The American divorce rate is one of the few things American can agree upon nowadays. A report from the Barna Group research outlet found that a full third of the country's adults above age 18 who have been married have experienced at least one divorce. Strip away the qualifiers, and a quarter of all Americans above 18 have divorced.
For researcher Shaunti Feldhahn, an even worse, false statistic caught her eye. The common number was that thrown about was half of marriages have ended in divorce, and this was causing a problem in many churches. She realized the widespread belief that marriage failure is as bad in the church as the rest of the world demoralized many Christians, and even caused them to question their faith. This was bad for pastors, as it led many of them to wonder if what they were doing was still worth it.
The Harvard-trained Feldhahn then went to work. For eight years she looked at the divorce statistics and found what many believed was true to be wrong. In her book, The Good News About Marriage, Feldhahn not only debunks the 50% rule (her numbers have the rate at 31%, as opposed to Barna's 33%), but also notes that the studies of people who regularly go to church all show a much lower divorce rate for them.
"Maybe 15 %, maybe 20 % for all marriages. First marriages, second marriages, third marriages," Feldhahn explained. She cited one example where a pastor tracked 143 couples who he had married.
"It was 25, 27 years later. Less than 10 percent had been divorced," she stated.
Church Divorce Rate Way Lower than Anyone Thought (CBN News)