50/50. How do you feel about those odds? If I offered you a sandwich and said you have a 50/50 chance of contracting cancer after eating it, would you take it? How about if I offered you a business opportunity and asked you to invest all your time and money into it and then I told you that the odds of you losing everything are 50%. Would you take it?
How about if I told you that there is a man-eating bear outside your house and your chances of getting eaten by him are 50% if you go outside, would you be up for a walk tonight after dinner?
50-50 isn’t good enough for me. And it shouldn’t be good enough for you. No one should be satisfied with 50-50 when it comes to any area of significance in life.
FastStats from the CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(Data are for the U.S., based on reporting of 44 states and D.C.)
- Number of marriages: 2,077,000
- Marriage rate: 6.8 per 1,000 total population
- Divorce rate: 3.6 per 1,000 population
That’s more than 50%! 6.8 out of 1,000 get married and 3.6 out of 1,000 get divorced. Are you satisfied with those odds?
A 50% divorce rate means that the average person who walks down the aisle – dreaming of living happily ever after with the man/woman of their dreams forever – has a 50% chance that their dream will become a nightmare and will end up in divorce!
Is that good enough for you? If not, what are you going to do about it?
I believe it was Albert Einstein who once said “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Very wise.
If we want a different result than other marriages (50-50 odds), then we need to hold ourselves to a different standard than other marriages. We can’t continue to live as everyone else and then wonder why we end up with the same result as everyone else. If we want something better, we need to hold ourselves to a higher standard.
And that standard is God’s standard. More than anything else, I believe the #1 factor that leads to success in marriage is a couple’s commitment to seeking God in their marriage.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Matthew 6:33
Hands down. No doubt about it. I am not saying that seeking God alone is enough – sometimes even godly people struggle to get along – but I am saying that that is the foundation. Without that, you have no chance. There is no way that you can take two individuals – each with their own set of flaws, weaknesses, annoying habits, selfish tendencies, etc. – and ask them to make marriage work without having God in the equation. No way!
To put into mechanical terms, God is to a marriage what engine oil is to a car. I am no mechanic but I know enough to know that car engines have lots of moving parts. And those moving parts are usually made out of metal. So metal rubbing against metal is usually not a good thing. It leads to a lot of friction and that friction could end up destroying the car.
But add some oil into that engine and that same friction – which caused sparks to fly – will now be used to drive the car and propel it forward. The same thing that could have destroyed the car actually allowed the car to do what it was made to do – all thanks to the engine oil.
Like a car engine, marriage consists of two individuals who often times rub each other the wrong way – creating friction and making sparks fly. Without God in the picture, good luck. Your odds are 50-50 at best. But with God in the picture, that’s a different story.
“The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” (Luke 18:27)
For discussion: what does it mean to you to seek God in your marriage? What defines a marriage that is seeking God vs one that isn’t?