It is the first institution created by God; the structure under which children thrive; the basic building block of every civil society; and the relationship in which men and women complete each other.
Yet, it is often the institution most forgotten by the Christian church.
Churches have youth programs; outreach for divorced couples; men’s bible studies; mom’s day out clubs; and ministries for singles, the elderly and international visitors. The list of worthwhile services is varied and impressive. But strangely missing in most is a ministry dedicated to the most sacred of human institutions created by God himself: marriage.
Since the Church has neglected to nurture marriages, is it any wonder that the divorce rate is a whopping fifty percent, and that the institution is vulnerable to being completely destroyed by a secular society?
The havoc that failed marriages wreak on human beings and society is devastating. The precious children of divorced parents are five times more likely to live in poverty than children whose parents are married, three times more likely to be engage in behavior that causes them to be expelled from school, three times more likely to become pregnant, five times more likely to commit suicide, and 12 times more likely to land in jail.
And what about the public financial cost? Tens of billions of tax payer dollars in social aid are spent each year by the government trying to fix the many problems that result when families are torn apart by divorce. Simply put, if we could figure out a way to save marriage in America, we would grow happier, healthier individuals; keep more women and children from entering a life of poverty; strengthen our nation; and drastically cut federal spending and taxes.
The fastest way to address this epidemic that is destroying America is for our Churches to take the lead.
Yes, “no fault divorce” laws need to change, extending the waiting period for divorce, and other legal reforms that would actually strengthen marriages need to take place too. Government can work to protect the institution, but we cannot count on government to save our families. We should, however, be able to count on our churches.