Malachi 2:13-16: Divorce: Part One



Marriage in NZ is under attack. 2020 saw some of the lowest amounts of marriages in NZ recent history. There were only 16 380 marriages.1 The statisticians add a further 403 same sex marriages and civil unions, but as Christians who have a biblical view of marriage, we cannot admit the same sex unions are marriage, it cannot be a marriage in God’s eyes unless it is between one natural man and one natural woman. Likewise civil unions are legal realities that defy being defined by the Bible, they refuse to define themselves as a marriage and so do we. That is a dramatic drop off from 2019 which recorded just over 19 000 marriages. Covid 19 caused a 10% drop off in the marriage rate in one year. In 1971, 50 years ago there were just over 27 000 marriages in a population of 2.8 million, that has dropped to 16 380 in a population of 5.3 million. Not only that, marriages are happening later in life. In 1971 the average age for marrying in NZ was 20.8 years for women, and 23 years for men, that has risen to 29.5 years for women and 30.6 years for men. 7,707 couples divorced in 2020, that is more than double the 3,347 in 1971. 5973 children under the age of 17 have been impacted by those 7700 divorces.

Here are some stats for America, which set the trend for the Western world:
‘Every 42 seconds, there is one divorce in America, That equates to 86 divorces per hour, 2,046 divorces per day, 14,364 divorces per week, and 746,971 divorces per year
There are nearly 3 divorces in the time it takes for a couple to recite their wedding vows (2 minutes).
More than 172 divorces occur during your typical romantic comedy movie (2 hours).
430 divorces happen during the average wedding reception (5 hours).
There are 5,975,768 divorces over the course of an average first marriage that ends in divorce (8 years).
Over a 40 year period, 67 percent of first marriages terminate.
Among all Americans 18 years of age or older, whether they have been married or not, 25 percent have gone through a marital split.
15 percent of adult women in the United States are divorced or separated today, compared with less than one percent in 1920.
The average first marriage that ends in divorce lasts about 8 years.’2

Like abortion we see divorce as a basic human right, that marriage is something that must work for me, not something that I should work at to make work out. Some today see divorce as the path of self-realization, the pathway to a better me. The better you is the you that is conformed to the image of God, and He has made a pathway through lifelong marriage, to produce the best you.