Estimated reading time: 3 minute(s)
I was talking with a guy here in Virginia last night about his family. He was mentioning how his two year old loves to have Daddy put him to bed – won’t have it any other way! And I asked if he had other children. That led into a conversation about his 12-yr-old step son, and all of the hardships they have endured recently with the father of the boy, including lawsuits filed against them. They went nowhere, but caused much frustration and hurt in the family, of course.
And I said something to him that just made the ugliness of divorce a bit clearer in my own mind.
“Children,” I commented, “are the physical embodiment of the oneness of marriage. So, just like you can not separate a child, you should not separate a marriage. They are inseparable. At least, they are not meant to be separated.”
I don’t know if it meant anything at all to him, but I think he knows first-hand how hard it is to live in a family with several different parents involved. It’s hard enough in a marriage with only one mom and one dad! But we complicate things by our widespread acceptance of the breakups of marriage. They are not break-up-able. Just as a child can not be torn in two, neither should a marriage.
But somehow we have become OK with that as a culture, and if the going gets too tough, it’s just time to leave. Divorce is alright due to “irreconcilable differences.” Blah! No difference is irreconcilable. None. That’s a cop out, and we know it. But, everyone goes along with it, and then it’s OK. It’s OK to have a mom and a dad and a step-mom and mom’s boyfriend, and don’t forget Dad’s second ex-wife. She was “mom” for a while too. How sad.
Please know that this is not judgmental at all. Not in the least. We are certainly given full reign to choose whatever path we would like to tread. Full reign. I was touching on this I believe in a post not too long ago. The church does not deal well with choice, as we are then capable of choosing poorly. But God gave us full freedom to choose the path we would take. I whole-heartedly condone that.
But if you look at a child – no matter what age – you see the actual, physical embodiment of the inseparable oneness that a marriage is. When a child is born, he is equally his mom and equally his dad and equally a brand new person. Beyond that he is equally mom’s and dad’s ancestors all wrapped up in one neat little package. It is the marriage of two lives into one, and from the most intimate oneness comes a new life, one life from two.
But we want our way, and it sure seems like we are two lives, so… we file for divorce. “I just can’t do it anymore,” says one, “I don’t love you anymore,” says another. But the kids, the very present and inseparable reminder that a marriage is forever can not be discarded so easily. And so there are battles. Showdowns in court and elsewhere to fight for custody of what can not be evenly apportioned. You can separate out most other things, but kids are the solemn reminder that divorce is not an option God designed for marriage.
This is more serious and somber than I was intending, but it was a very clear picture to me and I wanted to share it with you. I am certain that many of you reading this have some experience with a broken and/or blended family. I do not intend to condemn anyone’s previous choices, mistakes or otherwise. But, if someone perhaps reads this and can possibly choose to repair their marriage, to work harder, to forgive again… please do.
Think of the children.
(I didn’t mean that as cheesy as it might sound…) 🙂