By Robin Sam
IF there’s anyone in the world, who ought to have felt bitter about his marriage, it should have been Adam – the first man ever. He once went to sleep, and woke up to discover two momentous things happened in his life without his knowledge. He’d had an operation done on him and he had become a married man. Adam had no choice in the question of his bride. Worse, he was not even asked if he’d like to get married in the first place. Nevertheless, jokes apart, Adam and Eve stuck together in good times (Garden of Eden) and bad (after being thrown out of the Garden due to their sin), and raised a family. Of course, they blamed one another and probably bickered along the way, but there’s no evidence in the Bible that they considered divorce or separation. They were married for life. (To read the full article, download The Christian Messenger Sept 2014 E-Mag now)
Sadly, things are not so rosy in marriages any more. According to the United Nations Demographic Yearbook (2014), Belgium, Portugal, Hungary and Spain top the countries in Europe in divorce cases filed per year. Around 32,000 Belgians file divorce papers every year. According to data available, only a third of marriages in Belgium actually survive the demands and pressures of the institution. In the US, a report in The Washington Post (March 27, 2014) said, divorce cases (53%) in America were actually on the rise contrary to reports that divorce rate had flattened. The report acknowledged that the number of divorce cases recorded in the US may not tell the actual story after all, because cohabitation is on the rise among younger Americans. The Post report said: “In the 1970s, a couple might get married at 25 and be divorced by 30. But today, that same couple would be more likely to simply live together for a few years and then head their separate ways when things go south.”
The scenario is no different in India. A 2011 report by the Associated Press said this about divorce cases in India: ‘The country maintains no statistics on divorce, and the numbers are not staggering by Western standards – anecdotal reports say one in every 100 Indian marriages is now likely to end in divorce, compared to about half in the United States.’
According to a news report in Deccan Chronicle (April 3, 2013), Kerala (God’s own country?) has the highest divorce rate in the country. There were as many as 5,000 divorce cases pending in the family court of Thiruvananthapuram alone. Most couples want to opt out of marriage due to extramarital relationships and addiction to alcoholism.
Millions of couples across the world are looking for the apparently elusive magic formula that makes marriages click.
Today more people than ever before seem to be grappling with what actor Danny DeVito identified in the film ‘The war of the roses’ as the two dilemmas of the human skull: ‘How do you hang on to someone who won’t stay? And how do you get rid of someone who won’t go?’
There’s a third dilemma that stares most married couples in the face: What makes a marriage work? When do marriages move beyond the realm of the mundane to magnificence? How do some couples pull off their marriages successfully when thousands of families are falling apart every day around us? What makes marriages work? How to live a happy, married life? We turn to the Book of books, the Bible, for answers.
To read the full article, download The Christian Messenger Sept 2014 E-Mag now