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Dating & The Divorce Rate

By: Kristen L. McNulty

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We hear a lot of talk about love this time of year because of Valentine's Day. And in going with that theme, today for the Impact devotional, we're going to talk about love in dating and marriage.

According to statistics, it is projected that around 50% of all marriages end in divorce. 50%. Now for a culture that is surrounded with divorce, that may not be so shocking, but when you see the heart-ache and pain that divorce brings to both individuals and families, you can understand why this epidemic is such a tragedy.

But fortunately for us, this is a tragedy that can be largely avoided. Now while many of us today aren't planning on being married in a year or two, the choices we make today do influence the type of marriage we'll have in ten, twenty, and hopefully fifty years from now.

If you talk to any couple who has been happily married for a while, they'll tell you that marriage is hard work and is not something that should be taken lightly. It's a serious commitment that when done right can be a beautiful thing that lasts a lifetime. They key is, when it's done right.

If we're serious about having a good marriage in the future, then we need to start making choices now that lay a foundation for a good marriage. Going out with a different guy or girl every month doesn't teach us commitment. Neither does pressing boundaries that need to be respected. It's been said before and it's very true: what kind of relationships we have when we are dating largely determine what type of relationships we have when we are married.

If you're in a relationship that is one sided, then chances are unless something drastic changes, you're going to be stuck in a one-sided marriage. If God isn't the centre of your relationship now, He's not going to appear there just because you said "I do". If there person you're going out with now doesn't treat you with respect, then no matter what they may say, that's not going to change because you share the same last name.

I know this isn't the most uplifting thing to hear, especially around Valentines, but if you want a love story that's going to last a lifetime, you have to start thinking like this.

Dating isn't something to be taken lightly. The purpose of dating is to find out if you could see yourself spending the rest of your life with someone. And if you don't take that process seriously now, you're setting yourself up for a disaster.

So how do you take this seriously and do it right? Well God is the author of our lives and He knows who we're meant to be with for the rest of our lives. The problem for many of us is we jump a head of God because we're afraid to end up alone and in the process get stuck in messes we had no business being in. If you want to have a relationship that is both God-honouring and beautiful, then you need to hand over that area of your life to Him.

That may mean saying no to someone so that you're available to say yes to someone else later. That may mean establishing accountability while you're dating so that you don't get sidetracked. For everyone it's different, but what's important is that above all no matter what happens, you keep Christ at the centre! When Christ is at the centre of our lives and He's in the driver's seat, He brings us exactly where we're supposed to be. For some that may mean into a deeper relationship with someone currently in our lives, for others that may mean waiting a year, two or more before that prince or princess charming walks in the door. It doesn't matter because Christ knows our lives, He loves us so much, and He has a plan for our lives that is greater than anything we could ever orchrastrate or imagine.

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This devotional was aired as a part of the Making A Difference Christian Radio Show.