Surprisingly, recent Christian divorce rate statistics indicate the number of believers ending marriages is keeping pace and in some cases surpassing those of the secular world. In some Protestant denominations, nearly 58 percent of first-time marriages end in divorce, with rates of 38 percent to 33 percent in others. The denomination with the least amount of marital dissolutions has been Catholics with a rate of 28 percent. The lower number might be reflective of the fact that for decades, divorced Catholics were excommunicated from the Church and prohibited from taking the sacraments. For a devout Catholic, excommunication from partaking of the symbolic blood and body of Jesus Christ at communion would be almost unbearable. For Protestant denominations, an increase in Christian divorce rate statistics would indicate the believer's confession of Jesus Christ as Lord is insufficient to keep them from engaging in the practice of "putting away," or divorcing husbands and wives.
In the Old Testament, the Book of Malachi addresses the act of putting away: ". . . Because the Lord hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant. And did not He make one? Yet, had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That He might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth. For the Lord, the God of Israel, saith that He hateth putting away (divorce): for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the Lord of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously" (Malachi 2:14-16). If more believers realized how much God hates divorce, then Christian divorce rate statistics would no doubt decrease.
The modern day trend of believers separating and escalating Christian divorce rate statistics may be a direct result of well known televangelists opting out of holy wedlock. Some have even been reportedly involved in adulterous affairs which may have precipitated the ending of their marriages. High profile divorces may contribute significantly to higher Christian divorce rate statistics as ordinarily believers emulate the behavior of world renowned religious leaders. In fact, statistics indicate non-denominational and evangelical marriages end at a rate of 53 percent, which is greater than the average for non-believers at close to 50 percent. It is abundantly apparent that when it comes to holy matrimony, preachers of the gospel obviously do not practice what they preach.
While well known church leaders may be the catalyst for other believers to end marriages, the root cause may be a diminished love for God, a sign of the End Times and the Second Coming of Christ. "And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows." "And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold" (Matthew 24:3-8,10-12). As hearts grow cold towards our heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus, there is no way a believer can continue to feel or demonstrate love the brethren, especially in the most sacred of all relationships, the marriage union. Cold hearts eventually lead to cold wars on the home front. Thus, the remedy for increased marital woes or Christian divorce rate statistics may be returning to a love relationship with God and a revival of true worship in the Church.
If current Christian divorce rate statistics continue to escalate, the traditional family unit and the Church at large may be in jeopardy. The Church of the Lord Jesus Christ is built upon the sacred institution of holy matrimony between one man and one woman for the purpose of procreating a godly seed. When the family becomes dysfunctional through marital dissolution, the Body of Christ is weakened; and a weak Church leads to ineffective witnessing and fewer Christian converts. Jesus Christ came to seek and to save that which was lost; but if the lost cannot find a clear pathway to Christ through the lifestyle of the believer, can there be much hope for them to become saved? Christians, therefore, have a moral obligation to strive to stay married --not only for the sake of the family unit, but also for the sake of the Church universal.
Christian divorce rate statistics also indicate a correlation between church attendance and divorce. As believers, confused and disillusioned by trends set by influential leaders, end their own marriages, regular church attendance begins to wane. Statistics indicate that believers who regularly attend worship services are less likely to separate or end the marital relationship. While those who attend less frequently or not at all have higher instances of divorce. The demise of the local assembly may very well be a result of the breakdown of the traditional family unit, as a greater number of believers struggle with marital conflict, absentee fatherhood, economic woes, or joblessness. The solution for believers contemplating ending a marriage is to return to the first principles of holy matrimony as ordained by God: one man and one woman joined together in an impenetrable bond. As the Church at large returns to its first love, Jesus Christ, estranged husbands and wives may be empowered to love again and turn the tide of rampant divorce.