Apparently nothing quite says “Happy New Year!” like the words: “I want a divorce.”
According to lawyers, though, that’s exactly what happens—and law firms brace themselves for the first working Monday after the holidays. The number of people who contact them about divorce doubles (or sometimes triples) during this time.
While the good news is that the divorce rate is dropping from its peak in the 1970s and 80s, the bad news is that divorce still hurts. Deeply. If you’re one of those considering divorce, may I please offer a suggestion? Before you visit a lawyer, visit a church. (Not just once, but once a week. For a while.)
Some statistics explain why:
- Those who regularly attend religious services are 47% less likely to divorce.
- How frequently you attend church positively affects your sexual satisfaction.
- Those who regularly attend worship have larger social networks and more social support from their spiritual families than those who don’t attend church. Such support leads to better emotional and physical health. (Which, by default, leads to stronger marriages.)
Not all positive results can be statistically measured. Is there really a way to measure the result of hearing from and worshiping the God who designed marriage and called it good? The same God who can work miracles of healing to bodies can work healing in marriages. The God who is preparing to come back for his bride (the church) wants marriages to be a living example of the gospel. Fueling up with his grace at worship helps you pass along that grace in your home.
One other thing, I know that even for those who do attend church, divorce still happens. If this is you, please don’t give up on your spiritual family. You need the support of the people around you. You need to hear of the perfect love of the Father.
For those who are regular churchgoers, please offer love and support. Too many people who’ve gone through divorces have left their spiritual families because of being judged and ostracized. The best time for Christians to act is when people are hurting the most.
Linda Buxa has one other idea for marriage. Thanks to her pastor’s advice, she prays (almost every day), “Jesus, please give my spouse a more Jesus-centered spouse.”