Sermons

Summary: One of the most shocking statistics about divorce is that couples who go to church regularly get divorced only slightly less often than those who don't. Why is that? I think it is at least partly due to the fact that the Bible teaching on marriage is sel

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Purpose: To explain God's view of marriage.

Aim: I want the listener to esteem marriage.

INTRODUCTION: Divorce is a real problem in our country. Several years ago this ad appeared in a California newspaper: "Divorce, $25 Divorce Centers of Calif. Unload that turkey."

A so called "born-again" television preacher said, "I'm happier now than I was before the divorce because I'm my own person, making decisions on my own.....In my mind, God is a forgiving father and He loves me despite the divorce. I'm hoping I'm not judged as a Christian on the basis of a divorce, chuck and I are both happier being divorced friends than married enemies."

In spite of the fact that the divorce rate is much higher than it has ever been, it is not as bad as the news media would have us believe. The glum statistics that say half of the marriages end in divorce are wrong. According to pollster Louis Harris only 1 in 8 marriages end in divorce.

Americans have been led to believe for the last decade that the institution of marriage is decaying since the government's National Center for Health Statistics revealed that there had been 2.4 million new marriages and 1.2 million divorces in 1981. Overlooked in the divorce statistics are the number of already existing marriages. "What was left out is that there are 54 million other marriages that are going on very nicely, thank you," he said. Each year only 2 percent of existing marriages will actually end in divorce, according to calculations by Harris which combine ongoing and new marriages.

A statistician with the U. S. Census Bureau agreed that the divorce statistics presented for the last few years have been deceiving because the number of ongoing marriages was not calculated. "A number of academies made a sensational splash" out of the statistics released in 1981," Harris said, "and the media got a lot of mileage out of it." And "ever since then, an indelible message has been chorused in church pulpits, academic broadsides, and political prophecies of doom for the American family." Yet, in reality, he said, "the American family is surviving under enormous pressure."

Harris questioned the much-touted divorce statistics after polling 3,001 persons for a family survey. The study showed a "glowing picture of the American family." Among the findings of the poll: Eighty-five percent of families have happy marriages. Ninety-four percent are highly satisfied with family relationships. Eighty six percent said they are happy with the support they receive from family members during a crisis. Only 20 percent said they are not happy with family life. Harris called the 1-2 divorce-marriage ratio "one of the most specious pieces of statistical nonsense ever perpetrated in modern times." [1]

One of the most shocking statistics about divorce is that couples who go to church regularly get divorced only slightly less often than those who don't. Why is that? I think it is at least partly due to the fact that the Bible teaching on marriage is seldom explained.


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