Divorce Statistics

January 12, 2000

The latest divorce statistics from George Barna are sobering. One-quarter of all Americans have experienced at least one divorce. Born again Christians continue to have a higher likelihood of getting divorced than do non-Christians. Atheists are less likely to get divorced than are born again Christians. These are just some of the statistics from his latest marital snapshot of America.

George Barna concludes that "divorce may not be popular, but it remains common in America." After all, one out of every four American adults has experienced at least one divorce. What a dramatic turnaround in a social statistic in just a few decades. Divorce has gone from being rare to routine within a generation.

Lots of publicity has been given to the fact that Christians are more likely to divorce than non-Christians. I believe that part of the reason for that statistic is due to the fact that a higher percentage of Christians are more likely to get married, therefore there is a higher percentage that potentially could get divorced.

But the statistic is still troubling, even after giving that explanation. Christians should be setting the example. Instead, our marriages appear to be no different than those in the world. Not so long ago Christian tracts talked about the low divorce rate among Christians as evidence of how God and Christian faith can provide a firm foundation for marriage. Those tracts aren't in use anymore because Christian marriages are pretty much like the marriages of the world.

I think it is time for the church to get back to basics. Pastors must preach about marriage from the pulpit, and churches should encourage their members to attend marriage conferences that provide God's blueprint for marriage. Christian marriages should set the example for the world.

I'm Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and that's my opinion.