- Kevin Hall
Straying from God
Below is an excerpt from an article in the Washington Post titled, ‘How decades of divorce helped erode religion’: Two widely recognized trends in American society might have something to do with each other. Divorce rates climbed to the highest levels ever in the 1980s, when about half of all marriages ended in divorce. And in the present day, Americans are rapidly becoming less religious. Since 1972, the share of Americans who say they do not adhere to any particular religion has increased from 5 percent of the population to 25 percent. Could those two trends be related? A new study from the Public Religion Research Institute says yes. The children of divorced parents have grown up to be adults of no religion. People whose parents divorced when they were children are significantly more likely to grow up not to be religious as adults, the study found. Thirty-five percent of the children of divorced parents told pollsters they are now nonreligious, compared with 23 percent of people whose parents were married when they were children. Other studies on the rise of the “nones” — those who say they have no religion — have focused on millennials’ changing preferences. This study found that 29 percent of adults who were raised religious and left their faith say they left because of their religion’s negative teachings about gay and lesbian people. Nineteen percent say they left because of clergy sexual-abuse scandals. Sixty percent say they simply do not believe what the religion teaches. We see God’s wisdom in designing the family. A man and a woman leave their respective families and are joined together as husband and wife (Gen. 2:24). And if they are blessed with children, God expects them to be raised to know Him (Eph. 6:4). Godly children are told to obey their parents (Eph. 6:1). And ideally, these children grow up to raise another generation who know God (Ps. 78:6-7). When this system is altered or broken-through divorce, same sex marriage, children born outside of marriage, etc.-we run the risk of breaking this cycle. As the divorce rate climbs, more and more children are being raised in an environment different from the family unit God designed. So it should not come as a surprise that generations are coming along that do not know Him. Galatians 6:7 says, ‘Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.’ If this trend continues, we can expect weaker and weaker harvests.