Stuck On You

“And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”

Matthew 19:4-6

Summer and weddings seem to go hand in hand (no pun intended). In meeting new couples these past few months I have been encouraged by the number of years some have been married. Its fun to ask that question in a mixed group of younger and older couples and then hear a gasp in excitement when the response is, “we have been married for over 50 years.” Thats longer than some couples in the group have been alive.

Most of us have heard the following statement, “50% of all marriages end in divorce” and yet it seems that statistic could not be further from the truth if the Census Bureau study is even remotely accurate. I read recently that 79.48% of all statistics are made up on the spot, LOL, and that must be true regarding divorce statistics saying that 50% of all marriages end in divorce. Next time you hear that quote used asked the speaker their source. There isn’t one. Most of us have simply heard someone else say it and we unknowingly pass it along.

A Census Bureau’s 2009 Survey of Income and Program Participation reported that 72% of people who have ever been married are still married to their first spouse. That’s great news! I’m not a math major but I do know that 72% is a far cry from the 50% that we hear quoted most often. Yet, the sad truth is the divorce rate number is climbing ever so slightly each year. The one thing that skews the numbers is that both Christians and non-Christian marriage are lumped together in the same category. The point being, the number of divorces of those outside the church is higher than those that make up the body of Christ. The saying, “the couple that prays together stays together” seems to be true the statistics prove.  

Marriage is alive and well for the very reason Jesus stated in Matthew and in Mark’s Gospel account. When a man and woman are joined together by God in marriage the bible says they are “glued together” or better imagery might be, they are “welded together”, and God’s intention is they stay that way until they are separated by death. That’s not just an exhortation but a warning to not seek to separate what God has joined together. God knows marriage includes seasons of richer and poorer, better and worse, along with sickness and health. It’s standing the test of time and knowing God’s glue really does hold that makes marriage exciting.

Be encouraged today to know that the majority of those getting married stay that way for life and to the same person, for better for worse, for richer and for poorer and in sickness and in health. The beauty of marriage is the reflection it provides of the hearts of those who enter into its sacred covenant.

Divorce occurs Jesus went on to say in Matthew’s Gospel because either one or both parties developed a hard heart. That’s sad but that’s what Jesus stated divorce reveals about us from within us and to the world around us. Christian marriage is to be a reflection of God’s love, His sacrifice, His forgiveness and His loving support. God knows two are better than one and today, like you, I am blessed to know too that so many more married couples are staying together than being torn apart, (though one divorce is one too many) and that their goal is to become one not two.

Pray for the institution of marriage today because it’s under attack in this country. Pray that every marriage would be held in honor by all, and especially by those who profess faith in God believing that He has “welded together” on the day of their wedding ceremony. May the bonds of marriage not be broken, and may every marriage experience the bliss of becoming one in Jesus!

“For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”

Mark 10:7-9

I LOVE YOU!

Michael Osthimer

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