Aah, June…the most popular month for weddings. The month when many who have found the one they love vow to remain together “till death do us part.”However, according to Demographic Intelligence, fewer people in the United States are getting married. Their latest report indicates the marriage rate is less than seven marriages per 1,000 people.
So has cohabitation replaced marriage or are people merely waiting longer before tying the knot? And what about divorce rates?
For years, we’ve heard divorce rates have been increasing. That was true for more than twenty years. But a study from the National Marriage Project at Rutgers University notes that, while the American divorce rate continued to increase for two decades beginning in the 1960s, it has declined since hitting a high in the early 1980s.
We’ve also heard the prevailing consensus that divorce rates are similar among Christians and non-Christians. But that’s not true, either. The reality is that divorce rates among committed Christians is significantly lower than the general population—a rate of up to 35% lower than those who don’t identify as active Christians.
Still, Christians are vulnerable to attitudes and actions that work against healthy marriages. Even if we don’t realize it, we are susceptible to selfish, me-first perspectives. We may buy into the idea that marriage is a 50-50 proposition. Or we use phrases such as “a husband and wife should meet each other halfway.”
But marriage is not a 50-50 proposition. A successful marriage requires both people to give 100%. And there are times when one or the other will have to give more than 100%…or more. To love sacrificially even if the other person fails to appreciate at times or even notice.
Marriage is work, it’s true. But it’s more than a physical relationship. It’s a picture of the relationship between Christ and His Church.
Our culture would like us to believe marriage is in decline.
Don’t believe it.