I heard about a new study on divorce trends on a report on the Today show a few days ago. James Fowler of the University of California (San Diego) has done some research that shows that couples are more likely to divorce if close friends and family around them are divorcing, as well.
You can read a very good article on the subject written by Stephanie Chen that was published on the CNN website.
This speaks volumes about the need to surround your marriage with people who take a very high view of their own covenant relationship. Here are a few questions to help to evaluate your peers in this department...
*When you are going through a difficult time in your marriage, what sort of advice do your friends tend to give? Does it have a "let's pray through some ways to fix this" tone, or does it have a "you should leave the jerk" feel?
*When talking about your struggles, do your peers talk about your spouse and his or her problems, or do they focus on the marriage relationship and the issues you are facing together? In other words, do your peers place a high value on the Biblical principle of "two becoming one flesh" and not focus on the he said/she said stuff?
*When it comes to your parents, do they always take sides with your perspective or do they try to come alongside both you and your spouse to work toward oneness? Too many marriage partners fail to recognize the need to "leave your father and mother and cleave to your spouse." Well-meaning parents can oftentimes wreak havoc on a marriage in their desire to protect their child.
*Finally, do you have a lot of friends who are divorcing? If so, you need to pray that God would give you opportunities to minister to and encourage them, while holding a very high view of your own marriage. This is one area where you must be deliberate to make sure that you are influencing them far more than they are influencing you. If you see this dynamic shifting in an unhealthy direction, you may need to distance yourself from these friends.
What are your thoughts on this? Do you think divorce is contagious?