DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: I went to my 20th high school class reunion the other day, and it was really depressing to discover how many of my classmates are on their second or third marriages. Why aren’t marriages lasting today? My marriage is happy, but I worry about what might happen to our children. — N.M.
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Surely one of our most important responsibilities as parents is to show our children what it means to have a committed and loving marriage. It won’t necessarily keep them from having problems in their own marriages, but it still could do much to help them overcome any difficulties.
Why are so many marriages failing today? I can answer only from my own perspective as a Christian and a minister. I’m convinced one reason is because we no longer see marriage as a commitment — a commitment made to God, as well as to each other. Jesus said, “So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate” (Matthew 19:6).
Another reason marriages are failing today is because we’ve lost sight of what it truly means to love someone. “Love,” for many people, is only an emotion, and when the emotion fades, so too does their relationship. But true love is also an act of the will — a commitment to put the other person first instead of self. The Bible says, “Love is patient, love is kind. It is not self-seeking” (1 Corinthians 13:4-5).
God gave marriage to us for our happiness and security. But when we leave him out of the picture, our happiness and security easily fade. Don’t let this happen to you, but commit your life — and your marriage — to Jesus Christ, and build your relationship on him.