So I was reading a blog by my friend Motte Brown today on the devastating effects of divorce when a thought came to my mind. Sorry, the thought didn’t have so much to do with the content of the blog as the relationship it had to the previous post I had read on Henry Hyde as an opponent of abortion.
As I read Motte’s post on divorce, it struck me that many secular folks might scoff at the devastating effects of divorce as being little more than the “collateral damage” which is necessary for the greater end of divorce. That is, just as in warfare, we permit a certain amount of collateral damage as long as the greater objective is met, so also with divorce, though everyone recognizes that the lives of the couple and their children are devastated by divorce, some see divorce as the means to a more healthy future. Therefore, with the hope of a healthy and more happy life on the other side of divorce, many turn a blind eye to the horrible carnage caused by the divorce.
This is the same mindset that many couples and single women have when they begin considering abortion. They try as hard as they can to see past the suffering that will be caused by killing their babies, hoping desperately that the effects of the collateral damage will be lessened by the greater goal of life without child. For years, this “greater good” has been used by pro-aborts to undermine the work of pro-lifers. The pro-aborts once declared that until the pro-lifers could provide a better future for mother and child, the pro-lifers should keep quite.
Well, after several decades of hearing this, the pro-lifers have finally taken this to heart and the argument is now basically over. The help that pro-lifers are now offering to mothers who choose life, whether unto adoption or to raise themselves, is unmistakably evident. The pro-lifers are actually beginning to make headway now that they’ve solved the issue of hopelessness.
It seems to me that we can use that same principle and apply it to divorce. Yet here, it is a bit more difficult. What I am thinking is this. Those of us who are grieved by the chaos of divorce must come up with a better solution to divorce than just mentioning the fact that there will be collateral damage divorce is chosen. We have to offer up a better hope and future to the couple facing divorce. This is more difficult because, the only means that I know of for a better future is the salvation of at least one of the individuals (if not both) who is considering divorce.
Since our churches seem to be plagued with divorce as much as the secular world, we need to begin at home. We must, as a church, apply ourselves to the restoration of marriages and families. We must apply the gospel of Jesus Christ in such a way that a deep hope is instilled in our people to the end that, they can look past the current unpleasantries of the pains of each day to the blessings beyond. If the gospel is impotent to save a marriage, it is impotent to save a soul from hell for all eternity.
Right now, the world scoffs at us when we say, “Stay together.” They can only see greater problems and more substantial difficulties ahead if the couple remains together. Therefore, we need to begin actually bringing healing to families so the world can see that there really is a better alternative.
Lord God, do move among your people to bring the balm of the gospel to broken families. We need you.
By the way, you dare not read the comments of those responding to Motte’s blog unless you are ready to weep for hours. The pain and hurt felt by the children of divorce is heart wrenching. On the other hand, you will be compelled to pray for the gospel to come and heal this land. We are a broken people. Come Lord Jesus.