Knowing that not all that many people read my blog allows me a great amount of freedom in writing on it. I like that, and shudder at the thought that I could one day influence someone through this blog. What would the world come to?
Anyway, I want to discuss something that is horrible in America...that is our divorce rate. First of all, the bad news: Between 45 and 50% of all first marraiges end in divorce, according to the website Divorce Statistics. That is disgusting. It makes me ill.
However, the church's current stance on divorce is unacceptable. Why? Because it fails to accept the reasons behind divorce. I grant you happily and willingly that many divorces end for ungodly reasons. After all, Christ only gave one reason to end a marraige, that being infidelity. Unfortunately, divorce in America is not always caused by "no fault" reasons.
For example, did you know that approximately 32 million Americans are abused each year? Would you like a wife to stay with her abusive husband? And keep her kids in that marriage as well? I hope your answer is no.
Here is the problem. In our black and white world, the church will gloss over things that don't work right in the equation. Since divorce doesn't compute in the conservative evangelical's mind, then he or she must gloss over things like abuse.
Instead, we should be leading the world in holding abusive men accountable...and I mean old school accountable. In the Navy it was once called Deck Plate Counseling, although that's not allowed anymore so I can't say it. Ok, so that's too far probably, but I guarantee that our churches should be safe havens for women and children who have been abused. We should flock to them, hold them, comfort them, counsel them, and confront the abusive party. Instead of doing what we have done for too long: "Many churches encouraged women to stay in unhappy marriages, even those that were abusive."
Rev. Dick Klaver, senior pastor of Ferry Memorial Reformed Church in Montague (MI), said, "I'd hear people expounding how religion validates male violence. The church has covered up (domestic) violence by encouraging women to try harder ... to behave better ... and then you won't be beaten. That is a travesty."
It is a travesty. Stop worrying about divorce until you are willing to deal with abuse. And once you've worked on that, start next on adultery. Then start working on other reasons for divorce. Divorce is always the byproduct of something else. Whether it is money, lack of committment, infidelity, abuse, poor communication, etc. Some of those reasons are petty. The offending party should get over his/her love of money (greed) or lack of committment or learn how to communicate better. However, the church should deal harshly with those who are abusive...those who are unable or unwilling to love thier wives as Christ loved the church.