“If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. “If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.” Mark 3:24 & 25
Tonight I want to share with you another Scripture that has tugged at my heartstrings. I stumbled upon this Scripture found in Mark while struggling through my divorce. I was sure I had read it before but it was at the time of my divorce it resonated within and God showed me how selfishness breeds division. It leaves us in a state of “life is all about me” and “all is mine”. Many have found they’ve left the concerns for others behind so they can fully focus on the “me” and what makes “them” happy.
As I read and prayed over this Scripture my eyes were opened to the truth of what happened to my family. It sparked a nerve within and caused me to look more deeply at the truth of how two people who once took the time to care and love one another can find themselves so separate minded they no longer are able to see beyond their selfish desires. What I discovered was the need for happiness trumped the needs and happiness of those they once vowed to love until death do they part. The choice to flee instead of fix was the final step toward division.
As we look at statistics we learn of how the family unit is disintegrating. We learn of the many children who find themselves with more than 1 – 2 homes. Sometimes there are 3 homes they find themselves shared amongst. Because of our sinful and selfish nature we allow wrong desires to creep into our head and then our heart only to deliver us to a fallen state. And when the world shouts do it YOUR way, and not God’s we can always count on some form of heartbreak. We find our intentions and our homes which began with love now in ruin from divided and selfish hearts.
The more I pondered over this tragedy happening to so many families I began to study some statistics and I came across this study from the Pew Research Center : So what does marriage in the U.S. look like these days? A recent study from the Pew Research Center found a number of interesting trends in their most recent look at marriage in America. For one, the study found that after years of declining marriage rates, the percentage of Americans who have never been married has reached a historic high point. The research indicates that about one in five adults in the U.S. (adult in this case meaning 25 years old or older), or about 42 million Americans, have never been married. Compare that to data from the 1960 Census when just one in ten adults 25 or older had never been married, or about 9% of all American adults; clearly, marriage isn’t the institution it once was. Interestingly, a larger number of never-married adults than ever before seem to be content with their singledom. In 2010, research indicated that 61% of never-married adults would like to eventually marry someday, while in 2012, that percentage dropped to just 53%.
At one time or another we’ve all lost our way in the noise and mixed messages coming from the world. We’ve slammed down our fists and shouted, ‘Enough!’ as we’ve chosen OUR way because after all, we deserve to be happy. We’ve opted out of the ways of God convincing ourselves they’re too confining and we will take our chances. In my opinion, the ramifications of our choices were not considered as the door slammed behind us. Not to mention the broken hearts as loved ones walked away. Had self-sacrifice and the honor of commitment been taken more seriously I believe the story and statistics would look much different from what we see today.
Should it surprise us that more people are waiting to marry and start families? Could it be the heart wrenching effects of their family unit falling apart that left scars screaming with the pain every time they came close to love. Maybe love to them has become something they cannot comprehend from losing so much from the divorce in their family, and so they shy away in fear of failure.
Now, I realize it is not always two people wanting a divorce in a marriage. I do understand life circumstances can become critical to the well-being and safety of some family members, and in the name of safety one must move on. But what I cannot buy into is the excuse of no longer being happy, or fulfilled. Or, the feeling of life has passed you by and you need something else to make you feel invigorated again. These are methods of madness that breed selfishness and rob you and your loved ones of a family that should stand strong together through the storms of life because of love and commitment.
As you can see, I can speak to this subject matter for hours but I realize it’s Thursday and many of us work tomorrow and so I’ll put it to rest for now. However, you must know this is a “heart topic” of mine that still bleeds a little every time I confront it. It bleeds over the pain and scars that have been left on the hearts of my son’s. I firmly believe the ramifications of divorce cannot go unnoticed and must no longer be ignored. These are critical times for our children and our grandchildren. Whatever our families look like today we must do what is right in hopes of keeping them grounded and together. We must rally together with support and love so there is never any doubt in their mind of how much they’re loved by both parents.
If you find yourself at the crossroads of divorce because there is a gap in your relationship that has become so wide you no longer can see over to the other side then I want to encourage you tonight. My hope for you is to seek help and not divorce. My prayer for you is to have the Creator of marriage, God, show up and speak truth into your life. A resounding shout of truth to drowned out all lies leaving you pulled away and separated from those you love and those who depend upon you.