“What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” (Matthew 19:6)

It depends on how you calculate it but most estimates say that divorces are now about 50% of marriages in the U.S.

But I’m amazed that it isn’t higher. After all, think about it. When you get married you really do not know what you are getting. And neither does your partner. None of us know what we will be like when the vastly diverse circumstances of life hit us, much less our new spouse. We all become someone different than who we were in our youth because of the events and things that happen to us. Death, illness, poverty, failure and even success, all make changes in us.

We all thought we were getting someone who would make our lives better. This will sound radical but I would argue that no marriages start with true love but rather a selfish love. That’s just human nature. In my opinion, no one gets married for what it can do for their partner. They get married for what it can do for themselves. Down deep, isn’t that the reality? And does that sound like real love?

Real love develops only as two people learn to put the other first. Real love is not a matter of emotion as much as it is a matter of the will. As we will to do best for our partner, real love begins to blossom.

What makes a marriage last is true love. But that true love is not emotion as much as it is the will for the other party’s well being. Then, as we put the other person first, our emotional part begins to kick in and in time, we find that we have a deeper feeling of love that overcomes all.

This is what makes marriage work.

My own heart has been broken for those in my family who have suffered so much in broken marriage. But I rejoice that they have learned God can use even this to change our lives for the better as we put Him first.