Ducks In A Row!
Most weddings are performed by a religious leader, and so it's fair to say they have a role in the problem of divorce.
A group acting in unison is magical. A stadium full of fans all cheering for their team’s success, a ballet company dancing in step, or a choir harmonizing together. Whatever the situation, a group performing in unity is easy and pleasant to watch and/or listen to. On the other hand, random sounds and movements can be confusing and unpleasant. Ducks walking in a row is another of those magical moments to see and hear. Their unique quacks come together in their glorious gait. However, ducks scattered about, quacking at different times, in different decibels and from different directions, can make it hard to hear anything.
People use the term “ducks in a row” to describe having all the elements of a plan in place so as to accomplish a larger task. Marriage in America right now is a sitting duck and strengthening it is a large task indeed. The divorce rate continues to be 50%. Marriage is at an all-time low and growing lower. Cohabitation is at an all-time high and growing higher, and these breakups effectively push the number of new children of divorce to more than the 1.5 million annually reported.
It’s easy and true to say all religious leaders view marriage as permanent. After all, God was clear about this in Genesis: the two shall become one. However, today we see a world increasingly out of step with God’s heart, to the point where half of all marriages do not fulfill God’s wish when man separates what God joined together. We also see religious leaders with as many interpretations and opinions regarding divorce and remarriage as there are five number combinations on a lottery ticket. Additionally, free will and grace are another important part of this discussion. And they too are fraught with opinion and interpretation here.
Chuck Swindoll said “" a busload of evangelical theologians will never achieve unanimity in their views of divorce and remarriage even if the bus went on a tour for the whole summer.” The same holds true throughout other religions as well. And so this much is true. They all can’t be right - but they all could be wrong. And this much is true as well. The lack of a clear message from our religious leaders plays a role in the epidemic that is more than 4,000 new children of divorce each day in the USA.
God was as clear on this topic as any other. We need all of our religious leaders to speak with one God honoring voice on this devastating cultural and spiritual issue. We believe that a truly God-honoring approach to getting there would be for all religious leaders to pause, put aside opinions and interpretations on divorce and remarriage to reflect on them, and lead us in a National Year of Prayer for Marriage wherein they say nothing other than what they all agree on – God’s plan for marriage is permanence as stated in Genesis. (As always, separation for safety’s sake governed by a counselor is without exception God blessed.)
We understand that this initiative only scratches the surface of what needs to happen in our culture regarding marriage and family. However, we believe that beginning with prayer and unity is the core of a powerful movement to restore marriage to its rightful place as an illustration of God’s relationship with each of us: full of kindness, full of forgiveness and never ending. The children of America need our religious leaders in a row on this one!