Depending on which source you use, today’s divorce is 50% or higher, meaning that 1 of every two marriages will end in divorce. The divorce rate is higher now than any time in American history.
Divorce has always been an issue but why are so many of today’s marriages ending in divorce?
One of the main reasons is that we have two generations of Americans who have been taught to be self-centered and think only of their own self-gratification. They are misled to believe that love is an emotion all about how the other person makes you feel.
How often do you hear someone say they’ve fallen out of love with their spouse or that the feelings are gone? You hear it in songs, in movies, on television shows, it’s become the normal.
What many people fail to understand is that love is NOT an emotion but an action verb.
When most couples get married, they feel like they are in love and can’t keep their hands off each other, but what they are experiencing is infatuation, not love. It’s the infatuation that wears off and that’s when many couples began to have problems.
I was taught long ago that love is doing what I can to please the other person and to do it with no motive of reward or recognition. If you truly love someone, you will put them and their needs over your own and be willing to sacrifice for them.
Learning that, I’ve often done things for my wife that she didn’t expect and I did them for no other reason but to please her. I would get up, even when I was hurting or sick and make her a cup of tea and take it to her because I knew how much it would please her. I hate washing dishes and cleaning the toilet, but I’ve done it on many occasions just because I knew it would please her. I’ve intentionally changed many of my habits and personality traits because I knew she didn’t like them. She didn’t try to change me, I changed myself because I loved her.
Early in our marriage, I was taught not to expect things from my wife. I was taught if you don’t expect then you’re not disappointed when they don’t do it. This helps avoid many sources of anger and arguments.
Lastly and most importantly, many couples today fail to put Jesus Christ in the center of their lives and build their marriage around a relationship with Jesus at the center.
This was one of the hardest lessons for me to learn. For the first 7 years of our marriage, I wasn’t a Christian and we had more than our share of fights. Even though I wasn’t a Christian, I didn’t believe in divorce, so knew it wasn’t an option. Before we got married, I sat my fiancé, now my wife, down and told her every bad habit and trait about myself that I could think of and said that if she couldn’t handle this then now was the time to end the relationship, not after we were married. About 2 years after we were married, she asked if I remembered that day and then told me that she didn’t think anyone could be that bad but I hadn’t lied. She was from a sheltered conservative home and I was not. Then about 7 years into our marriage, I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior. That’s when I knew I needed to start changing things about myself because I was a Christian and because I knew how important it was to my wife.
This past July, we celebrated our 45th anniversary and look forward to many more years together. I’ll admit that we still have our differences, but we’re able to work them out because we have Christ in our lives and marriage and because we understand what real love for each other is.
If more couples would learn that love is NOT an emotion but an action to please the OTHER person, not ourselves, their marriages would last a lot longer. If more couples would go into marriage believing that divorce is not an option and marriage requires work and compromise from BOTH people, their marriages would last a lot longer. If couples learned not to expect each other say and do things, then they won’t be disappointed and have a less arguments and hurt feelings. If more couples would put Christ in the center of their marriage and act like He was always present, which He is, then their marriages would last a lot longer and our nation would have a much lower divorce rate and millions of kids would be raised in homes with both a father and mother.
Every couple planning on getting married needs to pay heed to the description of love as found in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a:
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.”
Never is love described as a feeling or emotion. This is why so many marriages fail!