived among the youths, a young man lacking sense, passing along the street near her corner, taking the road to her house” (Proverbs 7:7-8).

1. The Unbeliever. Scripture is replete with exhortations against such marriages (in both the Old and New Testaments). Contrary to popular misconception, God’s prohibition against marriages to foreign women in the Old Testament was not due to racism. Instead, God was simply preventing the spread of idolatry. Israel, God’s chosen people in the Old Testament, represented what Christians would later represent in the New Testament. Hence, God’s prohibition against marrying an unbelieving woman in the New Testament (2 Cor 6:14) is simply the extension of God prohibiting a Hebrew man from from marrying a Canaanite woman in the Old Testament (Deut 7:3-4). “Do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons, for they will turn your children away from following me to serve other gods, and the LORD’s anger will burn against you and will quickly destroy you” (Deut. 7:3-4).

What then, is a believer? A Christian essentially is someone who believes in the gospel of Jesus Christ. What then, is the gospel? The gospel is: 1. God is holy, loving, and just. He therefore, must condemn all sinners to punishment in the flames of eternal hell; 2. You and I are all sinners who deserve nothing but God’s wrath in hell after our deaths; 3. God loved humanity so much that He sent His only Son, Jesus (who was fully God and fully man), to die on the cross for your sins. Jesus paid the debt for your sins and absorbed God’s wrath on your behalf; 4. If you repent (turn from) all your sins and personally put your faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord, God and Savior, then you will have eternal life. (For more information on the saving message of the gospel, click here.)

2. The Divorcee. Jesus clearly taught that unless the first marriage ended due to a partner’s sexual infidelity, a second marriage is to be considered invalid and adulterous. A divorced woman, therefore, is off limits for a Christian man–unrepentant adultery being a sin that prevents one from obtaining eternal life (1 Cor 6:9). “If she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery” (Mark 10:12). “And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery” (Matthew 19:9).

3. The Older Woman. Not a sin, but certainly not God’s ideal. God expects men to be the spiritual leaders of the home (Eph 5:25) and it certainly requires an extra measure of grace to lead a woman who’s older than you. Again, if you’re a man and you’re already in such a marriage, then honor it till the day you die–it’s still a valid marriage and divorce is not an option! However, if you’re not yet married but thinking about an older woman I want to remind you that God intentionally (with good reason!) created Adam before Eve in the First Marriage. Scripture informs us that God created man first chronologically for the sake of authority! Listen: “I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve” (1 Timothy 2:12-13).

Apparently, even secular researchers are now beginning to discover results that back up biblical claims: “If you’re a woman two or more years older than your husband, your marriage is 53 percent more likely to end in divorce than if he was one year younger to three years older.” (Source: Rebecca Kippen, Bruce Chapman and Peng Yu, “What’s Love Got to Do With It? Homogamy and Dyadic Approaches to Understanding Marital Instability,” Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, 2009.)

4. The Feminist. There’s no room within Christendom for the “Christian feminist.” Though women and men have equal value in the eyes of God (Gal 3:28), they certainly have different God-given roles. Any woman who tries to usurp her husband’s authority or even claims to be a co-leader with her man is gravely dishonoring the God who created her to be subject and obedient to her husband (Eph 5:22, Col 3:18, 1 Pet 3:1). Eve was distinctly created “for” man, a point that the apostle Paul makes abundantly clear in 1 Corinthians 11 when he writes, “For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man.” (1 Corinthians 11:8-9). Men, your wife is to be your “helper” (Gen 2:18)–not your leader and certainly not your equal in terms of authority. Look for a woman who agrees with you in this very vital God-ordained relational dynamic.

5. The Immodest-Dresser. Sexy might inadvertently catch your eyeballs, but it shouldn’t catch your heart. The way that a woman is willing to expose herself says much about her heart: “And behold, the woman meets him, dressed as a prostitute, wily of heart” (Proverbs 7:10). The text in Proverbs explains that a woman will dress in a certain way to catch a certain type of man. Don’t be that man. Don’t be the fool who’s led by his hormones instead of the Holy Spirit. Remember: you want godly, not gaudy.

By Stephen Kim – NYCPastor.com –

Vatican Signals More Tolerance Toward Gays and Remarriage

By Elisabtta Povoledo – NewYorkTimes.com –

VATICAN CITY — An important meeting of bishops at the Vatican used remarkably conciliatory language on Monday toward gay and divorced Catholics, signaling a possible easing of the church’s rigid attitudes on homosexuality and the sanctity of marriage.

The gathering of bishops from around the world called on pastors to recognize, among other things, the “positive aspects of civil unions and cohabitation.”

The meeting, or synod, was called by Pope Francis to discuss issues related to the family in contemporary society. A report was given on Monday of the main considerations under debate in the first week of the two-week gathering.

The report appeared to reflect the more tolerant and inclusive direction Francis has sought to take the church since he was chosen to succeed the far more doctrinaire Benedict XVI more than 18 months ago.

Pope Francis’ surprising comments came in a lengthy interview in which he criticized the church for putting dogma before love, and for prioritizing moral doctrines over serving the poor and marginalized.

Pope Francis said that the Roman Catholic church had grown “obsessed” with preaching about abortion, gay marriage and contraception in his most extensive and revealing interview since he was elected in March.

A final document will be issued by the synod next week. Though the gathering is unlikely to change church doctrine, its conversation will set — and potentially change — both the tone and the practice of the faith in parishes around the world.

Signaling the direction they are heading, the bishops called for a more merciful approach toward the faithful who stray from the Catholic ideal, citing the need for “courageous pastoral choices” to reflect the current plurality of relationships outside the traditional family model.

They urged pastors, for instance, to be more welcoming to gays, who have “gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community.” And it called on pastors to treat divorced Catholics who have remarried civilly with respect, “avoiding any language or behavior that might make them feel discriminated against.”

The document, however, left open to further debate the contentious question of whether they might receive communion, merely expounding the contrasting positions on the extremely sensitive issue.

“The Church turns respectfully to those who participate in her life in an incomplete and imperfect way, appreciating the positive values they contain rather than their limitations and shortcoming,” the bishops said.

 
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