Thursday, March 13, 2014

Marriage on the rocks

What to do when you think your marriage is on the rocks? Ask Billy Graham for some bad advice!
DEAR REV. GRAHAM: My parents got divorced when I was 8, and it was such a traumatic time for me that I vowed I’d never get divorced myself. But now my marriage looks like it’s headed for the rocks. I can’t believe this is happening. What did I do wrong? -V.L.
Maybe VL gave Graham more info than this letter would suggest. But there's no way to tell who did what wrong, or if anyone did anything wrong at all by the text printed here.
DEAR V.L.: Over the years, I’ve noticed that parents who are thinking about divorce seldom realize the damage it often causes, especially to their children. Perhaps your letter will cause some to stop and reconsider - and then take steps to renew their marriage.

And that’s what I hope will happen with you and your husband. Your letter indicates that you don’t have children, but divorce still is a traumatic event - emotionally, economically, socially and spiritually. It may make you doubt your own worth, and even lead to depression and despair. One of the reasons divorce wasn’t part of God’s original plan is because He loves us and hates what divorce does to us. The Bible says, “For the Lord God of Israel says that He hates divorce. … Therefore take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously” (Malachi 2:16, NKJV).
If divorce wasn't part of this supposed plan, why is it that believers get divorced more often that non-believers do on average?
The place to begin is to commit your life and your marriage to God. He loves you, and as you open your heart and mind to Jesus Christ, He’ll give you a new love and a new concern for each other. Instead of seeking only what you can get out of your marriage He’ll give you a desire to fulfill each other’s needs. He’ll also surround you with people who can help you, as you seek out a church where Christ is central.

One of the tragedies of divorce is that children often grow up without seeing what a loving marriage can be. But God is able to overcome this, and I pray He will for you.
I must say that I can't agree with this sentiment to renew and repair the marriage no matter what. Marriages can fail for any number of reasons. People may marry too soon/young and may not realize what they are getting themselves into, nor really know their partner well enough yet. You especially see this in young couples that rush into marriage due to an unplanned pregnancy.

Sometimes time is a factor. How long has VL been married. People can sometimes change over time.
They can become a different person, and relationships can grow apart. In a situation like this, no one really did anything wrong. They simply grew apart, and I see no good reason to feign happiness in a relationship that you aren't happy in. Sure, they should talk to find out if there is anyway it can work out. But if there isn't, it would be better for both parties if they just went their separate ways.

And if there is no love there, or even animosity, I'd wager that it wound be better for any kids involved if they did split. Granted, it's not a perfect situation, or and ideal one. But if you raise a child around fights, yelling, animosity and anger, that's all they'll know. If the situation is bad, sometimes it takes a split to create a better atmosphere.

What if VL's husband is cheating? Is she just supposed to pretend it didn't happen. Or even worse, what if he is physically of verbally abusing her? Graham acts like they should just 'make it work'. But sometimes that just isn't an option. If abuse is present, prolonging the marriage is not the option most conducive to a positive outcome.

Yet again Billy Graham ignores the fact that every situation is unique and requires an equally unique solution. Instead he adheres to a ridiculously old and stringent framework that is rather unrealistic just so he puff up his chest or imagined moral superiority.

-Brain Hulk

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