Everything We Think We Know About Marriage and Divorce Is Wrong

“The implications are enormous.”

A few years ago, when I first shared these facts and others at a conference of marriage and family pastors, one ministry leader came up to me with a stunned look on his face.

“If this is true,” he said, “the implications are enormous.”

Since then, I have heard similar statements from hundreds of pastors, counselors, and average men and women. They have felt as though for too long they were—as one put it—“held hostage to bad data that we couldn’t contradict.”

And they see the dramatic difference it will make to know the truth…and be able to share it.

Imagine the difference for pastors to know that they can stand on stage and tell their congregations with confidence that going to church matters for your marriage.

Imagine the difference to be able to tell a struggling couple, “Most people get through this, and you can too.”

Imagine equipping the average young person with the ability to counter the cynical statements of his college professors, or the “why bother getting married” comments of friends who are living together, with the solid truth that, actually, most marriages last a lifetime. (And are happy! We cover that in The Good News About Marriage, too.)

Those of us who work with marriages may secretly wonder whether there is reason for our ministry if the news about the divorce rate is better than we think. And the answer is a resounding yes.

Because I have seen in the research what every marriage counselor knows intimately: Divorce isn’t the greatest threat to marriage.

Discouragement is.

What marriages need today is hope. And of all people, we in the Body of Christ should be the most ready to offer hope—not just for our spiritual life but for our marriages.

And now, we can.

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shauntifeldhahn@churchleaders.com'
Shaunti Feldhahn is a Harvard-trained social researcher, popular speaker and best-selling author of For Women Only, For Men Only and The Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages, which have sold more than 2 million copies in 22 languages worldwide. Her research is regularly featured in media as diverse as The New York Times and Focus on the Family, Cosmopolitan Magazine and The Today Show. With The Good News About Marriage, Shaunti is eager to support leaders in moving marriages from discouragement to hope. Get updates at www.goodnewsmarriage.com.

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