DID YOU KNOW…
41 percent of first marriages end in divorce, 60 percent of second marriages end in divorce, and 73 percent of third marriages end in divorce. That means just about 50 percent of all marriages end in divorce (¹). In the United States alone, divorce is a $28 billion-a- year industry, with the average divorce costing $15,000 (²).
ABOUT THE MISSION
Therefore many hungry communities could be fed and clothed by dollars that instead are spent on divorce proceedings (whether costly or nominal). Instead of squandering money and energy in the dissolution of their marriage, couples can instead follow God’s authentic blueprint for marriage and choose to dedicate their money and time to the needs of their community or the world. What if more couples experienced the authentic marriage blueprint? There would be more couples effectively using their energy being creative collaborators and co-creators, freed from the time-consuming distraction of disharmony in their marriages and able to invest their creative energy into unlimited possibilities.
EradicateDivorce.org is a 10-year mission of Partners in Christ-Centered Coaching and Counseling for Relationship, Life, and Marriage (501.c3 non-profit). We expose traps planted to destroy genuine God-ordained marriages. We help marriage life be more fulfilling with a clearer pathway to keeping and enjoying the marriage covenant. When the majority of Christian marriages return to being a blessing rather than a burden or hindrance, then these positive marriages will be used directly to transform local communities and the world. These lasting marriages will positively contribute to making more individuals or couples unhindered and successful in their professions as artists, doctors, musicians, scientists, songwriters, inventors, etc. A God-ordained marriage staying intact and fulfilling its divine mission will solve many more ills in the world than other vehicles we have in culture and other institutions in our society.
ABOUT THE FOUNDERS
Elyssa Joseph – Small Town Country Girl. Grit and Determination
I am a fiery, independent, and redheaded. I was born for adventure and charging a path through uncharted territory. I am the firstborn of six (Yes. That’s right; six kids!) I have always been a companion to others and a mentor to those around me. (I guess I was born into it.) Besides having five younger siblings, I was “the big sister” to everybody who needed one.
I have lived my whole life having high expectations for myself and cheering for the best in others. I wanted to live life well. I wanted to leave a lasting impact. I have never wanted to live an ordinary life; I have always pushed for the extraordinary.
I always wanted to get married. From the age of five, I started laying out my plan of action for finding the man I would marry. Even at five, I knew that he would have the heart of a warrior, and I looked forward to being able to support him and fight beside him.
By the time I was in 6th grade, I was the teacher and leader of my own Sunday School Class.
By the time I was 17, I was royally frustrated with God and with the heartbreak of life. I thought God was a hypocrite and wanted to set off a nuke bomb that would obliterate “the good girl” life I had lived. But, I was terrified of leading others I had raised up down the wrong path, so I had kept my struggles to myself all through high school. Then when I was 18, while sitting on a mountaintop in Mexico, I had a show-down conversation with God. I told Him exactly what I thought of Him, and that I was tired of living the exhausting two-faced facade I had been living for years. I was either going to go nuts and blast my way down a path of wild living, or I was going to find the God of the Bible—the one that healed sickness, raised the dead and walked on water and empowered others to do “greater things”—and run with Him radically for the rest of my life. I chose option B. I would love to say that angels sang from the sky or a booming voice came from heaven, or a rainbow appeared in the sky, but there was no such encounter. No proof. Just a resolute decision to find the God that brought radical transformation. And life continued.
I went to community college, worked for my dad’s landscaping company, kept teaching Sunday School Classes and helping in children’s church. I ran a mentorship program, and by the time I was 21 I was the manager of one of the busiest restaurants in town. During those years God taught me valuable lessons about being faithful with the little things and living out the radical in my own circle of influence. Nothing flashy, no accolades. Just faithfulness, day in, day out in obscurity.
I reached another shift moment after graduating from community college. I thought I was going to take an offer to move to Paris and runway model the catwalks, and through a wild string of events found myself helping to run a non-profit in San Francisco instead. (Helping kids living in “the projects,” making meals for the homeless, and helping people that had been enslaved into sex trafficking/prostitution.) It was not sexy, or flashy, it was messy, hard and glorious. It was here that I truly encountered the radical God that I had been looking for!
(Fast forward 6 years.) In 2010, I moved to Texas and took a position as event coordinator and contract negotiator. I liked corporate life. I traveled the world, met tons of cool people and bought my first investment house and the best part, I got to see hundreds of thousands of lives changed!
December 13, 2014, at 32 years old, I got married to my dream hunk warrior, Wladimir Joseph (27 years after I made my plan as a 5-year-old – turns out, good things do come to those that wait.) We had a whirlwind long distance dating relationship after meeting on eHarmony®. And together we are living out a wild ride of “real life” and “happily ever after.” At times it is messy, but it’s so worth it.
Wladimir Joseph’s Story – From the streets of Haiti to the skyscrapers of Manhattan
I am an all or nothing kind of guy. I am passionate. Resolved, determined and an overcomer. I have the roar of a lion, but I am as tender as a fresh baked chocolate chip cookie, and I have a heart as big as the ocean.
I was born in Haiti and lived there with my mom when I was young. I don’t remember much about my dad from my younger years because he wasn’t really around. He and my mom were never married. When I was eight, my dad decided that my brother and I would move with him to the United States, and leave my mom and little sister behind in Haiti.
Life from there is a bit of a blur, and by the time I was 10 I was living in foster care (after my brother packed the 2×4 to school one day that was used on us at home).
The best two years of my childhood came next. My brother and I lived with an amazing foster mom on Long Island. She was stability, love, and structure. She taught me how to do chores and act like a gentleman. If every kid that needed a home had my foster mom, the world would be a much happier place.
Then, my dad made a request of the state. He asked for us to be put into “a kinship foster home” (which in my case, meant placing us in another home for the sake of cultural heritage). So we were moved to Brooklyn, to a great aunt’s house. I am sure my dad and child protective services were well meaning, but the environment was sheer chaos. I was the youngest of 8 guys in the house. There were no rules, no curfews; anything was allowed, and it was pandemonium.
So, I ran away. Somehow I made my way from Brooklyn to Long Island and found my foster mom’s house as a 12-year-old! The state let me stay with her for a few months and then child protective services gave me a choice: Stay with my foster mom and get adopted! Or move back to my aunt’s house to be able to be close to my brother. I didn’t want to lose my brother, so I agreed to move back (and I remained a ward of the state until I became an adult).
Through my teen years, I was given every opportunity to become a tragic statistic, but I chose not to be a victim, and by God’s grace I overcame every obstacle in my path and decided to keep pressing on. After high school, I went to college, earned a Bachelor’s degree and started working in Manhattan, (you can read my World Trade Center Sept 11th Story in this blog post). After some time. I moved to Chicago and attended Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and earned my Master’s Degree (combining a Masters of Divinity and Christian Counseling Psychology).
In my adult life, I spent a few years working out a lot of things. I am a lifetime learner and an astute researcher, but beyond the analytics, I have learned how to truly forgive. I have learned how to love. I have learned that whatever our present is or whatever our past is, it does not have to define us or dictate our future. I am a champion of hope!
Fast forward to October 10, 2013, the day I received a “match” from eHarmony®. Her name was Elyssa. A 31-year-old, six-foot-one-inch tall, red-headed, modelesque beauty. We were matched for six months, dated six months, engaged for eight weeks and honeymooned for three weeks and then decided, why stop the honeymoon? Why not keep it going? Life is crazy, and fast and throws you curve balls, but through it all, we are all called to be overcomers!
Not too long ago, I would have felt embarrassed that it took me 13 months to read your book, ‘The Power of a Honeymoon Marriage’. But since I am free of the fear of man, I celebrate my massive sprout that I actually read a whole book cover to cover! I have NEVER done that. In my life. Ever. Not in 44 years. Today marks that day. Wladimir & Elyssa, I have been drawn to your book like a honey hungry bee! I just marveled at the depth of your faith which brought about powerful revelations across many pages. I picked up that book and many, many times, had to put it down after just 1 page because I just couldn’t process the richness of the content in one sitting. Most of the questions had me completely and utterly at a loss for answers. That never happens! “Thank you” just doesn’t seem enough. But as I sit here in my lounge in the UK, oceans apart, tears flowing at the final prayer you prayed over me and my marriage, I say thank you for every word, every thought, every prayer and every effort that you both have poured into your marriage that has resulted in this book. It is so filled with love and encouragement, so full of evidence that there IS a blueprint, it is accessible, no matter what your past looks like. And that when we find our way back to God’s plan for us, everything turns for the good. Thank you, both. I pray that God blesses and surprises you with the ever increasing calling on your lives to champion marriage across the world. Jan and I, for one, are profoundly and forever impacted. Love LindaLinda
Parent, Wife, Business Owner