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There was a time in this nation when “divorce” was a dirty word. It was shunned. Those divorced were frowned upon. Today, however, divorces are commonplace. Families are ripped apart. Children’s hearts are shattered as their little minds try to grasp why mommy and daddy aren’t together like they should be. To add to their torture, these children have to lay back and watch as their parents “battle it out” in the courts over who gets custody. Then, their lives seem to have little stability as they are bounced back and forth between mommy and daddy, spending their weeks with one and their weekends with the other. There are many negative consequences to this awful thing called divorce. Why is it so rampant? Why is divorce so widespread in our modern age? Let me suggest four reasons. 1) Selfishness. One cause for many divorces is just plain ole selfishness. Many children in our age are brought up with few responsibilities. From the very beginning of their young lives, parents pound into their little minds that life is “play time.” Very few young adults are given responsibilities or discipline in the home. Furthermore, they are generally showered with much more “stuff” than they need, and often, they were never made to work for it. Sometimes, parents even go into debt to get their children these things! This produces “spoiled brats” who are only interested in continuing this “gimme” attitude as they go into adulthood. And, naturally, this attitude is brought into marriages. Husbands and wives need to apply a basic Bible principle in their marriage, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself” (Phil. 2:3). 2) Unforgiveness is also a contributor to the dissipation of many marriages. When two people become one, and their lives are meshed together, there’s going to be some “rocky times” as they learn one another’s moods, peculiarities, etc.. This learning experience will sometimes cause “fusses,” disagreements, arguments, and bitter words. Whenever two people become so much a part of one another’s lives, mistakes in that “perfect person” become more apparent. Neither the husband nor the wife is perfect; both are going to make mistakes. The one who makes the mistake needs to be big enough to admit it. The one who was wronged needs to be big enough to forgive! Another Bible principle that needs to be applied in marriages, “...be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ has forgiven you” (Eph. 4:32). Some marriages are failing in our society because of selfishness and unforgiveness. Do these exist in your marriage? Next week, we’ll look at two more marriage killers. These are by no means an exhaustive list of the problems facing married couples, but next week, we’ll discuss the one I believe to be the most critical.
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