I am a Pastor. I spend my time listening to, counseling with, and providing comfort for, burying and marrying people. People’s lives are not all that dissimilar. People, normal everyday folk—like you and me—in the end want simple things.
Simple things like: happy families and well-educated kids and paid bills and steady jobs and a viable, long-lasting and enduring marriage. Believe it or not, you have been lied to—again. Marriage is doing better than some people think, according to Shaunti Feldhahn, author of the new book, “The Good News about Marriage: Debunking Discouraging Myths about Marriage and Divorce.”
Time to Look at the Stats Again
According to Feldhahn, here are the real stats that govern marriage, divorce and longevity of this most cherished and sacred of all relationships:
- The overall divorce rate for society as a whole has never been close to 50%. While some high-risk groups have hit that number, according to Census figures the overall first-marriage divorce rate is probably closer to 25-30%.
- The common belief that second marriages have a super-high divorce rate of 60%+ is an urban legend; the second-marriage divorce rate is probably closer to 35%.
- The rate of divorce is not the same in the church: it is 25-50% lower, and the common belief otherwise is based on a serious misunderstanding of the Barna data.
- Most marriages aren’t perfect, but most are happy; about 80% of couples enjoy being married, and the 20% who aren’t happy are very likely to be if they stick it out for 5 years.
Contrary to popular opinion, marriage doesn’t require rocket science to make it work; some little adjustments usually make a big difference. Here are some simple adjustments to consider that just might make your spouse’s day a wee-bit easier and gentler to glide through:
- Communicate affirmation: Send a text that just says, “I love you!”
- Spend time together: Take a Walk! No kids…no hassles…no agendas…just walk
- Serve the other person: Do a chore! Lots of tidying up to do around every house…take a moment and help out
- Give a gift: Buy a pastry or special treat! Who doesn’t like chocolate!
- Grow Spiritually together: Come to church and share spiritually with each other.
And don’t forget to listen. Really. Just listen. Turn off the devices. Turn off the TV. Throw away the cares of this day and nestle into the beautiful and calming sound of your spouse at rest. In my mind, that is the true and lasting picture of beauty.
Join me this week!
I am Scott Turansky. I care about families. I have dedicated my life to nurturing and growing and sustaining families. Give me a shout-out. I would love to hear your story. I’m teaching this Sunday, Maybe you’d like to join me.