According to the website cdc.gov, 2,245,404 marriages occurred in the United States of America in 2016. According to the same website, 827,261 marriages ended in divorce or annulment in forty-four of the fifty states in our country. This data shows that in the United States of America, marriages end at a little less than half the rate that they begin (roughly 46%). Considering the sanctity of marriage in God’s eyes and his disdain for divorce (Malachi 2:16), we should see this disturbing trend in marriages as an indication of a greater problem within our society. Unfortunately, the trend in marriages has also made its way into the church, where even among followers of God, marriages do not stand the test of time like they should.
What should we do about our marriages? We must realize that if everyone acted as God intended, marriages would not fall apart. In fact, no divorce cannot occur without someone dishonoring the vows that they made in the sight of God and man. Thus, if our forsaking the commands of God results in the dissolution of our marriages, it stands to reason that if we put God back in our marriages, we will safeguard them against failure.
So how do we put God back into our marriages? First, we must adopt God’s view of marriage as our own. The Hebrews writer implores us to, “Let marriage be had in honor among all” (Hebrews 13:4, ASV). God honors marriage, so we should too. From the very beginning of time, God had the union of husband and wife in mind. He created Adam from the dust of the ground (Genesis 2:7) and set him to work in the garden of Eden. Adam quickly discovered that none of the animals could make a suitable companion and helper for him, so God formed Eve from Adam’s rib to live as his companion (Genesis 2:20-22). Genesis then comments, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). Jesus added to that comment, “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” (Matthew 19:6).
Second, we can put God back in our marriages by letting Him lead our lives. God established an order that he wants us to follow: “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God” (1 Corinthians 11:3). At the top of this order resides God. He has the final say in everything. If husbands and wives could let go of their own pride and submit to God’s will, they would build the right kind of marriages.
Third, in order to put God back into our marriages, we need to put God back into our daily lives. The Law of Moses, which God gave to the Israelites in Old Testament times, commanded the people to include God in all aspects of their daily routines. “And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates” (Deuteronomy 6:7-9). God wants us to talk about His Word, pray to Him often (1 Thessalonians 5:17), and give our love first to God, and then to our spouses (Mark 12:30). If we can do all of these things, we can build stronger homes.