Over the years, while I have counseled and ministered to married couples in the body of the Messiah, I have noticed a trend of misinformation. Recently, I was being certified as a Marriage Mentor with AACC (American Association of Christian Counselors) when I was reminded of a statistic that is rather disappointing. It was mentioned several times that the Barna Group (George Barna, a Christian statistician) has discovered that divorces in the Church have risen higher then those that do not attend church.
The national average for divorces in America is about 50%, while the Church is experiencing more divorces within its doors than the "world." This means that 1 out of every 2 marriages are experiencing divorce, while the "Church’s" average is about 10 to 15% higher.
What statisticians fail to report is that the percentage of people that come to churches are people in crises. For example, it would be safe to assume that residents of hospitals across the country are more sick rather than healthy people. It would be frivolous to report that hospitals are for the healthy instead of the sick; it just doesn’t make any sense. Therefore, while churches across the country may be experiencing more divorces than the "world," it would be erroneous to assume that churches are made up of completely whole and spiritually sound people. Yes, people can be saints without being perfect; however, it should be noted that only those who recognize the need for a Savior and healing’s of all types are usually the people who attend church in hopes of becoming more accountable believers. And, many couples that are struggling with their marriages are seeking godly advice and comfort, which is why many begin to attend church. Furthermore, the need for support and encouragement is often a positive when it comes to churches.
So, while statistics show percentages and are fairly accurate, they do not show what takes place behind the scenes. The negative factor to churches, however, is that often those that come in for healing usually, in-turn, cast disbelief and judgment on those that are seeking the same kind of healing. Why does that happen? Why is it that people come into the Church as sinners, receive forgiveness, are set free, and then begin to judge those outside of the Church or others within the Church? Could it be that we are all still sinners in need of a Savior? The answer is, Yes!
And, although the Church is filled with sinners, more sinners will be led to the doors . . . some with the need for repentance, others turning back to their foundation of belief from childhood. Either way, the Church attracts those in need, and with that often comes broken marriages, separations, angry people, judgmental individuals, and healthy people. It should be no surprise that the Church may experience more divorces than the "world." It should expect it. . . for the world is still in need of Yeshua the Messiah. So, the next time someone tries to put shame on you or the Body of Christ for being worse than sinners in regard to marriages, tell them that the "Church" should be attracting people in dire-straights. And, along with that comes divorces and all sorts of ungodly things. When someone comes to salvation in Yeshua, his life is not all-of-a-sudden perfect, nor is it going to fall into place. It takes work, faith, and righteous decision making to change your outward appearance and failures to match what Yahweh is doing on the inside, and, yes, He will help with the outer shell, but He won’t do everything. You have to fight for your marriage and rise above the statistics. Yahweh is on your side. He invented marriage. So, love one another as Messiah has loved you.
Adrian A. Bernal, M.T.S.
Copyright 2008, All Rights Reserved.