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[updated: 12/17/18]

The December I first published this post about how to save a marriage, I was grieving for three good friends of mine, who’s marriages were struggling to stay afloat. Three years later, I’m still grieving for the marriages of two of those guys.

As for the third? I’m grieving his recent divorce.

The end of a marriage is a tragedy akin to the sinking of the Titanic; something once considered remarkable and majestic, now appalling and pitiable. But unlike the Titanic which sunk alone, my now-divorced friend’s family will join over 800,000 other families in the United States who will experience their first Christmas following divorce.

Of course, when most think of how to save a marriage, they think of:

  • Marital counseling
  • Prayer
  • Support of good family & friend
  • And more marital counseling

And with those efforts, marriages are saved every year from the icy depths of divorce, but…

What if there were an easier, less painful, more proactive way to save a marriage than years of marriage counseling?

We believe there is! And the secret lies in how the Titanic could have been saved. 

The Titanic sank in less than 2 1/2 hours, taking with it over 1,500 passengers and crew members including Captain Edward Smith (and presumably a Leonardo DiCaprio look-alike named Jack Dawson).

How could it ever have been saved? It all happened so fast!

This is quite often the feeling many have when they watch marriages sink into the hazardous waters of disillusionment, indifference, bitterness, and betrayal.

But as we contemplate how to save a marriage, it’s interesting to note why the Titanic went down.

Why it really sank.

Most would blame the iceberg.

But in truth it wasn’t the iceberg at all. It was pride and naive.

The Titanic sank, precisely because it was believed it was unsinkable. And because it was considered unsinkable, it was captained accordingly, without the caution that would have been exercised with any other ship in dangerous icy waters.

How many couples feel that way standing at the altar, like their marriage will prove unsinkable?

And then they proceed accordingly, without the discretion and care one should reasonably expect to exercise in any long-term sacrificial relationship, much less a life-giving, life-long marriage.

Let’s be clear: An iceberg did not strike the Titanic. The Titanic struck an iceberg. This after receiving, not one, not two, but six warnings of sea ice. And still it was traveling near maximum speed when it hit.

The Titanic may have sunk on May 15, 1912, but it was doomed the moment it left the harbor in Southampton, England on April 10.

At Future Marriage University (FMU) we believe the same holds true for marriage. The best time to save a marriage isn’t after it runs into trouble, nor even before it enters icy (or eel-infested) waters, but before it ever launches off on the (presumably) life-long journey of marriage.

While we believe God could resurrect even the Titanic, he’s called us to save marriages before they happen. Before a couple falls in love. Preferably before they meet!

And we do this by empowering students and young adults to prepare for their future marriage like a successful career: intentionally, intelligently and IN ADVANCE!

That way the wise individual can be thoroughly equipped to set sail upon the high seas of marriage before their little Love Boat ever leaves the harbor! Even better, before one ever sets out on the wild adventure of dating!

We invite you to join us in saving marriages this holiday season!

Will you?

For starters, you can sign up for our FMUer newsletter by emailing us here. Beyond that, you can make a year-end, tax-deductible donation by clicking the link below.

Further, this LoveEd episode video shares yet a different metaphor explaining why, fervent for Biblical truth, we have such a blast sharing practical Christian advice on sex, dating and relationships. As you watch, you can better understand the vision and mission God has given us and how you can join us in prayer and support!

Let us know how we can pray for you this holiday season and in the New Year!

DNA: It’s What’s For Dating

Dug this weekend’s DNA? Be a good friend and share with your friends on the social media platform of choice: Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, or Twitter.

The LoveEd discipleship series, Beyond Sex & Salvation, will empower you to prepare for relational success when it counts: BEFORE you fall in love!

It’s NOT for couples, but for any wise individual who thinks they might want to get married sometime before they die. And would like to learn how to better build healthy relationships in the meantime.

Check out all three study guides in our store. You can walk through them on your own, but it’s more fun with friends (that and it kinda makes sense to grow in relational success in actual relationships with others), so consider putting together an FMU LoveEd small group study.

Even better? And ask a rock star married couple you respect to lead it!

[originally published: 12/23/15]