Monday, March 22, 2010

Broken Marriages

Last night I was reminded to pray for someone whose marriage has been destroyed by poor choices, temptation and sin. It all leads to heartbreak that I can only imagine.

As I prayed for this friend, God's Spirit prompted me to include numerous others in similar situations. And then today I learned that I need to add another couple to that list. A pastor friend told me that break ups among Christians is epidemic elsewhere. At least I know our church is not the only one where the sanctity of marriage is being thrown under the bus.

Statistics show us several things that are being realized. Financial struggles are the leading cause of divorce in America. Second marriages have a much higher probability of ending in divorce. Couples who live together before marrying are at a higher risk of infidelity.

As I prayed I found myself questioning God. "Where were You? Why didn't You intervene?". It's especially disheartening when humanly speaking you've done everything you know to do to help in these tragedies. Do you ever question God like that? It's OK. He can handle it.

But I have this overwhelming burden to try to stop the bleeding. Every time a Christian marriage goes on the rocks it weakens the witness of the church. Aren't Christians supposed to have strong marriages? Aren't Christ-followers supposed to be able to deal with temptation and to trust God in times of financial woe? The answer, of course, is "Of course".

So what can I do? One commitment I have made is to plainly and clearly teach about marriage and family and singleness and parenting upon my return from sabbatical. Some of us just need reminding. Others need to hear it for the first time. All of us need to know that God is greater than any struggle we face and to believe that He can restore and repair.


abi said...

Hi Rick! I am a total lurker here, I'm not Christian and I'm a liberal (sheesh!, I probably sound like bad news!) : ) I really enjoy reading your perspective on things, both religious and non, and greatly admire your family's faith and devotion. This line made me curious
"One commitment I have made is to plainly and clearly teach about marriage and family and singleness and parenting upon my return from sabbatical."
I'd love to read more as you return from your break and get closer to presenting these topics to your flock.
Thanks for sharing your perspective and for being able to see the other side and being respectful in your disagreement.

Rick Lawrenson said...

Hi Abi,
Glad to meet you!
I'll be teaching the family series in May. I don't post my teaching on the blog, but you can listen in by going to our podcast. It's linked on my blog page and on our church's web site

(I'm glad to know someone thinks I can be respectful even when I disagree! I try to be.)

abi said...

thanks Rick! I'll be sure to check it out!

Tricia said...

people like abi give me hope.

I'm really looking forward to this's definitely something that we all need.

adamhoffman said...


One thing I have started doing is holding specific brothers to the vows that they have set. Unhealthy habits in marriage and even divorce are much harder to get away with when we are being asked face to face to stand up to the covenant we've made. I am in a group of many young marriages and was one of the first in my friends to be married. I don't want to go through a friend's divorce.

One personal thing that we have done is to NEVER use the "D" (divorce" word in our home. We don't use it as a manipulation tool and we don't even joke around with it. Just something we've done to protect ourselves from going down that path even if things get tough.

I as well look forward to what God has to say about marriage, family and parenting. Thanks for your commitment to this.