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Strengthening Marriages Today: Navigating Challenges in a High-Divorce Society

A collective audible gasp filled the church auditorium years ago. At least that's how I remember it, sitting here in my private study. "Nearly one-half of all marriages end in divorce," the speaker announced. We couldn't believe it. The idea of marriage being so fragile seemed unfathomable.

Years later, in college, hearing that half of all marriages end in divorce didn't shock us as much. It seemed culture was bent on normalizing the impermanence of marriage. Divorce became a recurring theme in news, movies, and even late-night TV.

Cindy and I tied the knot on the 4th of July, 1998. It was a day filled with beauty and hope. Though divorce was a foreign concept in our marriage, we watched as relationships around us, ones we admired and believed strong, crumbled. This was a stark contrast to the dreams and promises made at the altar.

Now, over 25 years later, it feels like the divorce epidemic has only grown. The pandemic, like a shake to a sediment-settled jar, brought hidden marital issues to the surface. Interestingly, recent research, including data from the American Psychological Association, suggests a slight decline in divorce rates, now hovering around 40-50% for first marriages. This could be due to trends like cohabitation and later marriages.

Regardless of statistics, the value of a stable marriage stands strong. Research consistently highlights the benefits of an intact marriage for both parents and children. The Biblical ideal of marriage as a union so close that two become one offers a timeless model for commitment and interdependence.

As the world grapples with the reality of divorce, we believe it's essential to showcase marriages that last. God's love for divorcees is immense, yet He despises divorce, perhaps because He understands the immense potential of a harmonious marriage.

Our journey, like many others, has been about nurturing our marriage. We pray not only for our union but for yours too, that it may flourish and become a testament to enduring love and commitment.

This commitment to marriage is why we've dedicated ourselves to marriage mentoring, particularly for ministry couples. Through our work with Dare to be Different and Love & Respect, and our stewardship of the Ministry Couples Retreat, we strive to strengthen the bonds of marriage within the Christian community.

We encourage you to invest in your marriage, in whatever form that takes. Our goal is to see your marriage thrive – for your family, each other, and the Kingdom. And if you feel called to join us on this journey, we welcome you with open arms. Let's grow together in God and in love, building what we call a "Plan A" marriage.

Be blessed!

Cindy and Jeff

P.S. Join Us on Facebook for More Marriage Insights

Looking for marriage enrichment, whether you're contemplating marriage, trying to overcome challenges, or seeking a refresh? Follow us at Christ on the River on Facebook. Our page is a space for sharing insights and resources for every stage of marriage. By joining our community, you'll find support and inspiration for a journey of faith, love, and mutual growth. Let's connect and strengthen our marriages together!

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