USE OF BIBLICAL COUNSELLING IN ADRESSING INCREASED DIVORCE RATE IN THE UNITED STATES
DIVORCE AND ITS RATE IN THE U.S
God created the institution of marriage to be a lifelong covenant between a man and a woman (Genesis 2:24). Marriage was made to fulfill the innate need for procreation, fellowship, and communion between the two. Divorce was not envisaged in God’s divine plan for marriage. In Old Testament, the law seemed to permit divorce to protect the rights of the abandoned spouse contrary to God’s plan for marriage. Even with this provision there was still a caveat that the authorities had to issue a divorce decree (Deuteronomy 24: 1-4). In responding to this state of affairs, Jesus remarked, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard,” (Mathew 19:8).
As a matter of fact, God hates divorce because it is a betrayal and treacherous violation of a covenant He institutes as the principal witness. God categorically declares, “It is because the Lord is the witness between you and the wife of your youth; you have been unfaithful to her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant,” (Malachi 2:14). Therefore, it is clear that divorce was not in God’s original plan for marriage. However, people cite trivial reasons of things that affect their intimate lives leading to divorce. Some of the underlying divorce factors include extramarital affairs, mistrust, miscommunication, and personal feelings of fear, shame, guilt, worthlessness among others.
The Increase in Divorce Rate in the United States
The fear of intimacy is credited for making couple increasingly independent to an extent of losing their common marital bond thus setting the stage for divorce. This situation is compounded by the role the family plays in the establishment of sex roles and authority that tend to generate conflict. As opposed to previous decades, less tolerance to marriage problems and increased external pressures on family are now resulting into an increase in divorce rate.
A myriad of reasons are advanced by married couple opt for a divorce. The first one is incompatibility which results from marriage partners holding differing perceptions and expectations of each other. Most marital counseling clients opine that they did not marry their partners but rather the images and illusions of their spouses. Some different opinions, philosophies, and priorities held by couples can potentially rock the marriage thus leading to divorce if they are not address early enough.
The second reason for increased divorce rate is lack of communication or miscommunication among couples. Communication is not just the key to a relationship; it is the relationship. In presence of marital tensions, mutual isolation ensues which is further amplified where communication suffers a great deal. It is a vicious cycle that reduces couples ability to resolve their marital issues like sex.
The advent of industrial revolution in the US is another reason for a divorce rate. The industrial revolution changed the employment landscape where firms embraced automation leading to massive replacement of physical manpower and skills, and this forced people to become highly mobile in order to remain gainfully employed. This phenomenon has negatively impacted mutual contact because people are separated from their support systems leading to increase in divorce rate.
On the contrary, people are willingly relocating to as part of the phenomenon of “Upward mobility.” They opt for life in metropolis due to their lucrative opportunities as opposed to the calm and tightly-knit communities that they leave behind. This is a recipe for a multitude of problems that make the family unit more vulnerable to disruption. In sum, the process of eking a living or creating wealth is partly contributing to increase in divorce rate in the US.