This past week in my Marriage class (I'm a Marriage and Family Relations major, remember?) we have been talking about marriage and divorce trends. It has been really, really insightful.
For instance- did you know that today's divorce rates are double what they were in the 1960's? Yet only roughly 65% of adults in the united states are married. That, as opposed to about 85% in the 60's.
So, fewer marriages yet more divorces? Marriage seems terribly daunting these days.
What in the world started these trends? And how did they get so rapidly out of control?
Well, honestly, it started in 1970 when a no fault divorce law was signed by the state of California. In this law it allowed any divorce to take place without having to declare a wrongdoing. The rest of the country got immensely excited over this new law, and soon thereafter every state had one just like it.
That's how it started. It was all quite downhill from there.
One of the main destroyers in marriage that I have seen, and bear with me here, is unmarried cohabitation. That is, in modern terms, living together before marriage.
The idea, in theory, isn't too far gone. Before a couple gets married they should live together for a while. By doing this they can see if the marriage will work.There are few investments, and so if the relationship dies then termination is inexpensive.
Unfortunately this theory is pretty null and void. When studied at an academic level, the majority of the marriages that occurred after unmarried cohabitation ended in (yes, you guessed it) the big D. Divorce.
Marriage is a sacred union. My church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, sent out a proclamation to the world 18 years ago. In it, they said the following:
We, the First Presidency
and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a
woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s
plan for the eternal destiny of His children...
The first commandment that God gave to
Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and
wife. We declare that God’s commandment for His children to multiply and
replenish the earth remains in force. We further declare that God has
commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only
between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife.
(You can read the rest of it here)
Now, I am not insinuating that God intentionally breaks up marriages because they didn't follow His commandment. In fact, the opposite is true. Here. Let me say it loud and clear:
God loves us so much that He wants us to be truly happy and live fulfilled lives. Because of this He has given us commandments to keep us safe. He knows that if we live clean lives before we are married that we will most likely succeed in our marriages. And how does He know this? He knows us better than we could even possibly know ourselves. He created us. That's how.
He really does love us. I wish I could shout that on the mountain tops. It's a concept that most people don't get.
I think that if more people understood that, then divorce might disappear all together. Because when we catch a glimpse of how much God loves us, we realize how much He loves everyone else as well. And when we realize that, well, then we would do everything and anything in our power to make sure that each beloved son or daughter of God is treated in the way they deserve to be treated. Disagreement, name calling, hate, lust, envy, immorality, all of it would stop and one thing would remain.