Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Divorce and Remarriage -- Why is the Church Silent on this Issue?

By Diane M. Hoffmann

In today’s society, marriage has often become so meaningless that more and more people don’t even see the need to marry at all. Others say, “We’ll marry but if it doesn’t work out, we’ll get a divorce”.  I recently heard a news report on the radio say, “the children of the Millenials won’t believe in marriage.”

We don’t realize that the breakdown of marriage is the breakdown of society’s very own foundation. A house divided will not stand—individually and nationally. Yet the church does not preach much on the issues of divorce and remarriage; I do feel the dilemma of the church because they would lose many of their congregation members if they did -- why? because there are just as many folks in the church who are divorced and remarried as there are in the world. It is a very tough issue.

Many people feel that the church shuns divorce people, but that is not the case. I have never yet come across a church that felt that way.

An article in Christian Post, February 2012 on “Dating Culture, Sex before Marriage” said that Christians follow the secular trends instead of the Bible. It reports an interview with a twenty-two-year-old woman who became sexually involved, even though she knew it was wrong, saying that while she grew up, the church “rarely emphasized one’s relationship with God or reading the Bible.”

Speaking with a friend not long ago, she said to me: “Don’t you think that the blood of Jesus Christ is powerful enough to cover divorce?” My answer to that question is “Don’t you think that the blood of Jesus Christ is powerful enough to cover murder or abortion or stealing?” It is, but we still have to preach against murder and abortion and stealing—and all other Christian issues of moral absolutes for those who have not been faced with them yet. And the issue is not just “divorce,” it is “divorce and re-marriage” as we see explained in my book “24 Hot Potatoes in the Church Today”.

A report from Pew Research—Social and Demographic Trends said that back in 1960, in the United States, 72 percent of all adults in the country were married. In contrast, in 2008, this number had shrunk to 52 percent. And in 1960, 68 percent of all twenty-something were married. In 2008, only 26 percent were. Now, the younger generation is more inclined to view cohabitation without a marriage license. The numbers are similar in Canada and most other Western countries.

The impact of these dramatic changes on children is that, in 1960 only 5 percent of the births were to unmarried women and in 2008 that number had risen to 41 percent. And according to the report, the share of children raised by a single parent rose from 9 percent in 1960 to 25 percent in 2008. Now the figures are even higher. Today, over 50 percent of marriages end up in divorce. When unmarried adults were asked if they agree that there is “only one true love” for every person, fewer than 28 percent said they did.

Although some of this is “bad news”, there is Good News for anyone who may be struggling with this difficult issue, and I go into that in great length in my book "24 Hot Potatoes in the Church Today", as well as how to improve our marriage and how to understand our differences as men and women made in the image of God, complementing each other.  /dmh



Diane M. Hoffmann, B.Th., M.Th., Ph.D./Th.

Author of "24 Hot Potatoes in the Church Today"
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