Can Love Last?

In an age where we’re told that we shouldn’t hang around in a relationship if it’s no longer working for us, and that life time commitment is a concept from long ago, FamilyLife Australia co-founder Rex Campbell believes that love can last. He joined me in the studio this morning on 98.5 Sonshine FM.

You can listen to our conversation by clicking the play button on the audio player at the bottom of this post.

I started by asking him why he thinks we have lost faith in long term love. We also talked about some of the practical steps we can take to ensure that our relationships can last the distance.

Do you have any advice on keeping love alive and making it last the distance?


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Facebook Fuels Divorce

Facebook.jpgCould our online lives be destroying our real world lives?

The Telegraph has published an article that claims Facebook is being cited in a growing number of divorce petitions.

Apparently many people are using Facebook and other social networking sites to look up old flames or to find new ones. Many don’t see the harm in flirting with online contacts.

Divorce lawyers claim the explosion in the popularity of websites such as Facebook and Bebo is tempting to people to cheat on their partners.

Suspicious spouses have also used the websites to find evidence of flirting and even affairs which have led to divorce.

One law firm, which specialises in divorce, claimed almost one in five petitions they processed cited Facebook.

So is Facebook to blame?

As we all come to terms with new technology we need to be constantly examining the boundaries that are required to keep our relationships safe, but I can’t help wondering if we also need to re-visit and reinforce some old boundaries.

My marriage vows included a promise to ‘forsake all others’ and that goes for every part of life. I started this post asking if our online lives could be destroying our real world lives but that’s really a deceptive question. It’s a question which presupposes that those ‘two lives’ are somehow separate. They’re not. The real world real you is really the person punching the keys on the keyboard and it’s really you who is flirting with another real person via a real keyboard and computer somewhere else in the world. It may be on the other side of the planet or next door, but real people are involved.

I talk about my family a fair bit on both Facebook and my blog. I’m not leaving anything open for interpretation. I love my wife and whether I’m at home, at work, out with friends or online, people should be in no doubt that I will continue to forsake all others.

I don’t buy the argument that flirting is just light hearted fun. Whether it’s online or offline, if you’re married, flirting should be reserved for your spouse.

So is Facebook fueling divorce? I don’t think so. I think it simply provides another opportunity for people to act out the things that are already in their hearts.

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Can living together lead to divorce?

weddingcake.jpgA new study has revealed that couples who choose to live together before marriage are more likely to have their relationship end in divorce than those who wait until after the wedding to move in together.

With more than 70 percent of couples in the United States living together before marrying, and I’d guess a similar number in Australia, this study gives an interesting insight into the alarmingly high divorce rates in both countries.

The study, carried out by researchers from the University of Denver, also shows that those who wait are more likely to have a more satisfying marriage.

An AFP article, Living together before marriage ups chance of divorce: study, quoted researchers explaining some of the main elements of the research findings.

“We think that some couples who move in together without a clear commitment to marriage may wind up sliding into marriage partly because they are already cohabiting,” said senior researcher and study co-author Galena Rhoades.

“It seems wise to talk about commitment and what living together might mean for the future of the relationship before moving in together, especially because cohabiting likely makes it harder to break up compared to dating,” said another researcher, Scott Stanley.

Of course it would be a gross over simplification to suggest that waiting leads to ‘happily ever after’ and living together is a direct pathway to divorce, but it is well worth looking at the research and seeing what we can discover.

Why do people choose living together over marriage? I wonder if it has a lot to do with seeing the breakdown of so many other marriages, especially parents’ marriages.

Some research from a separate study that has appeared in the Journal of Family Issues says the most common reason people choose to live together before marriage is that they want to spend more time together, followed by convenience, followed by testing the relationship.

Testing the relationship used to be the biggest reason but researcher Galena Rhoades suggests it’s also the worst possible reason to move in together.

Cohabiting to test a relationship turns out to be associated with the most problems in relationships.

So what do you think? Are we better off sticking with traditional values and waiting? Can living together lead to long lasting relationships if we are sure about the long term direction of the partnership or does that still lack the commitment of marriage?

Please leave your thoughts in the comments section of this post.

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The Building Blocks of a Good Marriage

lovers.jpgAccording to Australian Family First senator Steve Fielding, divorce adds to the impact of global warming as couples switch to wasteful single lifestyles.

His claims were highlighted today in the story, Divorce adds to climate change says Family First senator Steve Fielding.

We understand that there is a social problem (with divorce), but now we’re seeing there is also environmental impact as well on the footprint.

He’s certainly got a point. If divorce means that families that once occupied one household are now split between two homes, they will be using up more resources than if they stayed together.

While I think there is merit in looking after the planet, I think there are far greater reasons to keep marriages together. I understand that it may not always be possible and that many readers already know the pain of divorce. Although I’ve never experienced it I know that it must be a devastating experience and that there aren’t too many people who would take such a step lightly.

So if we’re to keep marriages together, even turning difficult marriages around, we need to go back to basics and understand the building blocks of marriage and our part in keeping a relationship not only alive but thriving and growing.

Once a fortnight during my morning radio programme on 98.5 Sonshine FM I chat to Rob Furlong about relationships of various kinds. We discuss how to develop better relationships. The only person we can truly control in our relationships is our self so we also discuss ways to move forward personally so that we can bring everything we should to a relationship.

This morning we started discussing the building blocks of marriage. Today’s segment was just the beginning in a journey that we’ll take over the coming months as we seek to look at the most important characteristics of a good, solid marriage.

If you’d like to hear what Rob has to say just click the play button on the audio player at the bottom of this post.

What do you think are the essentials of a good marriage? Are there things you know now that you wish you’d known before you married? If you’re single, how are you discovering what you need to know to equip you for marriage?


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Abuse, adultery and desertion

NotUnderBondage.jpgWhat kind of God would insist on a woman staying in a relationship with an abusive husband? Some Christians believe that divorce is totally unacceptable under any circumstance but is that really the case?

There are very few people who enter marriage with anything but the best of intentions and a strong desire to make a life long committment, but for those wanting to stay within God’s plan, what happens when people find themselves in a destructive relationship?

Under what circumstances does the Bible permit divorce?

Does the Bible allow for a divorced Christian to remarry?

Divorce and remarriage remains a hot topic in Christian circles with a wide variety of opinions on the subject.

Barbara Roberts has written a book titled Not Under Bondage – Biblical Divorce for Abuse, Adultery and Desertion. I recently spoke to her about her book and her journey to recovery.

You can hear what she has to say by clicking the play button on the audio player at the bottom of this post.


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