Marriage can be tough at times and most of us just presumed that the stats being thrown around that half of marriages end in divorce is basically true. Some have even suggested the divorce rate is the same in the church.
Yet in my sphere, both secular and religious, there were divorces but it was nowhere near half even among those who don’t consider themselves Christian.
Now recent research by Shaunti Feldhahn has come to the same conclusion. After studying the contradictory realm of research on divorce, in here book entitled The Good News About Marriage, Feldhahn concluded the actual divorce rate is closer to 20% to 25% for first time marriages. (Note the divorce rates for those who have divorced and remarried is higher, which skewers the results but still does not push the overall average to 50%.)
She did extensive research for her book and actually interviewed academics and researchers who were releasing often contradictory data. She re-examined their statistics, often with their help.
For example, when she looked at the 2009 US census data, she found that 72% of the people were still married to their first spouse and that 28% of the people who were not included people whose spouse had died.
And when the commonly accepted stats about divorce did not jive with the data, Feldhahn discovered the 50% number was actually developed by researchers who were watching the growing rates of divorce in the 70s and 80s who were then projecting what it would reach as governments passed legislation allowing for easy no fault insurance.
In an interview with CBN, Feldhahn added that not only did divorce rates never reach the 50% projection, but the divorce rate today is actually declining.
Feldhahn further adds that reports that most people are unhappy in marriage is also wrong. She said many have stated that only 30% of people are happy in their marriage, but statistics reveal that the number is closer to 80%.
Unfortunately, these lies about marriage are having a profound impact on society.
Many believe these lies about divorce is behind why many young people today are choosing not to marry or are putting it off, while others are not willing to fight for their marriage when they invariably hit the difficult times because they believe divorce is inevitable.
In her interview with CBN, Feldhahn said:
“Like, if I’m just going to get divorced and I’m not going to be happy, why bother getting married right? And it is based on a lie. That feeling is based on a lie.”
The Bible is very clear what we believe very much impacts how we live our life.
For as he thinks (literally reckons in his soul) within himself, so he is.
(Proverbs 23:7a NASV)
The Hebrew word “Sha’ar translated think by the NASV means to calculate, reason and think but curiously when this verb is used as a noun (sho’er) it is means “gatekeeper” In other word, our thinking acts as a gatekeeper to how we live.
God knows that our thinking is the biggest hindrance to living a godly life. The Apostle Paul wrote that we are not transformed by getting saved but rather by the “renewing of our mind,” literally changing the way we think.