21So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23Then the man said,

“This at last is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman,
because she was taken out of Man.” Genesis 2:21-23

The purpose of this blog is to remind us all (including myself) to think about the long term effects of the choices we are making today, especially in our relationships.

I grew up in the 1960’s and ’70’s. It was a time of great turmoil and social upheaval (which is often another way of saying stupid choices) especially in the little hippie/intellectual community in which I lived. I witnessed many couples getting divorced (including my own parents).

As I child, I remember blinking back tears after learning that the parents of my friend were getting a divorce but the adults around me (upon hearing the same news) said, “Oh, it’s for the best. It is harder for children when their parents have an unhappy marriage…this is better for the children.”

Oh really? Even as a child I wondered how divorce could possibly be a good thing. Did anyone ever ask the children what they thought about the divorce?

The study that blew apart all the theories about divorce being “better” for children resulted in the book The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce:A 25 Year Landmark Study by Judith Wallerstein, Julia Lewis and Sandra Blakeslee.

This study compared children who had parents who experienced “friendly” divorces with children whose parents lived through horrific divorce situations. Researchers also studied children who grew up with parents who had terrible marriages.

The researchers followed the children for 25 years and found that in all cases of divorce the children struggled far more with depression, dysfunctional relationships (especially increased promiscuity among the girls) and other problems.

Children whose parents remained together in a bad marriage (and some were really terrible and dysfunctional) grew up to be far better adjusted with less depression and anxiety.

Did you get that? Children who grew up with unhappily married parents knew that they didn’t want what their parents had but they did not fear future divorce like the children of divorced parents. Ultimately, children whose parents remained in unhappy marriages grew up with more confidence in their ability to stay married in their future marriage because their parents had done so!

By the way, the other lie I heard as a child was we’ll stay married until the children are grown and if we get divorced then it won’t hurt the children because they’ll be grown up.

Studies have shown that it doesn’t matter if you are married and middle-aged when your parents divorce…the divorce of your parents shakes the very foundation of your life no matter what age you are when it occurs.

If you are struggling through one of those “dry” times we all experience in marriage, hang in there! Ask the Lord for wisdom and ask for counsel and help from a wise older woman.

Today I am guest posting on “When Marriage is Hard” over at Far Above Rubies.  I hope it is helpful to you.

May God give us all strength and joy to build the kind of marriages that become foundational for our families so that our grandchildren and great grandchildren will someday say, “Grandma and Grandpa kept their marriage vows…we can too.”