Marital struggle is unavoidable. Our sinful natures tend to get in the way of our best intentions. Our culture teaches us to avoid struggle and conflict. So it tends to celebrate divorce. The ol’ ball and chain getting you down? Get rid of the restrictive, oppressive ties that bind you! Celebrate your freedom!
As Catholics we should understand that marriage is meant to be a struggle. Jesus’ new commandment to us is to love one another as He has loved us. The total, self-sacrificing love of Jesus is not natural to us. We can only love as Jesus loves through grace and through the effort of cooperating with grace to change our hearts. That’s what marriage is all about – a training ground t olearn to love as Jesus loves with the help of Sacramental grace. Of course it won’t be easy! We have to work hard to overcome our selfishness, pettiness, and sinfulness.
But the effort is worth it! Studies show that couples who work through marital strife instead of divorcing are much happier in the long run than couples who divorce. The Bible upholds marriage as a gift from God. Social science research
demonstrates the benefits of marriage and the tragic effects of divorce.
• Divorced individuals experience reduced income and earning capacity.
• Divorced, single mothers are more likely to be stressed than married mothers are.
• Divorce is correlated with a greater risk of abuse and neglect of children.
• The risk of suicide increases among children whose parents divorce.
• Always married families are better off financially than divorced families.
• Adults and children in married families suffer less psychological distress than their counterparts in divorced families.
• Married people are more likely than single, separated, or divorced people, to value the importance of being married and having their own children.
Marriage is God’s design, and its benefits are very real in our lives. What can you do to “divorce-proof” your marriage today? Do you pray together with your spouse? Click here to download a facts sheet on marriage and divorce and spread the good news!