May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. A loving doe, a graceful deer — may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be captivated by her love. (Proverbs 5:18-19)
A statistic endlessly repeated in the news, academic papers, and by politicians that one in two marriages end it divorce is inaccurate and pernicious. It tends to weaken resolve and serve as an excuse for couples to split during hard times.
In fact, these conclusions are based on statistically flawed data analysis. Studies show that divorce in the United States has never reached this level, and new research suggests that rates are declining, according to The New York Times. The only exception to this is among non-religious people, where the divorce rate is 50%.
Furthermore, it’s inaccurate to say, “Christians divorce at roughly the same rate as the world!” In fact, people who seriously practice a traditional religious faith — Christian or other — have divorce rates markedly lower than the general population. The factors making the most difference are religious commitment and practice.
Active Protestants have divorce rates ranging from 16% to 28%, active Catholics from 16% to 24%. Stated another way, 72% of people are still married to their first spouse. The 28% who aren’t, include people who were married for years until a spouse died.
These divorce rates are nothing to brag about; but the bottom line seems to be that Christians who attend church regularly have lower divorce rates than those who do not.
Social researcher and best-selling author Shaunti Feldhahn has concluded, “The most important big-picture truth: contrary to popular opinion, most marriages are strong and happy for a lifetime. That doesn’t mean marriages are perfect; there are still plenty of legitimate concerns out there. But for our culture as a whole, the marriages that are unhappy, the ones that don’t make it, are the exception rather than the rule.”
Religious commitment helps keep families together.