The Christian Divorce Rate Myth

Sometimes certain things become part of the cultural fabric without anyone ever taking the time to actually make sure they should be there. The majority of people begin to believe something we’ve all heard and it simply becomes true. During Columbus’ day most people knew the world was round, Marie Antoinette never said “Let them eat cake,” Napoleon wasn’t really short, we didn’t land on the moon (just kidding) and 50% of Marriages DO NOT end in divorce.

Recently, Harvard trained researcher Shaunti Feldhahn released a book entitled The Good News about Marriage. In her book she discusses her search for the proof of this commonly cited 50% rate and her inability to find the research that supported it. Through her journey of sifting through marriage and divorce records she made a shocking discovery… we are not as bad at marriage as we’ve all grown to believe.


divorceIn her book, The Good News About Marriage, Feldhahn lays out what she found during her eight years of investigating the complicated, complex divorce statistics.

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First, the divorce rate is way below 50 percent and much lower for those who attend church.

Feldhahn estimates the overall divorce rate for the country is around 31 percent.


Even more shocking than discovering that the divorce rate was much lower than she believed was the evidence she found proving that successful marriages and church attendance also seem to be connected. Feldhan found that those who regularly attend church have a MUCH LOWER divorce rate than the rest of American society.


 The studies of people who regularly go to church all show a much lower divorce rate for them.

“Maybe 15 percent, maybe 20 percent for all marriages. First marriages, second marriages, third marriages,” Feldhahn explained.

“Pastors need to know this,” she said. “People need to be able to look around the average congregation and say, ‘You know what, most of these people will have strong and happy marriages for a lifetime. Doing what God says matters. This is a big deal to know.”

The marriage and divorce rate myth are just another reminder that we must be more circumspect with the things that we’ll believe. If it sounds astounding, then it most likely is.

Marriage is a supernatural covenant. Marriage was ordained by God to be a stunning picture of the Gospel. For believers there should be no promise more sacred and nothing more worth fighting for.

It shouldn’t surprise us to learn that the 50% failure rate among Christians was wrong, but we should still be saddened by the 20% failure rate that is likely more accurate. Malachi 2, Matthew 19 and other passages all make clear that God is anti-divorce (Malachi 2 even says He hates it) – if God is against it… then we should be too.

Spread the news folks, the divorce rate among Christians is far lower than 50%.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

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