Why does America lead the world in divorce? Why are the HOMES of British, Australian and American people falling apart? WHY is MARITAL HAPPINESS such an elusive, rare thing today? Read, in this straight-from-the-shoulder article, the real answers to these vital questions, and the real SECRET to a HAPPY MARRIAGE!
AN INSIDIOUS disease is gnawing at the vitals of our society! That disease is marital unhappiness, and divorce! Uncountable books, magazines and newspaper articles have attacked the problem from every conceivable angle. Sociologists have attempted to uncover the cause of divorce, and marital counselors by the scores and hundreds have used every means at their disposal to save shattered marriages from divorce. All of these combined influences have seemed to have little, if any, influence.
Divorce a Gigantic Problem
Just how serious is the divorce problem in the United States, Britain, and Australia? The shocking statistics answer plainly. Divorce, with all its resulting heartache, court squabbles and homeless children, is one of the most monumental sociological problems of our times! In the United States, presently leading the world in divorce, nearly one out of every three homes has known the heart-sickening experience of the divorce courts! In Los Angeles County, there is one divorce for every marriage! The Family Service Association of America said recently, "Family breakdown is fast reaching epidemic proportions and now ranks as America's No. 1 social problem." Each year, there are 786,000 persons divorced. The current divorce rate is seven times higher than it was 100 years ago! There are an estimated 100,000 desertions each year — all this in ADDITION to the actual recorded divorces. The illegitimacy rate has tripled since 1938. Each year, there are more than 200,000 illegitimate babies born in the United States alone! Another closely linked problem, that of juvenile delinquency, has nearly tripled since 1940. Besides these staggering facts on divorce and the home, many other serious problems in human relationships, problems of the family have been revealed by recent studies. Behind these awesome statistics are human beings, whole families, whose lives have become distorted, twisted, wretched things! Little children crying "Mommy — don't leave me!" Boys and girls wondering what their choice will be when they are asked with which parent they would rather live, teenagers knowing no homes, thousands of youths living with "foster parents" or being placed in institutions. Truly, as this Family Service Association has said, family breakdown is fast reaching EPIDEMIC PROPORTIONS! LIFE magazine said recently, "No other civilized nation comes even close to the U.S. divorce rate. We have three times as many divorces each year, allowing for differences in population, as nations like England, France, Finland and Australia, and four to six times as many as Canada, Belgium, Norway and the Netherlands." Every time the clock ticks off 90 seconds, another American home is broken by divorce! There were more than 1,000 divorce decrees granted each day last year in the United States! Are these statistics shocking? Are they staggering? They most certainly are. You need DESPERATELY to understand the basic REASON for divorce, to understand the underlying cause of unhappy marriages, and to know what you can be DOING about it in your own home!
Sociologists Search for the Cause
Some very revealing facts have been brought to light by recent studies of representative groups all over the world. For instance, it was found in London, England, that vast percentages of supposedly "happily married people" would very readily SWAP PARTNERS, and that great percentages of these married people openly admitted they would not marry their present mates again! But why? The answers are varied — and every one of them actually APPLIES. For instance, it was found almost 90 out of 100 divorce cases statistically prove that people are head over heels in debt. Another major factor which has been singled out was the high incidence of younger marriages taking place in the world today. For example, last June's marrying couples averaged the youngest in the nation's history! It was proved divorce occurs six times more often among those who marry under the age of 21 than among the 21-plus brides and grooms. Another major contributing factor in the high teen marriage-divorce rate was, according to one authority, that 53 per cent were forced into marriage as a result of premarital pregnancy. Hugo A. Bordeaux, executive director of the Marriage Counseling Service, Baltimore, Maryland, said, "All over America, husbands and wives cannot talk to each other. This, I am convinced, is our No. 1 marriage problem... (Emphasis mine). The Institute of Family Relations in Los Angeles lists sexual maladjustment as the leading cause of marital discord. One study of 500 consecutive unsuccessful marriages found all but one placed the blame on sex! An internationally conducted UNESCO poll recently revealed that 60 per cent of American and European married women feel deceived, frustrated, unhappy and dissatisfied — mainly, they believe — because no one really understands them! These are just a few of the MAJOR causes listed by leading institutes and study groups for the rampant problems of divorce. All of them, to a certain degree, are absolutely true! However, no single ONE of them provides the whole answer. Can we learn a lesson from history? Let's look at the world's FIRST marriage for a moment — let's investigate the real HISTORY of marriage, and find what is the real TRUTH!
The World's First Marriage
This was a marriage designed by GOD. It was a marriage totally unique, unlike any other in many ways. The man was a perfect physical specimen. Adam was undoubtedly in vital, virile, dynamic good health — with PERFECT muscular development, a good, sound, solid body that was flawless except for one missing rib! He had that rugged, masculine, self-assured look so many women admire in men. He was probably tall, muscular and athletic, carrying himself with an easy grace. Remember! Adam was the epitome of human physical perfection! He was directly molded and fashioned by the hands of the One who was the Creator of all the universe. But what of his wife? She, too, was created perfectly. She must have been a fantastic beauty — embodying every quality that could possibly be desired by any young woman. Athletic and supple, yet feminine and soft, perfectly formed, she was in perfect health, with one of the rarest of all combinations — beauty and intelligence! These two were perfectly suited for each other. Almighty God had created them so! It was HE who had ordained that they should become ONE FLESH! This was a marriage thought out, planned and designed by Almighty God. It seemingly had every chance for success. Analyze it further. Their home was a fabulous paradise. Here was a young man who had the finest of all jobs, with unlimited opportunity for advancement. Further, he had no competitors. There was no one in sight who could possibly have wanted his job, or who could possibly have taken it away from him. He had the one elusive blessing so many men on earth search for in vain today — security! And, what is also very important, he was totally OUT OF DEBT! He was in absolute financial solvency, owing no man anything. He was personally well acquainted with his Employer — even to the point of spending hours with Him in long talks about his future. His Employer, who was God Almighty, took such special interest in this young man that He gave him personal inside tips on how to get ahead, how to be a complete success. NEVER could a young married couple have had more with which to begin! Think of it! No possible "in-law troubles," and they were not married too young, since in all probability they were right at or about age 30. There were no cultural differences, no language difficulties, no religious conflicts, no racial problems. There were no conflicts in interest through heredity, environment and background — since they both started at the same time! In short, they had absolutely NONE of the handicaps confronting even the average well-mated couple of today, and had everything to indicate that a BRILLIANT life and successful marriage lay ahead of them. Never, from that time to this, has any couple had more in their favor for a happy marriage!
The First Shattered Home!
Yet, in just a SHORT TIME, this man lost his home. He lost his job! He lost his security, and with it, his self-respect! He failed in his marriage, he failed his Employer, and he failed his wife. Instead of obeying the LAWS Almighty God had established and revealed to Adam which would have guaranteed success and long life, and a happy marriage, Adam allowed his wife to disobey — and then followed meekly along in her disobedience. Think of it! He lost everything! His wife was a failure, too. She failed her husband, hindering him in his job, instead of helping. She was an influence in the wrong direction! The two were driven from their place of absolute security — their beautiful and fabulous environment which was their home. Almighty God reveals they became miserable failures at child rearing! They obviously fought. They argued. Each blamed the other for his failures. Their children grew up in a perfectly horrible atmosphere of struggle, hard work, frustration and bitter disappointments. Here was a man who was almost overnight stripped of his wealth and security, removed from his job in a high executive position, and driven out to become a hard-scrabble farmer, eking out a bare living in the fields. Nature became his enemy instead of his ally. The ground yielded thorns and thistles to him — he had difficulty making a good crop — and life became a miserable, tedious struggle! The children undoubtedly grew up hearing recriminations and family arguments — witnessing squabbles and brawls between their own parents!
And Look at Their Children
Then, as if life wasn't miserable enough — these parents finally lived to see one of their own dearly beloved boys brutally MURDERED by the other! They had reared the world's first delinquent — a hardened, selfish, BRUTE of a youngster, who grew up to KILL his own brother! And yet — they had EVERYTHING to begin with. Everything, that is, except one thing. Marriage, you see, is ALL GIVE! But these two, by their very natures (Rom. 8:7) were ALL GET! The one BIG thing they both lacked was the Holy Spirit of Almighty God! SIN made an absolute shambles of their lives. Adam had to live to see his progeny involved in every filthy evil imaginable. They turned to perversion, blood-lust, rape and murder. They cheated, fought and stole! They killed each other wholesale, and even turned to CANNIBALISM! Yes, what a pure, unadulterated mess of a marriage! This was the world's first marriage. And it was the world's first marital failure!
The Basic CAUSE for Marital Failure
Like a great, black pall settling down over the entire world, SEX has come to influence everything! It seems books and magazines cannot be sold without openly advertising sex on their covers! "Hollywood," American advertising, the novels and most entertainment media have snatched love from its high pinnacle of ecstatic beauty, to dash it into the slime of sheer human sensuality! Love is outgoing concern. Love is a great desire to SHARE, to SERVE, to help and GIVE TO the beloved! Love is basically out going, while lust is directed IN, toward the self! Today, teenagers are swept away via the movies on the blissful fantasies of ready-made daydreams into the pink clouds of Hollywood "romance!" Marriage, to them, is a new party dress, a gala departure amidst rice and tin cans, a merry-go-round of sensual thrills and pleasures, a write-up in the local newspaper. People talk about "falling" in love! But actually, when it is thoroughly understood from God's Word, it is a total IMPOSSIBILITY to "fall in love" at first sight! This is at the very BASIS for all failure in marriage. Remember, human nature is basically all get. But marriage is a partnership wherein each partner contracts with the other to GIVE. Almighty God has laid down basic laws in His Word which regulate marriage. It is God who invented marriage — and it is HE who has given the laws regulating marriage — laws insuring marriage will be a success! When those basic laws are violated, they exact an immediate penalty! As one marital counselor said recently, "You don't fall in love — you climb up to it!" How could a person "fall in love" with another individual merely upon sight alone? This is obviously nothing more than base, human, physical lust — which is directed totally toward the self — and is not LOVE!
Sex as the Expression of Love
Actual statistics collected from many studies have PROVED that an overwhelming majority of unsuccessful marriages are directly attributed by the frustrated marital partners themselves to sexual maladjustment. Dr. R.L. Dickinson, in his book, "Medical Analysis of a Thousand Marriages" states that 40 percent of women never attain satisfactory marital relationships. And is it any wonder? My father, Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong, hopes at some future time to begin work on his forthcoming book on this gigantic problem — explaining it — making plain what God says about sex. This is a subject which very urgently needs to be thoroughly understood, NOT from a purely biological point of view, but from the spiritual point of view of the Word of God — and should be taught by an ordained minister of God! Since the normal marital relationship is merely the highest form of the expression of the outgoing LOVE of one marital partner toward another, is it any wonder so many marriages fail today? When this relationship — designed by an all-wise Creator as an outgoing expression of love becomes a selfish, purely physical, carnal desire to get — it becomes a major reason for failure in marriage, instead of a basic reason for happy married life! The basic, underlying CAUSE of all marital failure is failure to observe God's law of marriage! It is a part of human nature to be selfish, wanting to GET instead of give! You need desperately to understand the laws Almighty God has established for marital happiness! Space does not permit a thorough coverage of the subject in this one brief article, and so we invite you to read our free article, "How to Have a Happy Marriage ." This article contains vital facts, from the Bible, on how a home should be regulated — and gives the real basic KEYS for marital happiness. Divorce is one of the great CURSES Almighty God promised would come upon us because of BROKEN LAWS! How many of you have even remotely realized it is GOD who really "invented" marriage — who AUTHORIZES marriage, who literally BINDS husband and wife together as one flesh? How many of you have really known, and been taught the practical, workable LAWS that will GUARANTEE happy marriages? How many of you have really heard, and known the God-revealed SPIRITUAL principles of sex in marriage? What a shame it is, and what a terrible indictment against those in whose province it was to do the teaching, that our people's homes are being destroyed — SHATTERED — because of IGNORANCE of these vitally important laws! What about your home? Is your marriage REALLY happy? Do you literally, fully, sincerely LOVE your mate? Do you have a deep desire to SHARE, to GIVE, to SERVE, to HELP your mate? Do you sincerely try to WORK at marriage, making it more exciting, more fulfilling, more deeply rewarding in every way? Are your children as happy and obedient as you want them to be? If YOUR marriage needs some real CHANGING, then WRITE for our free article on HAPPY MARRIAGE! Request the article on HOW TO SOLVE FAMILY ARGUMENTS, too! And, also vitally important, be sure to get the free booklet, "Divorce and Remarriage." Never be afraid to ask for help if you know you really need it! Make sure YOUR home is not going to become just another disappointing statistic!