They Sure Shouldn't Be!

"This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh"
"This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh" | Source
"What God has brought together let man not tear apart."
"What God has brought together let man not tear apart." | Source
"It was not this way from the beginning."
"It was not this way from the beginning." | Source
Dads need to step up and take their job more seriously!
Dads need to step up and take their job more seriously! | Source
"And for this reason a man shall leave his mother and father and cleave unto his wife."
"And for this reason a man shall leave his mother and father and cleave unto his wife." | Source
Family is very important to God!
Family is very important to God! | Source
It all starts here, God's word!
It all starts here, God's word! | Source
We in the pews need to take it seriously!
We in the pews need to take it seriously! | Source

This is my answer to the question, "Why are divorces as prevalent in Christian marriages as in secular marriages?"

Cloverleaffarm has given the answer, although not quite the way I think she is trying to...

Christians don't take marriage seriously anymore. You're right, the church is no different from the outside world, where half of all marriages end in divorce. And often, it's not that fifty percent of all couples get divorced, it's that if a person has been divorced once they are more likely to do it again.

I don't want to belittle the fact that cheating, lying and abuse DO happen in Christian marriages, and sometimes divorce needs to happen. But if the church (and here I'm not talking just about church leaders, I'm also talking about those who sit in the pews) took their role as Christ's representatives here on Earth more seriously, if they took their God more seriously, most of this stuff wouldn't happen.

Once upon a time marriage was looked upon as a sacred commitment, handed down from God at Creation. There have always been scoundrels, there have always been unfaithful spouses. There have been periods in different histories when cheating was considered "normal" and you were outside the fold if you were faithful to your spouse. But even when that was considered desirable, it was usually restricted to the "upper classes," the royalty and the artists. The common people, the working class, they understood that when you committed to something, that your word was supposed to mean something! Nowadays, we have "Christian" artists and others within the church complaining that there is "no support" for divorced people, yet half the church is divorced!

It's all supposed to start with the Bible. Genesis 2:23-24, " "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman,' for she was taken out of man." For this reason a man will leave his father and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh." (NIV) This verse was the reason so many wedding ceremonies would end with the preacher or the priest intoning, "What God has brought together, let man not separate." Many ceremonies still do.

Again, Malachi 2:16, "For I hate sending away, said Jehovah, God of Israel, And He who hath covered violence with his clothing, said Jehovah of Hosts, And ye have been watchful over your spirit, And ye do not deal treacherously." (Young's Literal Translation) The "sending away" was divorce, for it says in another translation, "15 Has not the one God made you? You belong to him in body and spirit. And what does the one God seek? Godly offspring. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful to the wife of your youth. 16 “The man who hates and divorces his wife,” says the LORD, the God of Israel, “does violence to the one he should protect,” says the LORD Almighty. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful." (Malachi 2:15-16, NIV)

Jesus Himself reinforced this when He said, " 4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” (Matthew 19:4-6, NIV) He said in other places that a man who divorces his wife commits adultery and that a woman who divorces her husband, except for marital infidelity, commits adultery as well. He clarified that it was not God, but Moses, who allowed divorce and he did so because men have hard hearts.

The church does not take it's role as Christ's bride seriously anymore. There are individual churches here and there, and individuals within other churches, who take it seriously, or at least try to. But calling yourself a Christian is still considered a respectable thing to do by many people, and Christianity has become too easy and casual for many people. "It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." (Hebrews 10:31, NIV) But many believers don't act this way.

Men need to take our roles as men more seriously. It's difficult to do in today's society, the role models are hard to find. Blessed is the man, whether or not he is a believer or comes from a believing household, who has someone who can teach him patience, trust, kindness, honesty, love and justice. Blessed are his children when he displays those traits. And blessed is everyone when he can teach his children to display those traits as well.

There is one point that I'm sure will be brought up and needs to be addressed. Does an enforcement of these rules lead to a repressive, patriarchal society? Do women get the short end of the stick in these situations?

No.

Not if the men are taking their roles as protectors and providers seriously. Not if the men are taking the fact that they will be accountable to their God seriously. And not if men take the fact that what their children see today they will do tomorrow seriously. And those children will be accountable to God, and those fathers will be accountable to God for those children, and their wives. A good marriage takes work, there are no fairy tales. And mutual trust and respect are essential, but so is being trustworthy and respectful. That goes for both the husband and the wife. And when the church stops taking it seriously, the world will conform the church to it, not the other way around. Every time.

I can think of no sadder commentary on the American church than that divorce is just as prevalent inside the church as it is outside. But it was not this way from the beginning.



copyright (C) 2012 christopher w neal all rights reserved

Many thanks to Biblegateway.com, from where I pulled the Biblical quotes


What do you think about divorce being as prevalent inside the church as outside?

  • I agree, it's a sad commentary on the church.
  • It's nobody's business, don't butt in!
  • Divorce happens, it's just life.
See results without voting

Comments 14 comments

CJ Sledgehammer 4 years ago

Thank you, Chris, for answering my question in such a scholarly fashion, and please know that your words resonate with wisdom and truth.

A well-written and thought-provoking article.

Voted up, interesting, useful, beautiful, and downright awesome! :0)

Best wishes and be well - C.J. Sledgehammer


Chris Neal profile image

Chris Neal 4 years ago from Fishers, IN Author

Wow! Thank you so much!


cloverleaffarm profile image

cloverleaffarm 4 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham

Actually, I meant exactly what I said. Christians aren't any more holyier than anyone else. They don't have some super power that separates them from the troubles in the world. Being a Christian does not make one better than a Buddist. We all pray to a higher being. He just has a different name. One god, different prayers.

There are many Christians who cheat, and beat their wives, and children. I had a foster son here, who I saw being physically abused by his mother. She would punch him, and that is just what I saw. One can only imagine what went on behind closed doors in this "Christian" house. She also once told me to drown the kittens that my cat had.

Some members of my family are just as bad. My husband lost his kids in the divorce because his mother would not help. She is a so called "Christian".

Sad, but true, many Christians hide behind their faith, so that they can find a way to justify their actions. I have seen this in many a so called "Christian" home.

You talk about the role of men. What exactly is the role of a man? Protectors & providers? What does that mean? And what is the role of women?

An abusive man, or woman has deep rooted problems. No clergy or members of any church (unless they are a psychiatrist) is going to be able to help. Taking God more seriously is not the answer for an abuser.

You can quote all the bible you want, Christians are no better, and are not less prone to Earthly troubles. No divorce, or cheating, or lying (one which my Christian mother in law has down to a science), or stealing.

Cheating was not restricted to the "upper class, royals, and artists". Common people cheat just as much. It's just not written about in history. Cheating knows no boundaries in social class.

Oh, and you didn't mention all the gay men throughout the times that married to avoid persecution from family and friends.

PS. God did not hand marriage down from creation. It is a man made, or should I say church made sanction.


Dave Mathews profile image

Dave Mathews 4 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

The fact that couples do not ake there marriage vows seriously is prevelent and more so even today. The one phrase at the end, "Till death do you Part" is thee key phrase in the whole of the marriage vows spoken, but no one seems to take that seriously any more.


CJ Sledgehammer 4 years ago

Cloverleaffarm:

I appreciate your passionate response. The bottom line is Christians are not "better", but they are forgiven and in being forgiven, they are now called "Children of God". Washed and cleansed of sin, if you will.

No, not all paths lead to God anymore than all highways lead to New York. As they say, "If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything" and this is a common plight across the globe.

As far as my question is concerned, there should be a great difference or grand divide between the conduct of children of the world and children of God. As Christians we should live by a higher standard, but so many are just Christians in name only (CINO's). They have been seduced by what the world has to offer and they have forsaken the straight and narrow path. Matthew 7:13

You are right when you said Christians aren't any holier than anyone else. True. And, that is exactly the problem. The problem facing Christianity in America and in all the industrialized nations of Europe, is they don't follow Christ's example. Instead, they follow the world, but show up to church on Sunday mornings, kneel, bow, toss a couple bucks into the offering plate and then leave as quickly as possible, so they can start the whole charade and routine over again come Monday morning.

At the end of the day many Christians deny the power of the Holy Spirit and grieve the Lord by living like the common heathen does 6 days out of the week. In this regard, they are virtually no different than those who live for themselves or follow a false god, and little wonder their lives parallel those outside the church.

Best wishes to you and yours - C.J. Sledgehammer


Chris Neal profile image

Chris Neal 4 years ago from Fishers, IN Author

Obviously, we disagree on a lot of things. I'm very sorry for your experiences with your foster son and mother in law. I wish I could change them for you. I hope for better for you in the future.


Chris Neal profile image

Chris Neal 4 years ago from Fishers, IN Author

Both inside and outside the church, you are all too sadly correct. Men especially need to start taking marriage and family more seriously, because God most certainly does.

Thank you so much for your comment!


Chris Neal profile image

Chris Neal 4 years ago from Fishers, IN Author

Very well said! Thank you!


CJ Sledgehammer 4 years ago

Hi, Chris:

If you could do your readers one small favor: please refer to their names when you are responding, because it isn't always clear who you are addressing. :0)


Chris Neal profile image

Chris Neal 4 years ago from Fishers, IN Author

CJ -

Yes, sorry about that! This is my first hub to get so many comments, I never had to worry about it before!

Also sorry to Dave and cloverleaf!


CJ Sledgehammer 4 years ago

All's well that ends well. :0)


hookedhuntress profile image

hookedhuntress 4 years ago

Nice hub Chris!

I agree with C.J.There are many that call themselves Christian when they clearly are NOT.

A Christian is a follower of Jesus Christ.Jesus was not abusive,a liar,a cheater or a thief.The bible says you can know who truly is a follower of Christ by their fruit.

The proof is in the fruit..so to speak.

Look at the underlying causes of divorce,the underlying causes are not Christ like behaviors but more self centered, self serving,carnal behaviors..and it is a testament to the lack of truth in the churches and or the lack of Christ in the actual churches.(the proof is in the fruit)

We are called to live in peace.

1Corinthians 7:15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.

I personally think that is why Paul tells wives to learn from their husbands at home.(Because if the wife is learning a different doctrine other than her husband's it will disrupt the peace in the household..but that is off topic :P )

Voted up and leaving feed back/s!


Chris Neal profile image

Chris Neal 4 years ago from Fishers, IN Author

CJ -

;)


Chris Neal profile image

Chris Neal 4 years ago from Fishers, IN Author

Huntress -

Thank you so much and very well said!

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