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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Marriage in Crisis

"It's those high Holy Rollers who are the worst offenders."

My heart broke as I overheard this conversation play out at work among my co-workers. A discussion of the Tiger Woods scandal and his "indiscretions" with a multitude of women quickly turned into talking about cheaters in general. It was communicated how almost everybody cheats, especially those who claim to know Christ. I was offended, but then I thought, "Why should I be?.........It's true."

George Barna, president and founder of Barna Research Group has completed a study comparing divorce rates among Christians and non-Christians. His findings conclude that divorce rates among conservative Christians were significantly higher than for other faith groups, and much higher than Athiests and Agnostics experience. He says, "We rarely find substantial differences between the moral behavior of Christians and non-Christians."

What a startling conclusion. We are obviously not living distinct lives and impacting our community for the good.

Real world examples, such as Jon and Kate Gosselin, also shed an unattractive light on Christians. With the media constantly bringing attention to their unsuccessful marriage, the public has even more ammunition against these role models of Christianity.

How can we change this perception?

By walking the talk. By personally taking responsibility for our actions and being the best living example of Christ we can be. The world will always point fingers at us and call us hypocrites because we are never going to be perfect. All we can do is take the focus off ourselves and point the lost towards Christ.

Marriages are hard. There are continuous threats that can come between spouses and ruin marriages if we are not prepared. All it takes is one small seed of adulterous thoughts, deceitfulness, pornography, or even anger before we find a full-blown problem in our midst. I find myself struggling every day to keep myself from disappointing God in my marriage. It takes a lot of prayer, accountability, and Scripture reminders for me to even attempt at success.

I grieve that there are rare differences between Christian marriages and non-Christian ones, but I also remind myself that my marriage is ultimately the only one that I am responsible for, and I can do my part to prevent becoming a statistic.
Robinson, B.A. "U.S. Divorce Rates for Various Faith Groups, Age Groups, and Geographic Areas."Religious Tolerance. 20 July 2009. 8 Dec. 2009 .


Benjamin Comings said...

In detective stories, people talk about 'means, motive and opportunity' as if anyone with these three is likely to commit a crime - but I think that these three miss something significant - which, to avoid couching it in words which already have a lot of Christian connotations that might confuse the issue, I'll call 'worldview'.

I think someone who can really walk the walk has in their heart a Christian worldview - a worldview that might be able to be briefly overcome by temptation, but one that returns, again and again to faithfulness. One that mostly can't imagine committing the sin, but rather imagines the next good, and looks to get out of the way of sin.

The Christian worldview is a worldview that puts others at the center - and not our temporary foolishnesses and selfish desires.

And I think the problem with the statistics that show Christians failing as much as others is that these studies do little or nothing to weed out those who have adopted the culture of Christianity, the words of Christianity, without also really internalizing the worldview of Christianity.

And when the opportunity, means and motive to sin come along, these 'cultural Christians' fall, because they put themselves, and their temporary desires and wants ahead of what is goodness, ahead of others.

The solution? I'm not sure. Perhaps it is how folks come to 'be' Christian. Perhaps folks are too often intimidated into Christianity - peer pressure sucks them in, and they talk the talk, without being changed. Perhaps when we lead folks to faith, we need to be sure it is very gentle, a true leading, helping them to find the trail of breadcrumbs that lead to Christ.


kharding said...

There is always a solution. However, it is whether we choose to seek wisdom from scripture and accept God's mission or not. We as born-again believers...followers of Christ....having a trusting relationship with Him......are armed and dangerous. Armed with the Word of God and dangerous because we posses knowledge that could change attitudes, hearts, and maybe our neighborhoods.

A reference come to mind when trying to walk the walk:
(Col.3:17) "And whatsoever ye do in word (talk the talk) or deed (walk the walk), do all in the name of the Lord Jesus..."

Just a thought.

Good article, Kalyn. Good thought provoking response, B.C.


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