If current divorce statistics in the church are any indication, the institution of marriage may not survive the next two decades. That's because couples who profess Christianity seem to be following the secular trend of rampant divorce. A holy ordinance of God, traditional matrimony has been held in high regard for nearly 2,000 years, but twenty-first century ethics have threatened to erode the very foundation upon human civilization is built: a lifelong bond between husbands and wives. The sad situation is that while divorces in the secular world steadily escalate, failed marriages among Christians come in at a close second. While nearly one third of all first time marriages end before the tenth year, a recent poll indicated that divorce statistics in the church fall along denominational lines and tend to decline with increased church attendance. Studies indicate the family that prays together really does tend to stay together. Believers who attend church at least once a week have a lower divorce rate than those who attend only sporadically or not at all.
According to divorce statistics in the church that polled attendance among Catholics, Protestants and Evangelicals; Catholics who regularly went to mass were less likely to dissolve marriages than any other denomination. Only 21 to 23 percent of faithful attendees separated, while the rate nearly doubled for those who attended infrequently, at 41%. The lower rate for Catholics may be due in part to the fact that the Vatican used to excommunicate parishioners who legally separated. Decades ago, parishioners ran the risk of being cut off from partaking of the Holy Sacraments and other religious rites. Leniency on the part of the Vatican regarding divorce and remarriage may have emboldened couples to end marriages rather than stay in unhappy relationships. "But from the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave unto his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder"..."...Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery" (Mark 10:6-9; 11b-12).
Among members of Protestant denominations who regularly attend worship services, divorce statistics in the church indicate a larger percentage of marital dissolution than Catholics. Almost one-third of Protestant church-goers of those queried had been divorced, ten percent more than Catholics. But Protestants who seldom attend worship services divorced at a rate of 42%. A ten percent difference between church goers and unfaithful believers clearly shows that dedicated Protestant followers of Jesus Christ seem to be more determined to stay married. From these findings, one could conclude that regular church attendance and fellowship with other believers has a positive impact on married life. Divorce statistics in the church clearly demonstrate that a believer who not only professes salvation and faith in Jesus Christ, but also actively practices their faith will have a tendency to avoid divorce. But in some cases, even the most faithful are not immune to the specter of a failed marriage. High profile cases involving Baptist preachers point out the fact that regardless of an individual's belief system, it takes both the husband and the wife to iron out marital difficulties and fight to save a marriage.
When it comes to non-denominational believers, findings indicate that Evangelicals who regularly attend church are also less likely to separate than those who rarely worship. Faithful Evangelicals divorce at a rate of 32 percent versus 54 percent for the unfaithful group. Reports of higher divorce statistics in the church for Evangelicals may be astonishing because more charismatic groups are known for preaching the full Gospel of Jesus Christ, including monogamous lifelong marriage, spiritual empowerment, and the baptism with the Holy Spirit. But like those in less charismatic denominations, several high profile divorces among popular televangelists could account for the higher rate of marital dissolution among average couples.
To decrease divorce statistics in the church, the solution for Baptists, Catholics, and Evangelicals may be to "practice what they preach." God's Word can only be as effective as followers desire to make it. A failure to adhere to sound biblical doctrine, especially when it comes to marriage and fidelity, could weaken a denomination and the Body of Christ as a whole. "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 with the wife of his youth. For the Lord, the God of Israel, saith that He hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the Lord of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously" (Malachi 2:15-16).
The Word of God gives explicit instructions to husbands and wives who are both believers or married to unsaved spouses to help overcome the perils and pitfalls that often plague Christian marriages. I Corinthians, Chapter 7 is also known as the marriage chapter. Couples should also read Ephesians, Chapter 5 to gain insight on God's purpose for holy matrimony, and how husbands and wives should entreat one another for marital success. Adherents of the Bible cannot easily break the wedding vow; nor are they eager to fall into disfavor with God by ending an institution He ordained. Divorce statistics in the church indicate believers who rely on a faith in God to sustain them through marital difficulties are less likely to wind up in divorce court. The solution for Christian couples in crisis is to seek the will of God through diligent prayer, faithful church attendance, and a practical application of the Bible. Seeking spiritual guidance or counseling with a seasoned minister will also help partners find solutions for marital difficulties and begin the road to recovery and reconciliation.
Child Custody StatisticsChild Custody Statistics show that most couples seeking divorce decide together who gets custody of the children. More than half of the partners who split up do not need third party involvement to decide on where the children will live and who they will live with. In the 1990's more children were with their mothers and were being raised without a father. After 1994 more fathers were raising their children but the numbers of single mothers raising children was still greater. In 2008, mothers with custody outnumbered fathers six to one. Child Custody Statistics show the children prefer joint custody agreements. "And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make a helper for him" (Genesis 2:18).
Single fathers have a higher percentage of being employed over single mothers. There are more single mothers that live in poverty than single fathers. Single parenting can be a positive experience for both the adult and the children because there is a strong bond that develops between them. Other family members often help out with the children. Children are often taught about real life situations and how important their contribution to the family is when they are part of a single parent household. This happens because the mother relies on them more with helping around the house and learning to be responsible when he or she is not home. Child Custody Statistics show that children need the current system to be reformed where both parents share custody.
The current system could be reformed to try and influence adults to take joint responsibility for the children but this will not fix all of the cases where the other parent is missing or the mother does not know who the father is. In addition, reform will probably not have a bearing on the fathers or mothers who do not want the responsibility of the kids and are willing to give up parental rights to avoid facing responsibility. Child Custody Statistics does not seem to include a specific breakdown on these particular situations. When there is not another adult to help support the children then the state has to step up and provide services to fill in the gap. Services provided often include food stamps, housing assistance, medical care, and so on.
Children are the ones who suffer the most when parents divorce. Child Custody Statistics show that kids from single parent homes suffer with serious problems compared to kids whose parents have joint custody. Some of the problems include bad grades and behavior problems in school, alcohol and drug dependency, and running away from home. When both parents are involved in decision-making the percentage for problems goes down. Statistics show that when states adopt or encourage joint custody, couples are less likely to go through with divorce. When a partner realizes that her spouse will be directly involved with the children and that moving away wouldn't be an option she may rethink her strategy and in many cases decide to try and work out differences.
Providers of child support payments show that the percentage of men who pay child support is higher than the percentage of women who pay child support. This agrees with Child Custody Statistics that show women as winning custody of the children in the majority of cases. The median amount paid by women is lower than that of men. This could be because women generally make less money than men do. When parents share custody of the children then there is no need for either one to pay child support. Adults who work together for the common good of the children can bring stability and security to a child who no longer has Mom and Dad living together.
A little less than 50% of children born today are born out of wedlock. Child Custody Statistics show a large percentage of children living with only one parent and some of these are born into a home where their parents have never lived together. This means that a large percentage of children live in single parent homes. This is disturbing since there are more problems associated with kids who live in single parent homes. Some of this has to do with adults who have been married before and after divorce found that they had issues with trusting anyone again. The best thing that a single parent can do is take the kids to church and teach them about God. Try to live a life that is led by the Holy Spirit and be an example to the kids on how having a relationship with God can make a difference. When the family unit is suffering because there is not enough support Christian teaching and counseling can bring hope and healing.
The answer for future generations is to try and bring kids up where they will want to be responsible for any decisions that they make regarding parenthood. If a couple engages in relations before marriage there is always a chance that a child could be born out of wedlock. Kids really need both of their parents and this is obvious when looking at Child Custody Statistics that show the problems associated with single parent homes. Kids struggle with school, have relationship problems, and are deprived to a certain extent because the financial situation is less with just one parent being a sole provider. If a child is brought up learning about God and reading His word and the adult influencer lives a Christian life then there is a higher percentage that he or she will be more responsible when the time comes.