This lie is a whopper! We want to think our marriage is just about us – it is no one else’s business. This gives us the “right” to tell others to butt out when they try to talk to us about our marriages.
However, this is a lie. Marriage is a commitment made before God and man, so how your marriage is doing is the business of both God and man. Beyond that, your marriage directly affects your children (even if they are grown and out of the house) as well as other family members and friends. Studies have found your chance of divorce goes up as the number of divorced friends you have goes up. If you divorce, you put all of your friends at a greater risk of divorce. The same is true for marriage problems – they spill over and influence others.
Our marriage problems also have an effect on the church as a whole, and on our ability to reach the lost. The fact that divorce is almost as common in the church as outside of it means the world assumes we have no help to offer. The fact that adultery, premarital sex, and porn use are far too common by those claiming to follow Jesus means we have abdicated the right to claim the moral high ground on marriage and sexuality. The number of pastors exposed for various sexual sins (and crimes) just adds to this.
Imagine if the divorce rate for those following Jesus was 10% of what it is for the general public. What if studies found Christian marriages were 3½ times happier than non-Christian marriages? What if couples who attend church together had 230% as much sex as those who did not? What if wives who follow Jesus were three times more likely to have had an orgasm the last time they had sex? What if kids in Christian marriages has significantly higher grades, less depression, were less likely to be overweight, and had more than double the odds of completing college? What if Christian couples lived on less, gave more, and were a visible blessing to their communities? If we were living the kind of marriages God calls us to live, those who do not know Him would be looking for an excuse to talk to us so they could learn our secrets.
Like it or not, your marriage is on display, and how well your marriage fares has an impact on those close to you and on society as a whole.