Briefing: Divorce rates among law enforcement personnel are higher than any other profession.
Dispatch (Assignment): I challenge you to take a survey of 20-30 law enforcement personnel in your area and see what percentage of them have been divorced. In my department, it varies between 75% and 80%.
On the Street: Why are divorce rates among law enforcement so high? I don’t think it can be narrowed down to one or two contributing factors but one thing is certain, the job is extremely hard on marriages.
Even though there may be several variables, I believe there is one missing part that could restore all marriages. One problem in law enforcement is that only 10% of us, in the US, claim to believe in God. Knowing this, I have a better understanding of why our divorce rate is so high. The marriage relationship is to be a mirror image of Christ to the church (see Investigational Resources). I wish I had time to go into a marriage study but the purpose of this devotional is to show a few Biblical principles of marriage that are contained in Proverbs.
Proverbs 18:22 (NIV), “He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord.”
Proverbs 23:24 (NIV), “The father of a righteous child has great joy; a man who fathers a wise son rejoices in him.”
Proverbs 12:4 (HCSB), “A capable wife is her husband’s crown, but a wife who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones.”
The writers of Proverbs praise the good spouse but have harsh words for the bad spouse. I say spouse because this can go both ways. I have known some whiney, nagging, disgraceful, quarrelsome, annoying men including myself.
Proverbs 19:13-14 (NIV), “A foolish child is a father’s ruin, and a quarrelsome wife is like the constant dripping of a leaky roof. Houses and wealth are inherited from parents, but a prudent wife is from the Lord.”
Proverbs 21:9 (HCSB), “Better to live on the corner of a roof than to share a house with a nagging wife.”
Proverbs 21:19 (HCSB), “Better to live in a wilderness than with a nagging and hot-tempered wife.”
Proverbs 27:15-16 (NIV), “A quarrelsome wife is like the dripping of a leaky roof in a rainstorm; restraining her is like restraining the wind or grasping oil with the hand.”
Proverbs 30:21-23 (NIV), “Under three things the earth trembles, under four it cannot bear up: a servant who becomes king, a godless fool who gets plenty to eat, a contemptible woman who gets married, and a servant who displaces her mistress.”
Lastly, the verse below is one I think all young boys and girls should have to know and understand this last verse. If we chose our spouses based on godly character and Biblical principles I don’t think the state of marriage would be in such bad shape.
Proverbs 31:10-31 (HCSB), “Who can find a capable wife? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will not lack anything good. She rewards him with good, not evil, all the days of her life. She selects wool and flax and works with willing hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from far away. She rises while it is still night and provides food for her household and portions for her female servants. She evaluates a field and buys it; she plants a vineyard with her earnings. She draws on her strength and reveals that her arms are strong. She sees that her profits are good, and her lamp never goes out at night. She extends her hands to the spinning staff, and her hands hold the spindle. Her hands reach out to the poor, and she extends her hands to the needy. She is not afraid for her household when it snows, for all in her household are doubly clothed. She makes her own bed coverings; her clothing is fine linen and purple. Her husband is known at the city gates, where he sits among the elders of the land. She makes and sells linen garments; she delivers belts to the merchants. Strength and honor are her clothing, and she can laugh at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom and loving instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the activities of her household and is never idle. Her sons rise up and call her blessed. Her husband also praises her: “Many women are capable, but you surpass them all!” Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord will be praised. Give her the reward of her labor, and let her works praise her at the city gates.”
Investigational Resources: Ephesians 5:1-4, 5:22-33, Colossians 1:18-19
Officer Safety Principle: Marriage is not a contract. It is a sacred vow, a covenant made before God. It is to be honored. Pray for your marriage and the marriages of the officers in your department.
from The Book of Proverbs Through the Eyes of a Cop
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
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