UPDATE*** 10/19-2010 – after a few requests for my closing quote, I have included it as well as some of my other quotes at the end of this post.
Here is some follow up content to my message this weekend at Central.
There are 5 myths (probably more) that a person considering divorce usually believes going into it; while a person who has been divorced knows to be false:
- Divorce is easy. â€œDivorce is the psychological equivalent of a triple coronary by-pass. After such a monumental assault on the heart, it takes years to amend all the habits and attitudes that led up to it.â€ -Mary Kay Blakely. Ask any divorced person you know whether they thought it was easy and I’d be stunned to find even one person. When you think about legal fees, separating possessions, kids, social awkwardness, living residencies, emotional issues, etc, and there is little simplicity in the process.
- I will have more money. â€œDivorce is one of the most financially traumatic things you can go through. Money spent on getting mad or getting even is money wasted.â€ -Richard Wagner. Many people anticipate child support but “spousal maintenance” is often overlooked. I recently heard of one person who owes $3500 a month on his ex alone. Divorce means that you will pay lawyers to communicate instead of you (realistically tens of thousands of dollars), and the fees will quickly begin to add up. One person on our Facebook page said it this way, “We communicated better during the divorce than the years leading up to it.” Studies show that women experiencing divorce face roughly a 30 percent decline in the standard of living they enjoyed while married and men show a 10 percent decline.
- It will be better for my kids. One person on our Facebook said that “Divorce is hardest on our children.” I’ve seen the devastation that happens to the kids firsthand by watching what my wife has gone through, and she was 22 when her parents got divorced. With younger kids they usually feel some of the blame themselves that they often carry with them indefinitely into their adult lives. Not to mention their idea of stability has been shattered and they now watch as their parents are reduced to just trying to be civil. This also drastically increases their chances that they will experience a divorce themselves as it becomes “normal” to them.
- It won’t bother me if they move on. â€œYou can fire your secretary, divorce your spouse, abandon your children. But they remain your co-authors forever.â€ -Ellen Goodman. While you may think that you want to get as far away from your current spouse as possible, most people don’t anticipate the feelings of turmoil that they go through when they watch that person begin to move on. If you have kids, this is exponentially more true. Imagine watching another person raise your kids part time and hearing them call another person “dad” or “mom” in addition to you.
- I will have less problems. Read 1-4. You will be dealing with the repercussions from your divorce for the rest of your life. As one comment on our Facebook said, “Divorce is the ‘tearing of flesh’ that God made into one flesh. You will never be the same.”
The moral of the story is that divorce isn’t remotely as painless as the world is trying to tell us. It’s not God’s desire for our lives for a reason. God offers forgiveness and healing for any mistake we make in our lives but we need to rethink divorce as the easy solution that culture tells us it is. On a side note, for those of you that were privileged enough to see the glory of my custom made duct tape wallet this weekend, here is my elementary school friend that taught me how to do it. Enjoy!
I closed the service with a quote from Lewis Smedes, “The Power of Promises”
â€œYes, somewhere people still make and keep promises. They choose not to quit when the going gets rough because they promised once to see it through. They stick to lost causes. They hold on to a love grown cold. They stay with people who have become pains in the neck. They still dare to make promises and care enough to keep the promises they make. I want to say to you that if you have a ship you will not desert, if you have people you will not forsake, if you have causes you will not abandon, then you are like God.
What a marvelous thing a promise is! When a person makes a promise, she reaches out into an unpredictable future and makes one thing predictable: she will be there even when being there costs her more than she wants to pay. When a person makes a promise, he stretches himself out into circumstances that no one can control and controls at least one thing: he will be there no matter what the circumstances turn out to be. With one simple word of promise, a person creates an island of certainty in a sea of uncertainty.â€
Also, here are some of the verses and quotes that I used:
â€œDivorce is like an amputation. Sometimes it’s necessary but it should be avoided if at all possible because it brings about a permanent disability.â€ Bill Doherty
Malachi 2:16 â€œâ€˜I hate divorce,â€™ says the Lord God of Israel, â€˜and I hate a man’s covering himself with violence as well as with his garment,â€™ says the Lord Almighty.â€
Matthew 19:3-10 (main passage of the weekend)
â€œThe worst reconciliation is better than the best divorce.â€ Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
â€œBiblically, polygamy is a hundred times more acceptable than divorce.â€ Paul Stevens