Wednesday, May 30, 2007

More "Lite" on the Subject

Rather than move on to something new, I'd like to continue yesterday's theme. Yesterday's post resulted in excellent comments from Gene and Ron. Please take a look at them - anything you'd like to add?

I'm especially interested in your thoughts about why evangelicals don't seem to do any better on divorce stats and the like than the rest of the population.

And finally, here's a link from yesterday's Leadership Journal blog that has a pastor discussing issues related to this discussion - in particular, "consumer Christianity."


  1. Maybe part of the answer is the "age" we're in, which I believe is the age of "tolarence" and "relativism". The ends can justify the means and "you beleive what you want to believe, and I'll beleive what I want to believe(in life)."(there's no absolute laws or order, because there's no Creator, just experience) By God's grace, people used to understand that things like getting married and commitment are for keeps, with divorce as an absolute, last resort. The Church no longer enfluences society really, more like the opposite. So, maybe people/Christians, (often sub-concieously perhaps) think if spiritual/emotional happiness is the chief end of santification/life, then whatever gets me to that end, like divorce, justifies means...

  2. Lots of problems to discuss here. Let's throw in the kitchen sink, just for fun.

    No one gets married with low expectations. Except for my mom. She told me that it turned out way better than she thought it would. My parents got engaged a month after their first date (a blind date, BTW)and the engagement lasted 3 weeks. They were married almost 40 years until Mom died. My dad told me that for him, it was love at first sight and that everything about Mom--her toughness and vulnerability, just made him love her all the more deeper.

    There were times of tension when they disagreed, but they never yelled at each other. But during those angry times, they were really funny--they would be quiet, exchanging dirty looks, making exasperated comments and then making jokes out of the situation.
    It wasn't often and it was short-lived, but always memorable. Mom told me that they always respected each other and over the years, really depended on each other.

    After Den and I married, my older sister asked me if I was worried if my needs would be met. I remember telling her that wasn't why I got married. She nearly fell off her chair. I told her that I hoped that Dennis and I would do as well as my parents, that they were the example I wanted to follow, because I learned about commitment from them, and to me, that's what marriage was about. Still is.

    I'm looking at statistics online, and reading about the Barna report as well as other opinions. And it seems to me that no one really knows why Christians get divorced (higher rate than athiests) and what role the church plays in all of this. My parents weren't spiritual giants by any means. They were always down to earth about religion and almost agnostic in their faith, but during times of crisis, they turned to family, close friends and sometimes the Catholic church, it really helped if the priest was someone they liked and respected.

    My parents were real, and had no problem telling me when I was coming across as "holier than thou" to them, even when I wasn't meaning to. They knew me well, and if I was prideful, it really stunk to them. I am so glad they didn't let me get away with that.

    Life is painful, and it really hurts if you have a difficult marriage. I think Christians have some unreal ideas about themselves, their spouses and about God. And then, when a marriage seemingly fails, it is more than one's pride could take. I think that divorce is about unforgiveness, anger, blame, dishonesty to each other, dishonesty to self, hurt pride and a whole lot of pain. Reality comes rolling over the couple like a tsunami and they want out. And our culture and our church culture makes it so easy.

    Reality is that your spouse can't meet your needs and that try as you might, you can't meet all his needs and hell yes, you both are failures at marriage. Divorce won't work. Forgiving and being forgiven is the only way out of this tsunami.

    The good news is, the best is yet to come.

    It is counter-intuitive, but I think failure is the beginning of a real marriage, not the end. I don't hear sermons saying that.