February is Marriage Month at Elim Mission Church. Each Sunday, the morning message is dedicated to talking about the how-tos of marriage.
Then, during the week, people meet all around the Dassel/Cokato area in small groups to talk about how to meaningfully apply what they took in on Sunday. If you can’t make it to the church Sunday, you can still catch the message at Elim’s website, www.elimmission.org, or call the church for a CD or DVD of it.
In addition to that, we are urging people to take advantage of the “A Weekend to Remember” conference that comes to Minnesota in March of every year. These getaway conferences are immensely helpful to couples who want to strengthen their relationship with their mate. You can check them out online by going to www.familylife.com.
Focusing on marriage at church this time of year seems like an appropriate thing to do for several reasons. One of them is the fact that Valentine’s Day is Feb, 14th, so a lot of people are already focusing on their relationship with their mate. Another reason is that when we look at today’s statistics on marriage, it seems that someone needs to speak on its behalf.
Here’s a look at some statistics I ran across recently:
• America’s divorce rate is double that of France, and three times that of Japan.
• Only England has a divorce rate double that of the United States.
• Today in the U.S., 43 percent of all first marriages will end in divorce, and 60 percent of re-marriages will suffer the same fate. Contrast that with 1952, when only one in 250 marriages, or .4 percent, ended in divorce.
We, at Elim, are by no means the only ones that are concerned and proactive in speaking to the issue.
Dr. Gary and Barb Rosberg, “America’s Family Coaches,” have been helping people succeed at marriage for years. They cite three assumptions married people need to avoid in order to “divorce proof” their marriages.
1. “Our marriage is good enough.” Most doomed marriages don’t become that overnight. They shrivel up over time. It is true that no marriage is perfect, but neither should any marriage be regarded as “good enough.”
2. “Divorce offers me the opportunity for a better life.” Often what precipitates divorce is a notion of what divorce will accomplish a fresh start to a happier life. Research has shown that couples who stick it out with each other when tempted to part ways are as happy or even happier with each other once the crises have passed. They grow through working things out.
3. “Our love makes us immune from the threat of divorce.” It is true that love is the foundation for a thriving marriage, but the question is, what kind of love? The problem is that most of us have a limited view of what love is. In some cases, it’s even a jilted view tied so closely to the physical that everything becomes defined only by the sensual.
Marriage is a gift worth treasuring. Doing what we can do to enhance and strengthen our own is the most important investment we will ever make in our lives.
If you are married, we at Elim Mission Church want to encourage you to pursue the full development of yours. When you do, you create a winning situation; not only for yourselves, but also for everyone within the influence of the life you live with your mate.