As a pastor who has worked with many couples and as a married man, I can say that the first years of marriage are hard. It’s a huge life adjustment, and many struggle to successfully adapt to married life. But did you know that the divorce rate among those who have been married for 20 years or longer is actually on the rise?
According to Bowling Green University’s National Center for Family & Marriage Research, the divorce rate for 55 to 64-year-olds more than doubled between 1990 and 2012, while the rate for those 65 and older tripled.*
Regardless of age, divorce happens when a man and a woman, who are supposed to be united as one, don’t believe and don’t feel that they are one anymore. They have become strangers to one another, and this can often happen when they have had a kid-centered marriage.
Having a kid-centered marriage results in breaking the exclusive, sacred bond between a man and a woman, especially after the kids have grown up. Scripture tells us that this bond should only exist between the married couple, not the married couple and their kids:
“As the Scriptures say, ‘A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’ This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one.” -Ephesians 5:31-32
Unfortunately, our rising divorce rate shows that we live in a culture where kids are considered more sacred than marriage. It’s important to remember that marital love is special and it takes just as much work (if not more) as raising kids:
“…Each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”Ephesians 5:33
As Paul wrote in verse 32, binding ourselves to someone and becoming one is indeed “a great mystery,” and one that we all struggle to understand from time to time.
That’s why this weekend, we will be talking about marriage life hacks at Alive Church as part of our Life Hacks series. I hope you can join us!