When you first meet someone and fall in love, the thoughts of getting married and raising a family together are exhilarating. The newness of getting to experience everything together for the first time is intoxicating.
But then life happens. You realize over time that marriage is tough. Raising a family together is tough. Communicating with your partner is tough. Continuing to go on dates is tough. Prioritizing family over work is tough. Learning to blend together the imperfections of two imperfect people tempted by sin every single day is tough.
As the realities of the toughness rare their heads, anger, envy, addiction, jealousy, or self-righteousness slowly find ways to tear apart the love, joy, peace, generosity, and kindness that often marked the early years of marriage. Faithfulness may turn to unfaithfulness in seemingly innocent ways that quickly spiral into infidelity and immorality.
All of a sudden, the tough things in your marriage are easy to do with someone else. You communicate. You go on dates. You prioritize them over work … and family.
And there you sit. At a crossroads in your marriage. Wondering how you became another statistic.
The average length of a first marriage that ends in divorce is roughly eight years.
41% of first marriages end in divorce.
60% of second marriages end in divorce.
73% of third marriages end in divorce.
Arkansas, my home state, has the highest rate of individuals married 3 or more times. Men and women in Arkansas are twice as likely to be married 3 or more times than the national average.
Every 42 seconds, there is one divorce in America, That equates to 86 divorces per hour, 2,046 divorces per day, 14,364 divorces per week, and 746,971 divorces per year.
Those are some crazy statistics. Crazy because I was almost one of them, and crazy because over the last year, I’ve watched on social media three marriages I thought were rock solid, completely crumble.
Recently I saw a post where a family member had commented on a new couple’s photo that he didn’t realize the ex-husband was no longer with his wife. His new girlfriend wrote, “They got a divorce. LoL.”
I’ve pondered the last three letters a lot. There’s nothing funny about divorce. There’s nothing funny about being the person who was at the center of the infidelity. There’s nothing funny about helping destroy the oneness that two people shared. Worse yet, there’s nothing funny about the shattered worlds created for the children involved, who now have their own set of statistics.
* 50% of all children in the United States will witness the end of a parent’s marriage.
* An additional 50% of the children who witness a parent’s divorce will also see the breakup of a parent’s second marriage.
* Teens in single-parent and blended families are 300% more likely to need psychological help.
* Children of divorce are more likely to develop psychological problems when compared to children who lose a parent to death.
* Children from broken homes are almost twice as likely to attempt suicide.
* Children of multiple divorces receive lower grades than their peers.
* Children of divorce are twice as likely to drop out of high school.
As I was reading different statistics, I also read this, “The people involved and the work they put in determine the success of a marriage.”
I don’t judge. I have my own set of sins that I let almost destroy our marriage. I’d quit working on us and was only working on work. For a person who makes a living in communication, I had stopped communicating entirely with my spouse. And he had no clue how close I was to filing for divorce myself and starting over when we landed in ReEngage by the grace of God.
Re|engage is a faith based class about relationships. It’s goal is to help individuals grow in their relationship with their spouse, with other couples, and with God. You don’t have to be at a point where things are rough to attend. It’s a class about enhancing marriages as much as it is about restoring them.
Re|engage is designed to help couples experience what marriage is meant to be. God has designed marriage to be a supportive, loving, life-giving relationship that mirrors His own unconditional love for us. Re|engage is built to help you better understand that design and learn how to apply it to your own marriage.
Perhaps my favorite takeaway as a parent from Re|engage is “we didn’t introduce the word divorce into our child’s vocabulary.”
My favorite growth moment was learning to fix me and love my husband as who God made him to be. He is truly the most wonderful man and gift God could have ever given me.
My favorite thing to share with you today is that Trinity Baptist Church will offer the class again starting on January 17th to 10 couples. Learn more about ReEngage and reserve your spot by visiting the church website:
Source for Statistics:
Divorce Statistics: Over 115 Studies, Facts and Rates for 2022