It’s generally known that about half of all marriages end in divorce. Depending on who did the research and the questions asked, Christians have a divorce rate that is 10% higher or 10% lower. In any case, a bulk of marriages are ending in divorce regardless of religious affinities.
Most churches teach that marriage lasts until one member of the couple dies. But simply telling congregations to they need to see this thing to the end obviously isn’t working.
From personal experience, I’ve read TONS of books on marriage and relationships. My wife and I have read several of them together. In nearly 9 years of matrimony we’ve been to a week-long marriage seminar, a one-night marriage event, attended an 8-week class with a booklet and instructional videos, and worked through a 15-part video series at home.
Basically none of it worked.
All of those things gave us some great tools to try or dug us out of a tough situation. They were amazing teachings that I’d highly recommend to any couple. But weeks after completing the study we’d have something come up that divided our hearts.
The problem I’ve discovered is that I’m a Bible-reading, church-going, praying Christian man who has compartmentalized my life with God.
My marriage isn’t “Christian” enough, and I’m guessing yours isn’t either. Otherwise the divorce rate in our country would look drastically different.
A 1997 Gallup Poll done by the National Association of Marriage Enhancement (nameonline.net) showed the divorce rate among couples who pray together regularly is 1 out of 1,152.
That’s a divorce rate of less than one percent. Way less than one percent.
Another research project done at the University of Texas, San Antonio, and reported in the Journal of Marriage and Family in August 2010, studied 2400 couples. They focused on four things: 1) The effect of a couple belonging to the same denomination; 2) Their attending religious services together; 3) Shared beliefs and values; and 4) What they did at home in the way of worship activities (i.e. read the Bible and pray together).
Results were stated in terms of marital satisfaction. As to be expected, the couples who shared any of the four things all reported higher rates of satisfaction in their marriages compared to those who didn’t. But what’s fascinating is that rates were highest with those that prayed and/or read the Bible together at home.
These are couples living their faith out at home with their spouse and not just on Sundays or by themselves. They are reaping the reward of happier marriages that never end in divorce.
Men don’t often like to be vulnerable, and prayer is a vulnerable thing. It feels intimate and private. Like it should just be you and God.
Isn’t sex with your wife intimate and private?
How are we able to stand naked before our ladies, freely exposing the glory God bestowed upon us without any shame, but we can’t hold their hand and ask God to bless our kids? Being more comfortable exposing your crotch to your wife instead of your soul is why the average first marriage lasts only 8 years.
Husbands, we have the opportunity to divorce-proof our marriages. But we have to get over our egos and let our guard down. That weird uncomfortable feeling that rises up when we pray out loud in front of someone goes away a lot faster than you think if you just press though.
My wife and I have been pretty streaky when it comes to praying together. But I can say for certain that the times we’ve been consistent have been incredible seasons in our marriage. Vice versa, when we go long stretches without a conference call to God, things tend to get a little rocky between us.
Make your marriage more “Christian” and install some divorce-proofing. Get over yourself and pray with your wife.
I guarantee you’ll never regret it.
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