Only twenty-five percent of families in America right now have a mom and a dad in the home with kids. A family made up of a mother, father, and kids of that union is becoming rapidly extinct.
And the fallout from that is staggering — not just socially, but also spiritually and emotionally and economically. Research shows that one-third of all the people who go through a divorce will live below the poverty level.
We also know that when the father is absent from the home, it is the highest predictor of poverty, violence, future felons, depression, teen suicide, promiscuity, gang involvement, and drug use.
Why are there so many families that are broken?
Experts attribute the primary cause of family disintegration to the increased failure to hold marriage and commitments in high esteem.
In other words, a lot of us have a very casual view of marriage and divorce. Our mindset in America is kind of like someone who bought a car and then decides that it no longer meets their needs. When asked why, they might say, “You know, the carburetor started to break, and it was kind of a lemon, so I just got rid of it. It didn’t work out.”
This is the attitude we often have when it comes to our marriages too. We think, “Well, if things don’t work out, I’ll just get a divorce! No biggie.”
But that’s not how God designed marriage to be. And if you don’t do marriage by the Architect’s design, it won’t work long-term and it definitely won’t work well.
Have you ever been on an elevator and noticed the sign that said something like, “Elevator will hold a maximum of 6,000 pounds”? The engineers who designed and tested that elevator knew exactly how much weight it could sustain for optimal and long-lasting functionality.
The problem is that people like to test the limits. I have been on elevators, especially in other countries, where they just keep packing people in without worrying about the weight limit.
But we can violate the limits of structures like elevators and balconies and bridges for only so long. At some point, they will break if we won’t respect what their original designer intended.
The same goes for our marriages.
In order for our marriage to work, we need to follow the Designer’s blueprint. If we don’t and we continue to do marriage our way, it won’t work for the long term.
Remember, marriage was God’s idea – and He wants you to have a great one! You can trust that His plan and His ways are best.
In my new book, Marriage that Works, I’ll unpack what His plan looks like and offer compelling help for anyone that longs for unity and fulfillment in their marriage. You can also learn more about God’s blueprint for your marriage with Chip’s series Experiencing God’s Dream for Your Marriage.
Founder & Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge
Chip Ingram is the CEO and teaching pastor of Living on the Edge, an international teaching and discipleship ministry. A pastor for over thirty years, Chip has a unique ability to communicate truth and challenge people to live out their faith. He is the author of many books, including The Real God, Culture Shock and The Real Heaven. Chip and his wife, Theresa, have four grown children and twelve grandchildren and live in California.More Articles by Chip