"Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
"Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them.
"Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord.
"Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged" (Colossians 3:18-21, NKJV).
Earlier this week, I heard a radio news report which stated that the state of Oklahoma spends hundreds of millions of dollars annually fighting poverty caused by divorce and out-of-wedlock births.
Today, I received a letter from FamilyLife with these striking statistics:
*41% of married couples today admit to infidelity
*57% of men admit they've committed infidelity in every relationship they've had
*54% of women admit the same
*40% of children today will grow up without a father in the home
*A recently divorced man is nearly 9 times more likely to commit suicide than his female counterpart
Although I'm not an expert in this field, my personal observations do not conflict with what I have been hearing and reading this week. After 7 years of volunteering in urban ministry, I have a difficult time thinking of many intact families who are living in poverty unless they are dealing with physical or mental health problems. Adultery, divorce, and single-parent households seem to be normal among the poor, the middle-class, and the wealthy.
People are hurting. They are living with the bitterness of betrayal and abandonment. They are living with the guilt of betraying their spouses and abandoning their families. They do not know how to raise their children alone. They do not know how to love and respect their husbands and wives. They do not know how to honor their parents who have made mistakes. Their relationships are frayed; and it has affected them emotionally, socially, and spiritually.
People need good news. They need forgiveness and an opportunity to start life over. They need hope. They need to learn biblical principles concerning life and relationships. They need Christ.
Christians and churches have been called by God to help meet these needs.