Tag Archives: Divorce
I hate divorce,” says the LORD in Malachi 2:16. Sobering words indeed. Yet, the contemporary church has managed to trivialize the sacred by making covenant breaking common.
Professor Andrew Root of Luther Seminary, however, addresses one of the many reasons the Sovereign Lord would speak with such holy gravity.
“Root’s book is meant not to chastise or heap guilt on parents who have divorced, but rather to help the Christian community understand the ramifications of divorce from a child’s perspective. The child need not be under the age of 18 either; Root’s thesis is that no matter the age, divorce, even “the good divorce,” has profoundly negative effects on a child’s ontology, or sense of being. Root writes that “even in instances when divorce was a great gift to one or both parents, it was a silent nightmare to a child. What I am asserting is that divorce . . . leaves major marks on children, marks that reach all the way to the core of their being.”
“…children of divorce feel as though they are disappearing from existence. The divorce-induced existential void produces lost souls who feel less real, souls who feel like they are “sliding into non-existence.”
. . . the family serves as one of the last organic communal realities of belonging and corporate purpose that allow children to discover their selves. In the security of the love of the marriage union that shared the child’s very biological material, they are blanketed and safe to develop and understand their selves. What is there for the self . . . when there is no place to belong, when a family narrative is shattered, and purpose is disconnected from the community of one’s being?”
John Gottman is a Ph.D. psychologist known for his work on marital stability and considered to be one of the top 10 most influential therapist of the last century. He is also a Professor Emeritus of psychology at the University of Washington.
World renowned for his 35 years of breakthrough research on marriage and relationship analysis, Dr.Gottman developed a model to predict which couples will remain married and which will divorce with a 90% accuracy.
Gottman says there are two major seasons when marriages fail and couples opt for divorce. The initial season is within the first seven years and the second is between 16-20 years of marriage.
After viewing a program last night about the new existence of “divorce insurance” companies,[see below] maybe it’s time for us all to undertake a relational inventory of our own marriage covenant and sift through the baggage to see where we are in light of these seven indicators that reveal a marriage is in serious trouble.
Review these observable indicators and then give a listen to Dr. Gottman:
1.Harsh Start Arguments that reflect sarcasm and insults
2.Criticism that attacks the spouse rather than the problem
3.Contempt expressed through disgust,disrespect,sarcasm,eye-rolling and condescension
4.Defensiveness that conveys I am not the problem while justifying personal behavior
5.Flooding of physiological changes: increase of adrenaline, heart rate,and respiration
6. Stonewalling by emotional, relational, communicational, and physical withdrawal
7. Repair Attempts that Fail due to one trying to repair or de-eschalate tension but is ignored
I recently received a call from one of our ministers who was engaged in counselling a married woman contemplating a divorce. This is not unique, since ministers are frequently confronted with the ethic associated with covenant dissolution. With that moral dilemma comes the question of remarriage.
Kevin DeYoung generously posted the full manuscript of a message wherein he addressed the complex nature of this sensitive issue . The scenarios he poses definitely reveal the power of sin to complicate our lives. Read the full article that addresses 7 principles involved when addressing these situations.
• A wife commits adultery. She is repentant and wants to save the marriage. The husband knows he must forgive, but he wants to file for divorce? Would you grant him that right? Does it make any difference if the wife was frequently unfaithful?
• A wife gets a divorce because of marital unfaithfulness? You’ve determined she has legitimate grounds for that divorce. Is she then free to remarry? What if the husband repents, is he? Or only to his ex-wife? And what if she gets remarried, does that change his obligation?
• A non-Christian couple gets a divorce. Later the man becomes a Christian and realizes the divorce was wrong. Is he obligated to try to win back his non-Christian ex-wife? What if he tries to be reconciled and his ex-wife has no interest, is he free to remarry in the Lord?
• A remarried couple comes to realize their divorce and remarriage was sinful. Are they committing adultery by staying married? If they stay married, what should they do to make things right? Can they be members in the church? What about leaders?
• Both husband and wife commit adultery. They both have grounds for divorce and they are both the “guilty” party. Would you allow a divorce? Two years later they are both sincerely repentant. Should they remarry each other? Could they remarry someone else?