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Half of First Marriages Will Fail

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A recent report by the Census Bureau issued a pessimistic outlook about marriage. Their conclusion was this: Half of first marriages will fail.

I’m thinking about this because our family has been in a couple months of weddings. Our daughter was married in September, then our son was married in October. Also, one of our sons just celebrated his third anniversary and our daughter has been married for eleven years now. Of course, we want their marriages to succeed.

The Bible provides some helpful truths that will benefit every husband and wife. Remember marriage is God’s idea (Genesis 2:24). God is the answer to preserving marriage. There are many reasons given as to why two people who can’t live without each other, now can’t stand being with each other. I believe that is the tragic outcome of unresponsive hearts to what God says (Matthew 19:3-9), unresolved conflicts (Proverbs 17:14; 18:18-19), unfulfilled needs (1 Corinthians 7:1-5), unfaithful actions by those you trust (Proverbs 5:15-23; 6:33-35), unconcerned responses (1 Corinthians 11:11-12), unreasonable demands (1 Peter 3:7; Proverbs 5:18), and unforgiving attitudes (Matthew 6:14-15; Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 3:12-13).

The Bible teaches that the answer is love. Ephesians 5:25 says, “Husbands, love your wives.” And in Titus 2:4, wives are admonished “to love their husbands, to love their children.” The key word in those verses is the word “love.” How one defines that word is the secret to a happy marriage. The Bible uses three primary words for our English word love. One word for love is not found in the Bible at all. It is the Greek word eros, referring to a self-centered, self-serving, self-seeking, self-gratifying love. The second Greek word for love is storge, referring to a family love. The third Greek word for love is phileo, referring to a friendship, devoted kind of love. And the ultimate word for love is agape, which is uniquely God’s love. Love is primarily an action word. I John 3:16 says, “By this we know love, because He [Christ] laid down His life for us.” Romans 5:8 declares, “But God demonstrates His own love for us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” 1 John 4:7-8 says, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of god; and everyone who loves is born of god and knows God. He who does not love, does not know God, for God is love.”

Before you truly love one another, you must first know God. This is not an intellectual knowledge of God, but an experiential knowledge of God. The Bible teaches that our sin separates us from God (Romans 3:10,23) and places us under God’s judgment (Romans 6:23). And the message of God’s love is seen at the cross. Jesus Christ died on the cross for sin and rose again from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Romans 10:9-10). This is the truth of the crucifixion and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. To be forgiven of your sins and saved from your sins, you must trust Christ to save you. There is nothing you can do to save yourself (Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5). You receive Christ, believe on His name, and accept Christ as your personal Savior. When you place your faith in Christ, the God of love will save you and come into your life. It takes the God of love to help you love with agape love.

This unique love is described in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7: “Love is patient and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

This is the kind of love that lasts a lifetime. With God’s salvation and the power to love, we don’t have to be a statistic of the Census Bureau. Instead, we can be an example to our children of love, faithfulness, and commitment. We can fulfill our promise made on our wedding day to love and cherish ‘till death do us part.

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