Stand for Marriage
We all know the stats on divorce in America. About 50% of marriages end in divorce. As a Christian I am deeply troubled by that number. We can expect that the divorce rate would be higher among people who do not claim to be Christ followers but notice what USA Today says about the divorce rate among Christians:
Wright combed through the General Social Survey, a vast demographic study conducted by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, and found that Christians, like adherents of other religions, have a divorce rate of about 42%. The rate among religiously unaffiliated Americans is 50%.
As expected the divorce rate among Christians is lower but not by much. You might ask why I bring this up? Well, right now in America there is a fight to stand up for marriage. Christians are working to keep the institution of marriage the way it has historically been…between a man and a woman. What is sad is that Evangelicals gave up on marriage a long time ago. I think this is one reason why people arguing for same-sex marriage are scratching their heads. Evangelicals didn’t seem to care when men and women were getting divorced at a high rate but now they care about who can get married. To same-sex marriage advocates this is strange and I agree.
Where Christians failed was to fight against ‘no-fault’ divorce laws in the 1970’s and 80’s. The Divorce Room website defines no-fault divorces in my home state of Minnesota as:
According to MN no-fault divorce laws, divorce can be obtained in the state of Minnesota on the basis of no-fault grounds only. If a spouse files for divorce and states that the marriage has ‘irretrievably broken down’ owing to ‘irreconcilable differences’ or ‘incompatibility of temperament’, then the courts would grant the divorce. Here, none of the spouses need to establish or prove any ‘wrong doing’ on the part of the other spouse.
This divorce law began in California in 1970 and by 1985 every state granted no-fault divorces. In light of these laws it is no wonder why the rates of divorce are sky-high. But my question is this: Where were the Christians that allowed these laws to pass? Where were the followers of Christ when the foundations of marriage came crashing down? Where are they now? For myself I want to stand against these no-fault divorce laws because it is hypocritical to stand against same-sex marriages while ignoring the Bible’s take on divorce. No-fault divorces go against the words of Jesus Christ:
It was said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife must give her a legal document.’ But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. -Matt. 5:31-32, NET
In the time of Christ no-fault divorces were common. Of course, they were not given this name but they were similar to the divorce laws we have today. A man didn’t need to provide a reason for the divorce. He simply needed to provide the woman with a document stating that she has been freed from the marriage. This is what Jesus is arguing against in Matt. 5 and assuredly he would argue against what our society is practicing as well.
Jesus’ view of divorce may seem foreign to us and I think it highlights that Christians have allowed the culture to dictate what is moral. Christians are standing against same-sex marriage across the nation, and I agree with that, but we must not expect those on the other side of the debate to take us seriously if we have already forsook marriage. Jesus’ words are clear as crystal and marriage is a life-long commitment that should not be broken. If we are going to stand against same-sex marriage then we must stand against no-fault divorces.
Stand up for marriage.
Thanks for reading.