POSTED: Monday, May 19, 2014 - 9:15pm
UPDATED: Monday, May 26, 2014 - 9:53am
TYLER, TEXAS (KETK) — The definition of marriage has a different meaning to everyone today which could explain divorce rates in America. Why are so many marriages falling apart and how is the marriage oath valued today?
You really find so many people that really don't find marriage seriously," said William Shelton, Family Law Attorney.
The divorce rate is more than 50-percent in America. We get views from a pastor, priest, divorce attorneys and couples on why so many people are untying the knot.
"For a Christian who believes in the Bible and in the guidance of the church and interpreted in the Bible it's very clear that God hates divorce, so number one If I'm a Christian I want to be very serious about who I marry because I don't want to get myself in a situation where I'm doing something that God hates," Father Paul Key, Priest Director.
Church leaders say pre-martial counseling is encouraged. "Basic tools we try to teach couples when they come in is one… the thing that will keep a marriage strong is their core beliefs not compatibility," said Pastor Ken Brumbley.
"Sexual intimacy is what draw us together, we want to get to know the person not the body, we want to get to know the person not the feelings," said Father Paul Key.
Local family law attorney's find that many couples were never prepared, "People enter a marriage and really don't have a good idea of what their future goals and making sure whether or not those actually match up with their soon to be spouse," said Shelton.
Pastor Brumley says 80-percent of couples he counsels come from a broken home. "That becomes powerful because their models are all messed up in their minds of what that looks like, they don't know what forgiveness looks like, they don't know what reconciliation looks like, they don't know what healing or redemption looks like."
Deacon Shaun Black says when you say "I Do" you're making a promise to God's law of marriage. "Look at the beauty of marriage, look at the fact that the harmonyous relationship between one man and one woman is possible and not only that it's possible for your entire life."
We're told marriage is work and you need to invest time and energy. "Time is important, short courtship don't usually provide couples enough time to look at all the issues that people need to consider before actually before taking the plunge and jumping into a marriage," said Robert Wilson, Family Law Energy.
Through interviews we learned that infidelity, financial hardship, lack of trust, poor communication, marrying for convenience or at a young age, unrealistic expectations, less education, arguing, abuse, and pre-martial cohabitation are some common reasons for divorce.
"Cohabitation is basically saying I want to use you and you want to use me, it can be mutual and used for our own pleasure until we want to split," said Father Paul Key.
We're told many people hold on to past experiences and refuse to heal or get counseling. "I've had men tell me this and women tell me this, I don't mind getting punished for what I did but I sure don't like getting punished for what someone else did five years ago and I wasn't event there," said Wade French, Marriage Counselor.
Church members Jeff and Jennifer Boyce from Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler believe in pre-martial cousneling and get personal, it's Jeff's second marriage and Jennifer's first." If you're not having that I'm not sure issue before you get married it's not going to get better because you got married," siad Jeff Boyce. "Knowing the end result knowing that he and I made a commitment that getting out is not an option just holding that on, just holding on to that kind of make it feels like ok we are going to get through this," said Jennifer Boyce.
Other church members Ryan and Liz Hinch from Green Acres Baptist Church say there are ups and downs but you need make an effort to communicate effectively. "One of our biggest struggles still after almost14 years of marriage is commuication," said Ryan Hinch. "I have complete trust, faith and hope that in the fact that our marriage is ok no matter what," said Liz Hinch.
We find that if you are tying the knot or thinking about untying the knot, re-evaluate and put your faith and happiness first.
"We believe as Christians that the man and woman are to be committed together to each other the woman is to submit to ger husband as to the Lord... that's a huge commandmant but the husband is commaned also to love his wife as Christ loves the church as he gave his life for her," said Ryan Hinch.