Ask God to Bless Your Marriage

Tim Richards   -  

Ask God to Bless Your Marriage

You are not alone if you have forgotten the news from September 20, 2016. Only minutes after we learned Angelina Jolie was filing for divorce from Brad Pitt, an earthquake hit Los Angeles. CNN jokingly commented, “The two incidents are unrelated.” The family has again been in the news recently as two of the couple’s children decided to drop their father’s last name.

When news of the Jolie-Pitt divorce broke, it was a moment for reflection. In his Daily Commentary, Dr. Jim Denison shared insights from his perspective as a cultural anthropologist, listing factors that may have contributed to the family’s breakdown. His remarks were not judgmental; they were a thoughtful analysis of several higher-than-normal risk factors of the couple.

First, the fact that they are famous increased their risk of divorce. Statistically, celebrity couples divorce nearly twice as often as those who are not well-known. When the Marriage Foundation studied couples who married between 2000 and 2010 and were divorced by 2014, they found that 50% of star couples were divorced, compared to 26% of other couples.

Second, they were not only famous but also wealthy and attractive. According to The Atlantic, men are 50% more likely to divorce if their partner’s looks are important in their decision to marry. Other studies reveal that wives who focus on their spouse’ wealth are 60% more prone to divorce their husband. Dr. Denison wrote that we cannot know if these factors contributed to their divorce but suggested, “It’s a safe guess that they were not irrelevant to their relationship.”

Third, the couple did not regularly attend church. While church attendance does not guarantee a great marriage, it statistically increases the odds of a long one. A Harvard study has found that attending church regularly together decreases a couple’s chance of divorcing by 47%. This fact underscores the importance of faith and community in a healthy marriage.

Many desire the enchanted life this beautiful, wealthy, famous couple once seemed to represent. Tragically, that spotlight inevitably brings more pressure than the average couple typically experiences.

Today’s column is not an attack on Jolie and Pitt or Hollywood. My point is that every couple needs all the help they can get when it comes to a healthy marriage. Which is why I require couples I marry to do at least four pre-marital counseling sessions.

It is no coincidence that the first miracle Jesus performed, as recorded in scripture, occurred at a wedding. “What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory…” (John 2:11, NLT) This miracle underscores God’s love for couples and his desire to assist them in starting their marriages well. It also suggests that husbands and wives can rely on him to guide them in this most important human relationship. In summary, let me encourage married couples to make one another a priority and to ask God to bless their marriage.