Have you ever spent time reading various statistics? Just for fun? Let’s take a look at some examples.
What are the odds of?
Getting a hole in one in golf: 1 in 5,000 (if you play enough rounds…)
Bowling a perfect game: 1 in 11,500 (maybe you should stick to golf)
Catching a baseball at a major league game: 1 in 563 (of course you’ll buy a lot of expensive hot dogs)
Sustaining an injury from a toilet seat: 1 in 10,000 (but it happened to me once…)
Getting stuck in an elevator: 1 in 24,528 (see, you’ll bowl a perfect game first)
Tripping while texting: 1 in 10 (this probably happened to a friend, not you :-))
Here is another statistic. According to Time Magazine the average couple has a 57% chance of seeing their 15th wedding anniversary. If they make it that far they have a good shot a a lifelong marriage. The article also lists factors which seem to decrease or increase the odds of divorce. A few interesting items. Couples who live together before marriage have higher divorce rates than those who do not. Couples who marry after the age of 25 tend to remain married. Younger couples statistically split up more often. Being a certain religion doesn’t keep couples from divorcing, but being devoted to their faith makes a big difference.
Here is a question. What are the odds of divorce in your marriage? 43% like the average marriage? 20% due to your devotion to God (have to leave a little room in there just in case)?
What should the odds be?
Zero. Zip. Nada. Your marriage should be divorce proof.
What makes a marriage divorce proof? Is it counseling? Reading marriage books and blogs? Going on marriage retreats?
No. These are all good things and can be quite helpful in making a marriage happier and more fulfilled. But they don’t make a marriage divorce proof. Only two things can make a marriage divorce proof.
You and her.
I’m betting some of you expected me to put God in there. Nope. God doesn’t make marriage divorce proof. Don’t get me wrong, having the Lord at the center of your marriage is critical to a long, happy fruitful marriage. But God doesn’t force Himself into the center of your marriage. You and your spouse invite Him to be there.
A lifelong marriage has many aspects and characteristics but the only guarantee is the decision by the wife and husband that divorce is not an option. Ever.
You may decide together at the outset of your marriage that this is for the long haul. That divorce can never be on the table. When you are tested you’ll have to make this decision again. Perhaps more than once. But let me be very clear. In my experience you should never mention divorce to each other. Don’t even say the word. It should not even come to mind.
Will you disagree at times? Absolutely! Will you fight? I hope not! But no matter what there should be three responses in a conflict. 1) Humility 2) Forgiveness 3) Love.
Humility – If the you have done something to wrong your spouse then humbly seek their forgiveness. James 5:16 says, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
Forgiveness – If you are the one who has been wronged then be quick to forgive. In Colossians 3:13 we read, “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
Love – To repair the relationship be generous with your love…on both sides. Finally we follow the instruction in 1 Peter 4:8, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”
To be perfectly frank I really didn’t want to write this post. This topic is completely off the radar between Sally and me. However I come from a broken family and many of you have either experienced divorce, contemplated it or had family/friends who have dealt with it.
My prayer is that you would make a powerful decision to never EVER consider divorce and bring the Lord to the center of your marriage. If you covenant with Him together He can make your decision one that will last by His power.
Know that I love you and so does our Lord.