Divorce, Church, and Happy Marriage

Dinner Topics for Wednesday

The real threat to marriage

Anne Reed (American Family Association)

keySo, in Christian marriage, be encouraged. It is Christ who created all things and who designed marriage for His good purpose. In this world, we will have trouble. But He sent encouragement:
“[T]ake heart! I have overcome the world.”

In the end, Feldhahn’s research pronounces with clarity, “You can believe in marriage.”

____________________

FACT SHEET SUMMARY: Contrary to conventional thinking …

▶ The actual divorce rate has never gotten close to 50%.

▶ Those who attend church regularly have a significantly lower divorce rate than those who don’t.

▶ Most marriages are happy.

▶ Simple changes make a big difference in most marriage problems.

▶ Most remarriages succeed.

____________________

marriageMarriage: It’s in the news. Whether it’s judicial overreaches redefining it, breakups, nasty divorces, or lawsuits, the news is bad wherever you turn – including the pulpit and the counseling office.

Some believe marriage is on its way out – a dying institution, a global failure. But is it really? Have we been bamboozled by easy-release figures that support pessimistic attitudes about God’s design for human relationships?

With more than half of marriages ending in divorce in and out of the church, we can only expect an escalating trend to continue, right? The 50% divorce rate stat has spread far and wide. And it has wielded a heavy dose of disillusionment along the way.

However, according to author Shaunti Feldhahn, a Harvard University trained Wall Street analyst and social researcher, the truth about marriage and divorce presents an altogether fresh and surprisingly hopeful picture. In her book The Good News about Marriage: Debunking Discouraging Myths about Marriage and Divorce, she contends, “Divorce is not the biggest threat to marriage. Discouragement is.” She believes the widespread sense of hopelessness is brought on, at least in part, by false information.

But how can this be? Where did the 50% number come from? It has streamed from every outlet. The question rattled through Feldhahn’s thoughts as she struggled to complete an article. What started as a simple task to source the commonly accepted stat turned into exasperation and an eight year research project that she describes as “a rigorous, fair, and accurate attempt to reclaim a whole other side of the truth about marriage.”

The real deal

happymarriagecoupleShe has finally discovered the divorce rate in America is nowhere close to 50%. And it never has been. As a matter of fact, the rate has been steadily declining since 1980. In reality, 71% of women are still married to their first spouse. And widowhood reduces the remaining 29%, bringing us to an approximate 25% divorce rate for first marriages.

 

Additionally, Feldhahn told AFA Journal, the rate of divorce is not the same among Christians. Previously reported numbers were based solely on belief systems (stated religion) and not whether those beliefs were churchattendanceactually being practiced in their lives. With the help of Barna Group’s comprehensive research from 2008, Feldhahn and her staff were able to incorporate participants’ answers about church attendance. The results revealed a 27% decrease in the number of divorces among those who had been to church in the last seven days.

Landmark findings by the National Survey of Families and Households between 1987 and 1994 revealed a 50% lesser occasion of divorce among those who share the same faith and attend church. A Family Life Family Needs Survey among more than 50 churches in 2012-2013 found that only 22% of those ever married had been divorced. Numbers vary, but no matter which way you cut it, divorce in the church is lower. And divorce overall is much lower than the numbers pushed by secular media and others.

Just move in

Divorce has declined and found a steady, straight road. But according to a Pew Research poll, barely half of Americans are currently married – only 51% of adults age 18 and older compared to 72% reported in 1960. So, are the decreasing numbers of divorce due to corresponding lower numbers of those participating in marriage in the first place?

It is difficult to argue otherwise. However, a number of other considerations at work in society are turning the idea on its ear. divorcetroubledcoupleFor instance, the age at which marriage occurs is increasingly reaching higher numbers. Because young-age marriage correlates strongly with a high divorce rate, the deferral of marriage serves to further reduce the divorce rate.

In addition, cohabitation has seen a significant rise over the last 20 years. Live-in situations create and further a noncommittal, easy-out attitude that spills into marital relationships. This increase brings to the surface a higher likelihood of divorce for those who live together before marriage.

Pew research found in 2010 that 61% of people who have never been married have a desire for marriage in the future. And with good news about marriage bursting from the ranks of American households, it is no wonder it remains a sought-after establishment.

Life at home

happymarriagewordsMarriages are happy. It is true. About 80% of marriages overall are happy, and more than a third go beyond the “happy” mark, overflowing into the “very happy” category.

Of those currently in struggling marriages, 80% will still be married five years later. And solid, hopeful encouragement exists within those stats. “A landmark study found that if you wait five years, eight in ten people say they are very happy five years later,” said Feldhahn.

“Most couples don’t mind the idea of working hard at marriage,” she said. “What discourages them is the idea that marriage itself is inherently hard and complicated, or that working hard won’t pay off.”

When one spouse is less than happy, 82% of the time the other spouse is simply unaware of it. The culprit is typically a stockpile of misunderstandings, conflict, and hurt feelings that materialize over time and cause a rift between the two. It is rarely intentional. More than 99% of married people care deeply about their spouse, and 93% would marry their spouse again. In most cases, having a good marriage or improving a struggling marriage doesn’t require couples to “solve deep, systemic issues,” explained Feldhahn. “Instead, small changes can and do make a big difference.”

Feldhahn took a look at remarriage as well. Any search on the internet turns up 60% and 73% divorce rates, respectively, for second and third marriages. An exhaustive search found no such evidence, leaving Feldhahn to conclude the numbers are nothing more than “urban legend.” According to the Census Bureau, 65% of women in second marriages are still married to their second spouse. And because second and third marriages tend to occur later in life, the percentage of those marriages ended by death is expected to be higher than first marriages, resulting in a second marriage divorce rate of 30% or less.

Hope, enormous implications

Now that the dark compilation of deceptive figures has been dismantled, it is easier to see the beautiful and imperfect gem on which Feldhahn based her statement, “Divorce is not the biggest threat to marriage. Discouragement is.”

christs-outstreched-hand-lindsleySo, in Christian marriage, be encouraged. It is Christ who created all things and who designed marriage for His good purpose. In this world, we will have trouble. But He sent encouragement:
“[T]ake heart! I have overcome the world.”

In the end, Feldhahn’s research pronounces with clarity, “You can believe in marriage.”

____________________

SUMMARY: Contrary to conventional thinking …

▶ The actual divorce rate has never gotten close to 50%.

▶ Those who attend church regularly have a significantly lower divorce rate than those who don’t.

▶ Most marriages are happy.

▶ Simple changes make a big difference in most marriage problems.

▶ Most remarriages succeed.

____________________

The Good News about Marriage: Debunking Discouraging Myths about Marriage and Divorce by Shaunti Feldhahn with Tally Whitehead

http://www.afajournal.org/recent-issues/2015/january/the-real-threat-to-marriage/#

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Dinner Topics Newsletter: Kindness

February 2015 Dinner Topics Newsletter: Kindness

Dear Friends,

Welcome to Epicworld Dinner Topics!

Me 2Another month—even another year!—has flown by. February is the month when we traditionally turn to matters of the heart, so our theme is kindness. In my mind, kindness means charity, and love, but although the word “love” in today’s world sometimes connotes impure motives, “love” does encompass charity, kindness, virtue, respect, and other forms of giving. I think by charity Saint Paul was referring, not only to the giving of things, but to the giving of ourselves.

How does God love us? Paraphrasing what one Christian leader said, His love for you never changes. It is not influenced by your appearance, or by how you feel, or by how much money you have—not even by what you do. His love is always there for you

forgiveness4doveHow can we manifest God’s love? It may surprise you that it may not be as hard as you think—and we are all able to do it.

Sometimes the greatest love is not found in the dramatic scenes that poets and writers immortalize. Often, the greatest manifestations of love are the simple acts of kindness and caring we extend to those we meet along the path of life. ~Joseph B. Worthlin

New Format

This month I’m starting with a little different format for the newsletter. In my note to you, I want to give you an idea of what you can look forward to this month, so you won’t miss anything when you peruse the usual Table of Contents. The Quotes and Stress Relief Tip will immediately follow this note. These will be followed by the Featured Topics, Parent Resources, and Action Updates. I hope this adjusted format will be useful to you.

Highlights

forgiveness3behaviorAs forgiveness is an important part of Christ-like love, it is our stress relief tip this month. Forgiveness doesn’t mean we necessarily have to condone or excuse another’s behavior. It is a gift from God to keep resentment from destroying our heart. An important corollary to forgiveness is that it does not require compromise with truth. The innocent and repentant deserve to know the truth, even though the guilty take the truth to be hard.

Theme-related articles include “Loving Others and Living with Differences,” the love story from the Bible about Jacob and Rachel, and the history of St. Valentine and his work to preserve the institution of marriage.

There are many famous birthdays this month. I’m sure you will enjoy a series of YouTube videos hosted by Reagan, called “Death Valley Days”, which gives true accounts of history in the West.

Abraham Lincoln was an amazing man. In his book, The Lincoln Hypothesis, Timothy Ballard shows Lincoln’s role in calling America to repentance to overcome the sin of slavery.

lark-rise1I am excited about my upcoming post reviewing the book, Lark Rise to Candleford, which was made into a delightful TV series about English country life in the late 19th century. I strongly relate to these stories, because the author captured a way of life that has now vanished. Likewise, I feel that our cherished Judeo-Christian way of life is slipping away from us, and my passion is to preserve it.

Support Character Education for Young Adults

Some of you have been requesting a “donate” button. I don’t have a “donate” button per se, but there is a way you can support the Culture of Liberty and help us reach and train more of the rising generation in our cherished values. Funds will go toward a DVD series we will be producing to help families  learn history, culture, and Judeo-Christian values.

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valentine2Every bit helps us reach more people who are searching for truth and peace in this troubled world. Thank you so much for your support.

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You can get the monthly newsletter and post notifications. There is a button on the upper right-hand corner of my blog that says “Follow.” Simply enter your email there and you can receive the monthly newsletter and email notifications every time a topic is posted. You can follow me on FaceBook on my Epicworld Dinner Topics page, and on Twitter at Epicstoryteller. But the best way is to use the follow button on this blog.

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valentine3Happy Valentine’s Day!

Thanks for visiting. Come often; Stay Late.

Christine Davidson

 

Theme Quotes for February: Kindness

Be grateful, not hateful. ~Junior Sunday School class motto

Sometimes the greatest love is not found in the dramatic scenes that poets and writers immortalize. Often, the greatest manifestations of love are the simple acts of kindness and caring we extend to those we meet along the path of life. ~Joseph B. Worthlin

I will mention the loving kindnesses of the Lord. ~Isaiah 63:7

jesuslambmedWhatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even unto them. ~Matthew 7:12

Be ye kind one to another. ~Ephesians 4:32

 

John 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you.

John 3:16  “God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”

John 14:15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Ephesians 4:31-32 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

 

forgivenessapologyquote“There is no love without forgiveness, and there is no forgiveness without love.” ~ Bryant H. McGill

“To forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of love. In return, you will receive untold peace and happiness.” ~Robert Muller

Forgiveness doesn’t excuse their behavior. Forgiveness prevents their behavior from destroying your heart ~beyond ordinary

Apologizing doesn’t mean you’re right or wrong. It just means you value your relationship more than your ego.

Stress Relief Tip of the Month: Forgiveness

forgivenessquote2“There is no love without forgiveness, and there is no forgiveness without love.” ~ Bryant H. McGill

“To forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of love. In return, you will receive untold peace and happiness.” ~Robert Muller

Forgiveness doesn’t excuse their behavior. Forgiveness prevents their behavior from destroying your heart ~beyond ordinary

Apologizing doesn’t mean you’re right or wrong. It just means you value your relationship more than your ego.

 

Classical Music stress relief this month provided by Mendelssohn, Delibes, Handel, Segovia, and Rossini

February Preview

The Dinner Topic Theme for February: Kindness

Defining Moments

“Defining Moments” is a monthly feature. Kind of a fancy name for a glossary. When I was growing up, we had a huge dictionary on a tall, narrow, rolling table. Whenever we asked the meaning of a word, we were told to “look it up.” We still do that. You’d be surprised at some of the interesting things you find in the dictionary, especially the 1828 American Dictionary. Now, with all the twists and spins that politicians and the media do to common words, it’s valuable to go back to the original meaning. It can make for interesting conversation, too.

 

This month:

Virtue, Chastity

See more Defining Moments

Featured Topics

The Parenting Value for this month: Respect

Famous Birthdays: Charles Dickens, Thomas More, Felix Mendelssohn, Ronald Reagan, Abraham Lincoln, Leo Delibes, George Frederic Handel, George Washington, Andres Segovia, and Antonio Rossini

Bible Story: the Love Story of Jacob and Rachel

Book Reviews:

The Lincoln Hypothesis—: Abraham Lincoln’s role in calling America to repentance for the sin of slavery

lark-rise2Lark Rise to Candleford— made into a delightful TV series about English country life in the late 19th century

Culture: St. Valentine and the Institution of Marriage

American Family Association: The Real Threat to Happy Marriage

 

 

oaks-truth-192x192Loving Others and Living with Differences

Faith: Parents—the Prime Gospel Teachers of their Children

Family: Finding Lasting Peace and Building Eternal Families

Hillsdale Imprimis: Wave Elections: What They Mean

History: Death Valley Days—history of the American west, hosted by Ronald Reagan

The Miracle of a ¼ Inch—How Reagan almost didn’t bring down the Berlin Wall

US Constitution Series 14: Property Rights are Essential to Liberty

Moral Repair Plan—always looking for reasons for optimism:

                No more Fergusons?—5 Ways Congress can prevent more race riots like those of 2014

Scott Walker—American agenda for real Americans

Ugandan President—Repent, Resolve, Rebuild

 

Truth Detectors: Reality Updates

In these days when Truth is endangered by political expediency, it is important that we learn to discern Truth from Error, fraud, or downright deception. To find other articles on this topic, type Truth Detectors (hyphenated, to filter) in the search bar of this site.

And as always—current events, updates, and analysis

 

Parents’ Resources

family5prayingdinnerNew! Now you can support the Culture of Liberty and help us reach and train more of the rising generation in our cherished Judeo-Christian values. Be a Patron; Click Here to START TODAY with only $1 (one dollar)!

 PLEASE CLICK HERE TO VOTE FOR EPICWORLD DINNER TOPICS.

Do you enjoy this web site? If you do, please click here or vote at the link in the right-hand sidebar beneath the Follow button. If we can be listed in the Top Sites at “Christians Unite!”—we can reach more people who think like you do. Thank you for your support.

FOLLOW US! To receive each newsletter and latest updates, click on the “Follow” button in the upper right hand corner of this site. Thank you.

New! Defining Moments updated

New! The most powerful weapon in the world—work for victory for American liberty: how to fight evil effectively

New! Unleash a love of learning in your child with hands-on history materials!
Featuring timelines, maps, Lap Books™, and history studies designed for your child to live the lessons!

http://homeschoolinthewoods.com/

Epic Heroes Quest

Plus—Empowering keys found in each dinner topic; Preparing for the Epic Journey of Life;

Epic Heroes in Training 

Parent Resources

Please Vote for our Site and help us reach more readers. Do you enjoy this web site? If you do, please consider voting at the link in the right-hand sidebar beneath the Follow button. If we can be listed in the Top Sites at “Christians Unite!”—we can reach more people who think like you do.

Thank you for your support.

PLEASE VOTE FOR EPICWORLD DINNER TOPICS.

Alert! Action Updates

Seeing the widespread injury done in any given week, (many incidents go unreported), stay aware of important news and insights at Epicworld Dinner Topics.

Traditional Bible-believing parents may have to consider withdrawing their children from public schools to protect your family spiritually and financially from the rising tide of persecution and ruinous lawsuits by anti-Christian fascists.

If it is not possible for you to home school, try to teach your children Judeo-Christian values at home. The easiest way to do this is to tell stories and discuss principles at the family dinner table. I hope these dinner topics help you with this vital effort. Just don’t give up! Our precious children are worth fighting for.

Ongoing

1. Tea Party Update listed each month.

It is important to understand that the Tea Party is not a third political party. Nor does it represent all the slanderous falsehoods hurled upon them by those who hate America and her Founders. It is organized to restore Constitutional principles to the government of America. If you love the USA with good, old-fashioned patriotism, then the Tea Party is the best organization to work for the principles and values you cherish.

February

teapartyresults6Education for Liberty enjoys broad Outreach

Remember what the Tea Party stands for.

Tea Party Defined—the Voice of Real Americans

 

Support Tea Party in Key States

Every month we will keep you informed on the latest projects and progress of the Tea Party, with an updated link to our monthly newsletter; most recent updates at top of the list.

Please share this video with as many as possible; it is very informative

YouTube Video Update: The Truth about the American Border Crisis

2. Work to make your state sovereign!

Example:

State Liberty vs. Government Agenda

3. Study the U.S. Constitution! It is the last remaining safeguard of our precious freedoms! A good way to do this is to study the monthly Constitution series from The 5,000 Year Leap. To access this series of posts, type US Constitution Series in this site’s search bar

Thanks for all you do,

C.A. Davidson