Fixing America's Divorce Rate


Question: 
Why do you think the American divorce rate is so high? What can we do to fix it?

My Reply:
Many reasons for the high divorce rate in America:
  1. We Americans are quite spoiled. We live in a culture where if you don't like what you have, you either get rid of it, or "upgrade".
  2. Many people don't seem to understand the meanings of "commitment" and "keeping vows (or) promises".
  3. People (not just Americans) are often self-centered and lazy. We think of our own wants and desires, and often decide to pursue them over working on the issues we have at home.
  4. Communication is often not a key characteristic in relationships that end in divorce.
  5. Americans stand on pride, not reconciliation. When conflicts arise, our natural instincts are either fight or flight. For instance, we guys seem to have picked up something somewhere that causes us to retreat and hide our feelings instead of hang around and express them each time conflict arises. Women on the other hand often seem to push the issue further, using the tactic of name-calling and demeaning the fellows' identities. We clash because we don't know how to resolve the issues...
  6. The media doesn't help any with their suggestions of adulterous relationships.
  7. The sad thing about this too, is that I can't say it's because they don't have Jesus in their lives, because the divorce rate of Christians are right up there among non-Christians.
  8. We don't understand or know enough about our partners, or even ourselves...what makes us feel worth, and what makes them feel worth? How do we as a spouse make our spouse feel worth, and how do we communicate to them how to make us feel worth?
  9. Unfortunately, many take after their parents who also divorced.
  10. People often base their decisions on feelings.  If it feels right, they do it. If it doesn't feel right, they don't do it.
I can go on, but I'm sure you get the idea.  

So how can we fix this?

I believe the first step needed is to change people’s mindset and understanding about marriage:
  1. People need to realize that marriage was created to be more permanent than a tattoo.  
  2. Marriage is hard work, and not always about “being happy”.  
  3. Marriage is also about sacrifice and denying yourself regularly for the sake of your spouse (to be taken on by both, not just one).  
  4. Conflicts need to be dealt with immediately, and never allowed to resurface in an argument…hysterical is one thing, historical is another.

As I mentioned, Christians and non-Christians alike are guilty in this department. But the Bible really does tell us how to treat one another:
  • "Wives, submit to your husbands." 
  • "Husbands, love your wives in the way that Jesus loves the Church."  (Notice it doesn’t say, 'Husbands, love your wives as the Church loves Jesus')

I think that when this is understood and practiced, we may fix and save more than just marriages.

---Pastor Andy
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