It seems that these weeks on my blog are for taking on the subjects that can be controversial, but that seems to be what comes to mind when I sit down to write these days. And when it's not a post I'm going to write and leave to sit for a couple weeks before it goes live, that means they get written and they actually get shared.
In the last few days, I've seen the same meme coming up on Facebook - posted or liked by multiple people. In the past it wouldn't have bothered me much because I agreed with what it said without question. But, I've been bothered by it these last few days. I'm not sure it's always as cut and dry as this meme makes it out to be anymore.
The meme talks about how if you don't take divorce off the table when you get married you'll end up divorced rather than working things out. That it is as simple as just deciding it's not an option in every situation.
Now, before we go any further, I want to be clear that I'm not saying divorce is something God means to happen in marriage. I believe He created marriage to last. It should be something that is worked on, rather than divorce being the easy way out of problems. Divorce is not God's plan for marriage.
For a long time, I used to think exactly the way that is talked about in the meme from Facebook - that if you just take divorce off the table, you'll end up staying married and working things out instead. I had no question about it. Despite never being married myself I was sure that it was just as simple as deciding divorce was never an option.
Some things that have happened in the lives of others around me have made me think that's not always so cut and dry when it comes to this. Going into marriage thinking it will end isn't the right idea. That's not going to help you to create a marriage that is even beginning to look like God intended for it to look.
But, I also wonder if stating it's never an option, can, in same cases, actually do more harm than good. I'm beginning to wonder if sometimes making it out to be as simple as just deciding it's not an option can put undue pressure on someone to stay when it's not safe - to stay in a situation that's not actually going to get better or be worked on to deal with the problems in it because the one person is unwilling to do the work.
I would say that divorce is never God's plan. And it shouldn't be our first choice. But, I wonder if there are times when we need to remove some of the shame of ending up in the place of it being what is happening, by not declaring that it's as simple as deciding it's not an option. Sometimes, even when you go in to marriage thinking it's not an option, you end up in that place for a variety of reasons.
It's not our place to judge the reasons why someone ended up there. We don't usually know the whole story. We don't know what has gone on that we can't see before something ended up there.
Regardless of our views on this, our job is to love people. And to care about them in their need and their brokenness. It's what we are called to. And I'm wondering if part of doing that is refusing to declare a simple solution to what can be a much more complicated problem.
Since I wrote this post, I've realized that this post is actually being posted 9 years to the day from the first post I ever wrote for here. When I started this blog, I never thought I'd get to this day. But here I am, posting something I'm not sure I ever would have posted when I started writing.