A few years after I became Lead Pastor of Real Life Church, I noticed a heartbreaking trend occur every fall… Seemingly strong and stable couples got divorced. 

Every pastor knows that spring and summer are the seasons of weddings. So why did fall seem to be the season of divorce?

After years of watching this epidemic, I began to notice a few key characteristics.

And hopefully by knowing them… You can avoid them!

1 • “Save our marriage” trips are over.

Many families on the brink decide to take a family vacation to help right the ship: “We are not happy here, so let’s go try a cruise in Cabo!” The problem is that the money and effort they should have put into their marriage over the past year, they instead put into an 8-day vacation away from reality.

If you find yourself in this boat (no pun intended), challenge yourself to invest in marriage counseling this year. I know, it’s expensive, but trust me – you’ll be glad you spent every penny.

2 • Kids leave for college.

Let’s face it: many of us build our lives around our kids and their schedules. So, when they are gone, we don’t know what to do… We often don’t even know our spouse anymore.

When our kids become our reason for being married, when they leave… So goes our reason. Ask yourself honestly today, are your kids the only thing you focus on? Or are you focusing on your spouse, your marriage, and cultivating that love?


3 • Good habits were broken.

Those who put effort into counseling, exercise, and good routines at church during the school year often break those habits over the summer. Then when the school year starts we think “Why go back to counseling? Why go back to church? Why prioritize youth group activities?”  We have enough going on.  

But our marriages are like gardens. Left unattended, all they grow are weeds. Bring back the good habits. Spend time tending to your marriage this fall. 

No one spends thousands of dollars on a summer wedding thinking this will all end one fall day. 

So before it does… Spend the time, effort, and money on a healthy marriage. It’ll be the best investment you ever make, I promise. 

Your Pastor,
Rusty George

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