From the authors of 'The Good News About Marriage: Debunking Discouraging Myths about Marriage and Divorce'.
Have We Been Lied To About the Divorce Rate? Another Propaganda Campaign Against the Church?
We've all heard the following:
1) 50 percent of all marriages end in divorce;
2) most marriages that do happen to make it are, nonetheless, unhappy, and
3) Christians are just as likely to divorce as non-believers.
This article shows the oft-mentioned divorce rate of 50% is too high for both believers and unbelievers.
Synopsis: The original 50% figure was only a statistical projection of what researchers thought the divorce rate would become as they watched the divorce numbers rising in the 1970s and early 1980s when states began passing no-fault divorce laws. However, the 50% projection never became a reality.
"But the divorce rate has been dropping," Feldhahn said. "We've never hit those numbers. We've never gotten close."
Divorce Rate found by above study for first-time marriages (outside the church): 20 to 25%
Divorce Rate found by above study for first-time marriages (inside the church): 17 to 25% lower than unbelievers (single digits/mid-teens).
Also, "80 percent of marriages are happy."
The 50-percent divorce figure is simply a myth based upon decades-old (and woefully inaccurate) speculation. As it turns out, the shelf-life for marriages in the U.S. has taken a sharp turn for the better since the 1970s and ’80s.
“‘But the divorce rate has been dropping,’ Feldhahn said. ‘We’ve never hit those numbers [the 50 percent figure]. We’ve never gotten close.’”
“And it’s even lower among churchgoers, where a couple’s chance of divorcing is more likely in the single digits or teens,” added CBN.
As it turns out, your gut was right. It’s all nonsense – urban legend of a sort, propagated, most likely, by the same post-moderns who today seek to similarly undermine the God-designed institution of legitimate man-woman marriage by redefining it into oblivion.
The Atlanta-based researcher and author realized the widespread belief that marriage failure is as bad in the Church as the rest of the world demoralizes Christians and can even cause them to question their faith.
"For a pastor it means 'all my work doesn't mean very much,'" Feldhahn told CBN News. "For the average person in the congregation there's this subtle feeling like, 'If that's true: if on something as important as marriage, doing what the Bible says doesn't change anything, what does that mean about the Bible?'"
Virginia Pastor Daniel Floyd, with Fredericksburg's Lifepoint Church, has seen how this can hurt people's faith.
"Because a 50 percent divorce rate inside the church really just said the church makes no difference in your marriage," Floyd explained. "And that's quite an indictment of the church."
Christian psychotherapist Angel Davis said the belief half of marriages fail can even give people permission to give up.
"When you have something like a statistic like 50 percent, it gives you the option," she told CBN News. "It becomes an option in your mind."
The actual divorce rate has never gotten close to 50 percent.
Those who attend church regularly have a significantly lower divorce rate than those who don’t.
Most marriages are happy.
Simple changes make a big difference in most marriage problems.
Most remarriages succeed.
And finally, Divorce isn’t the greatest threat to marriage. Discouragement is.
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