How can singles eliminate the risk of divorce?
In a recent article, an author claims that singles can reduce their risk of divorce. The advice provided is extensive. However, the author has made an error in not focusing the advice on the original design for marriage.
According to the author, their are individual and couple characteristics that contribute to higher rates of divorce.
- Marrying at a young age (e.g., marrying younger than 22)
- Having less education (versus having a college degree)
- Having parents who divorced or who never married
- Having a personality that is more reactive to stress and emotion
- Having a prior marriage that ended
- Prior to marrying, having sex with or cohabiting with someone other than your mate
- Having a very low income or being in poverty
- Having a child together before marrying
- Living together before either being married or at least engaged
- Poorer communication and conflict management
- Being different in religion or race
In order for singles to avoid the risk of divorce, they must first understand the original design for marriage. The original design for marriage begins with Adam and Eve.
God placed Adam in the Garden of Eden “… to dress it and to keep it” (Genesis 2:15). Dressing and keeping the Garden of Eden was Adams original purpose. The word ‘dress’ in the Hebrew is ‘abad, which means to work as a servant. The word ‘keep’ in the Hebrew is shamar, which means to protect. God placed Adam in the Garden of Eden to work as a servant in the garden and to protect the garden. Protecting the garden required that Adam become the steward of the garden. God granted Adam stewardship over the Garden of Eden.
Next, God provided Adam with the path that he was to follow (Genesis 2:16 – 17). God instructed Adam on what he could and could not do. Then God decided to provide Adam with a helper. Genesis 2:18 records …”The Lord God said , It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet”. That word ‘meet’ in the Hebrew is ‘ezer. Ezer means to help. Eve’s primary responsibility was to help Adam who was to work as a servant and to protect the Garden of Eden. The original purpose for the union between Adam and Eve was to work together as a team to serve and protect the Garden of Eden. Hence, the original purpose for the marriage between a man and a woman is to serve and protect the resources that God gives to the husband and wife through teamwork. The key for the husband is to become a servant of God so that God will provide resources for the husband to protect which will enable the wife to help with the purpose that God gives to the husband.
Advice for Single Men
Men who want to avoid the risk of divorce must be a servant of God’s. Before you even consider marriage, you should be serving God in some capacity. One way to find the area of service that God is calling you to is to review those things that you are passionate about. Then find a church or ministry to serve in that capacity. Next, you will have to manage the resources that God has provided for your area of service. Resources are not limited to money. Resources could include how you manage your time as well as human capital. Finally, you must obey God. This presents the biggest challenge for many people, but it is best to learn how to obey God before you get married.
Advice for Single Women
God made the woman the ultimate team player. However, on some teams, the players are placed in positions that they least like. This can also happen in a marriage. In order for the woman to better prepare to be a team player, they should participate in ministries that require that the team works together for the common good of all.
While there is an abundance of advice on how to eliminate the risk of divorce, this can only happen when singles understand the original design for marriage.
Dr. Derrick and Mrs. Sheila Campbell
PO Box 1668 Blackwood, NJ 08012
Published books – Leading Your Marriage into the Promised Land -Leading Your Marriage into the Promised Land (Workbook for husbands & Wives) – Advanced Marriage Training for Singles
“I was blessed by the love and sensitivity that you and your wife showed during the presentation”.
Bishop Joseph P. Ravenell
Samaritan Baptist Church
Trenton, NJ “I would highly recommend you to any church or organization desiring to provide their people with timely marital wisdom and practical application skills”.
Dr. James E. Woods, II
El Shaddia Christian Assembly