I have a dear friend who was terrified of marriage before she became a bride.
She is one of those lifetime friends with whom I have a lot in common. Unfortunately, part of our shared experience is that we’re both children of divorce. Growing up in broken homes affected us in opposite ways: my imagination danced with fancy dreams of marriage in the future, while my friend was in angst, afraid to make the same mistakes as her parents.
As the age of first marriages climbs, it seems many people are delaying or dismissing marriage because of their own family’s experience with divorce. In some respects, their fears are justified. Divorce has visited the doorstep of too many marriages that we thought would never open the door. Since the ‘70s, about a million kids each year watch their parents divorce.
I recently discussed the topic with Lore Ferguson, a fellow Christian single and child of divorce, for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. We talked about the necessity of the church addressing this population of men and women because a broken view of family can not only affect our relationships, but taint our view of God and of the gospel.
“My first concept of marriage is severed, and so I’ve had to reframe the gospel and just understand that earthly marriage is a reflection of the gospel, and it’s a shadow. It’s not perfect,” she said. “The gospel is not a reflection on earthly marriage.”
It’s important that churches speak directly to their members–in all stages of life—about these issues in order to resist the normalization of divorce in our culture and congregations by being armed with truth. The expectation is that God will raise ...1
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