February 14, 2013
Valentine’s Day – Sad for Millions
By Mike McManus
Valentine’s Day is not a happy one for tens of millions.
Three-quarters of Americans used to be married; now only half
are. So many will never receive flowers or chocolates. Why?
People make major mistakes. Christians call them sins.
However, if they are avoided, millions of individuals would have
a much greater chance of finding the right person and of
building a lasting marriage.
In fact, it is possible to reverse current trends, if Scriptural
wisdom is considered.
A major scientific study supports Paul’s advice, written to the
Corinthians in two words, “Flee fornication.” A study by the
National Survey of Family Growth reports that of couples who
married in 1980-83 who remained chaste – only 14% had divorced
by 1991. But those who were sexually active in 1980-83
experienced a 24% divorce rate by 1991.
Thus, those who ignore Biblical rules were 71% more likely to
My wife and I have mentored 61 couples, 51 of whom were sexually
active. I point to this data, and look a young man in the eye
and say, “You can’t become a virgin again. But there is
something you can do to increase your odds of a lifelong
marriage: remain chaste until the wedding, that’s only four
months away.” How many couples signed an “Optional Premarital
Sexual Covenant? Guess! Write the number down, and see the
answer at end of this column.
Two-thirds of high school kids plan to compound the sin by
living together. So what? Nine-tenths who do so will either fail
to marry or will divorce. Of 7.6 million couples living together
last year only 1.5 million married. And those who do so are more
likely to divorce than those who observed Biblical rules.
What’s worse is that most unwed births are to cohabiting
couples. A report last year, “Why Marriage Matters,” asserted
“Today the rise of cohabiting households with children is the
largest unrecognized threat to the quality and stability of
children’s family lives.
“Today’s children are much more likely to spend time in a
cohabiting household than they are to see their parents divorce
(42% v. 23%)…Children in cohabiting households are markedly more
likely to be physically, sexually and emotionally abused than
children in both intact married families and single-parent
households...Multiple transitions are linked to higher reports
of school failure, behavioral problems, drug use and
Jesus is quoted in three Gospels: “What God has joined together,
let no man put asunder.” What does that mean to Billy Miller,
who got a divorce he did not want? “This means NO ONE..no mate,
no lawyer, no judge, no court, no pastor, priest or rabbi or
church has GOD’S PERMISSION, POWER OR AUTHORITY TO UNDO.”
In fact, his wife married two other men, and they divorced her.
Billy still hopes for reconciliation and sees her regularly to
No nation has a higher divorce rate. Since 1970 there have been
47 million divorces shattering the lives of 42 million kids. Our
23% divorce rate after five years is triple the 8% in Britain or
If you are unhappy in your marriage, divorce may not be the
answer. I just read a powerful article, “What I Wish I Had Known
Before I Got Divorced” by Georgia Shaffer (marriagemissions.com).
First, she says life will change more than you realize. Lori
thought she’d enjoy being alone, but says, “I’m lonely.”
Parenting was also much harder. “You are the sole breadwinner,
spiritual adviser, disciplinarian, housekeeper. The stress
levels of this responsibility can become staggering.”
Second, “Your life won’t be more carefree.” Actually hidden
emotional wounds pop up when least expected or at predictable
times. “Every Christmas I become depressed,” Jan says. “After 20
years it still hits me suddenly. I was first married in
December, and my childhood sweetheart left me for another woman
15 Decembers later. Every year I have a weepy week.”
Third, “You trade one set of problems for another. If there’s a
remarriage, blending children from previous marriages brings
problems that can range from emotional chaos to stoic
tolerance.” One friend said, “My new stepson ignores me.” I feel
like a second class citizen in my own home.”
Fourth, “Feelings can be deceiving.” Kathy divorced because her
husband traveled so much and she met a “man who made me feel
alive.” Five years later he left.
I Corinthians 13 defines love as a decision, not a feeling.
“Love is patient…” Are you naturally patient? It is an act of
the will which God rewards.
(Of the 51 couples we mentored, 43 signed a pledge to be
The good news is none have divorced that we know of.
2019: Column 1965: Protecting Girls from Suicide
Eight Reasons To Marry
Ten Myths of Marriage
The Ministry of Marriage 911
The Message by Eugene Peterson
Green New Deal
Christian Persecution Rising Abroad
Gun Control Laws Needed
The Worst Valentine:
Pornography: A Public Health Hazard
Sextortion Kills Teens
Cohabitation: A Risky Business
same sex marriage,
abortion and infanticide,