This is Myth 4 of 27 Myths about divorce that aren’t likely to be true of committed Christians who love God and take their faith seriously. These messages make us worry if we’re pleasing God. They contain little accusations that our motives aren’t right. They make us second-guess ourselves when we try to get ourselves and our children to safety. Many of us have heard these messages all our lives and wanted to avoid them. So although these myths may be true for people who are selfish or immature, they aren’t true for a person who invested their heart and soul into the relationship, even when the other person didn’t. See all the myths on one page. See the next myth.
Myth 4: You didn’t attend church enough.
TRUTH: Churchgoing doesn’t make dangerous marriages safe, and it doesn’t make dangerous spouses magically change.
This myth suggests you would have saved your marriage if you had attended church more or been more devout.
The truth is that people who go to church still get divorced, and the number of divorces among people who go to church—even those who go to church multiple times a week—are almost the same as the numbers of divorces among people who rarely attend. (You can read more about these facts in Chapter 2 or see the chart below based on nationwide data.) Barna Group, a Christian research organization reports that 1 in 3 Evangelicals have ever divorced, and 1 in 4 of conservative Christians have ever divorced.
Churchgoing doesn’t make dangerous marriages safe, and it doesn’t make dangerous spouses magically change.
A related myth is “I can convince my pastor/church to approve of my divorce, since they know I am a godly person.” In churches that don’t allow divorce for any reason, that effort is unlikely to succeed. You can talk to the pastor over and over, but at some point the old adage “You can’t fight city hall” is true. Many people find it best to make their own decision and switch to another church. (See Chapter 8 on finding safe churches in The Life-Saving Divorce.)
“The idea that pastors get to decide whether a woman is ‘abused enough’ to get a divorce is ludicrous.”
As you can see, even regular church attenders divorce. Although we can assume that some Christian divorces are due to immaturity, lack of commitment, or marrying without counting the cost, the rest, most than half according to U.S. surveys, are due to very serious issues: a pattern of adultery, sexual immorality, physical violence, emotional abuse, severe addictions, abandonment or neglect.
1 Barna Group, March 31, 2008, https://www.barna.com/research/new-marriage-and-divorce-statistics-released/ Retrieved 4-29-2020
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