Yes, I’m touching that subject.
My heart is heavy tonight for two little kids who’s lives are about to change forever… and they don’t even know it yet.
Marriage is something that was always an open topic in our household. Like most families, I grew up hearing my share of fights between my parents, but at the end of the day I never thought they would get divorced. It just wasn’t something they considered as an option. They were very firm with us kids that no matter how hard it got, they would honor the commitment they made to each other, as well as to God… then I hit high school and my mom tossed divorce around a few times, but that went away after a while. You get the picture, we were taught that a vow was a vow… “Till death do us part.”
This past week I found out that a family friend was seriously considering divorce and it really broke my heart! He found out that his wife was sleeping with another man, which is a biblically justified reason for divorce… but is it really that cut and dry?
If you’d asked me a few years ago I would have said, “Of course they should get divorced. She broke her vow.” … but now I’m not that certain.
Wedding vows are for better or worse… while most people really only mean for the better, reality is, they vowed for better or worse!
As I heard more and more of the story unfold, it became clear that the husband had lost interest in his wife after their first child (apparently a common story) and desired staying at work more than being with his wife and kids, a thought that in his words, “freaked him out.” … and thus the seemingly endless story repeats… the marriage is a little off, the family is struggling, the husband puts all his energy into work, the wife feels ignored and under appreciated…. you get the point.
So how do we end this cycle? How does our generation not continue the trend?
Continuing the divorce trend is teaching the next generation that it’s okay to leave when things get hard. It teaches them that love is conditional and once it’s lost, it can not be found. Divorce teaches children that it’s okay to hate a person and that it’s a feeling , not a choice. Ultimately divorce could teach children that God is conditional… A little out there? Probably, but stay with me a second!
Marriage was designed to reflect the relationship between God and christians (also referred as the “church”). Look up Ephesians 5, this is explained well in verses 22-33.
Another story in the Bible, the book of Hosea, shows how marriage reflects how jealous God is for us, his bride.
So if marriage is suppose to reflect all of these things, is it really right for a man to just divorce his wife because she was unfaithful?
I’m not questioning that finding your spouse sleeping with another person wouldn’t be crushing. I’m sure it would! … but are we not called to forgive? Are we not called to unconditional love that is reflective of God’s love for us, regardless of how many times we search for other things to satisfy our hearts apart from him?
Thus the conclusion I drew earlier, divorce could show future generations that God’s love and forgiveness are limited… or at very least if shows them that we (as the adults) do not believe in the restoration, forgiveness, and unconditional love of God and the power it has to totally transform lives.
Would it be hard? Yes, so is staring at the cross realizing the price is cost God to have us as his bride.
Would it be worth it? I believe it would. How powerful of a story would that be to share? That you believed in the power of God’s love to transform lives so much that you prayed for and pursued a wife that wanted nothing to do with you. That is the reflection of a jealous God. That is the reality of what God has done for us.
None of this is suppose to enable sin. Titus 2:12 states that God’s grace teaches us to say no to sin. Loving someone unconditionally does mean setting boundaries, so please do not hear me saying that abusive relationships are okay or that there is no place for divorce, I’m not saying that. Clearly there are times when it is necessary for the safety of people involved… I’m just saying there has to be a better way to do marriage than our generation is.
So there you go. I opened that box, these are my thoughts.
I hope we as a generation take our vows seriously and teacher children to do the same.
I hope we all truly understand and practice unconditional love and forgiveness.
I hope we are completely changed by the power of love.