By Marlin Kilpatrick
It is a known fact that marriages can and often do fail. The failure rate among all marriages being performed today is about 50%. With such a failure rate in marriages, there are also a number of people who are living together without the bonds of matrimony. Consequently, we have an increase in the number of births out of wedlock. Failing marriages and births out of wedlock are real problems facing the Lord’s church.
There are numerous reasons why marriages fail. It appears that many men and women enter into a marriage with a flippant attitude toward any long-term commitment: “Oh, well, if it doesn’t work out, we’ll just divorce and try again.” I refer to this as marriage, Hollywood style. I realize this isn’t entirely true of every marriage among movie celebrities, and some Hollywood celebrities have been married for over 50 years (which is very rare even in normal society).
Another reason that marriages fail is too high expectations on the part of one or both spouses. Money and sex make up a large part of this category. If the wife is unhappy with the amount of money she has at her disposal for household expenses and her enjoyment, she may blame her husband for his inability to adequately provide for his family. A husband’s expectations for intimacy with his wife might be unreasonable. A good dose of common sense will go a long way toward a compromise on the part of both spouses. Marriage is not a 50/50 proposition. Marriage is a 100/100 per cent commitment on the part of both mates. If just one mate is not totally committed to the success of it, the chances for the marriage surviving are drastically reduced.
In the state of Florida, where I was born, at one time, before one could get a divorce, a spouse had to prove in county court that his/her spouse had committed adultery or fornication. Only upon such proof could a divorce be obtained. Today in Florida, no proof of marital unfaithfulness (i.e. adultery or fornication) is required. Now all one needs to do is to go before a county court judge and declare his/her marriage is irretrievably broken. The judge then grants what is called a “Dissolution of Marriage.” How convenient! Something has changed, but God’s word has not changed. Society’s attitude toward the sacred scriptures has changed.
Precious people, regardless of what a county court judge may declare, your marriage cannot be dissolved unless your spouse is guilty of fornication (cf. Matthew 19:9). A return to the never-failing scriptures is the answer to all of our problems, including marriage difficulties. The never-failing scriptures are always right, but men are often wrong. Think about it.