Saturday, July 4, 2009

John and Kate Minus Mate

A few weeks back I posted about John and Kate Gosselin, stars of TLC's reality show John and Kate Plus 8, and how their marriage seemed to be on the rocks. I tried to remind us all that their is to be a biblical order of priorities in our lives: God. Spouse. Children. The Gosselins were staying together "for the kids," when in reality they should have been staying together because they had made a commitment to one another before God for life.

Well, sadly, since that post, John and Kate have decided to divorce. As Stephanie and I watched their announcement on their show a few weeks ago, I felt so sad and upset with them. The way they spoke about the divorce was so...wrong. Of course they were saddened at the thought of separating, but there was no mention--or seemingly any thought--about how the divorce was viewed by God, the one who should have mattered most.

Kate even went so far as to say that she was divorcing John "for the sake of the kids"--or something to that effect. Her reasoning was that since she "does everything for her kids," she couldn't bear to have them around the continual arguing and disagreement that was taking place between mom and dad. So the divorce was justified in her mind. It was talked about by both of them in such empty phrases (like "turning over a new leaf," "who knows what the future has in store," "different," "I'm still young," even "exciting," etc.).

The Bible is very clear about divorce. If the Gosselins were not Christians, I would not be surprised or nearly as frustrated by their divorce. But they know better--or at least they should. There are only two justified grounds for divorce: 1) adultery by either spouse (Matthew 5:32, 19:9), and 2) abandonment by an unbelieving spouse (1 Corinthians 7:15). But even when these occur (especially adultery), the Bible teaches that it is preferable for grace to be shown and the marriage to be preserved.

I know that there are friends and fellow church members of mine who have been divorced in the past. To you, I would encourage you--if you are not already remarried--to seek to restore things with your ex. But if you have remarried, I would encourage you to stay faithful to your spouse and renew your commitment to them til death do you part. And stay faithful not because it's best for your kids or most convenient or because things are pleasant, but because that's what God desires of you.

You see...Even if our spouses wrong us, we can and should stay faithful to them. That, after all, is what God has done for us. We have wronged God to a degree beyond imagination. We have committed "adultery" and "abandoned" Him millions of times, yet He has shown us mercy, love, and forgiveness--and is still willing to call us the bride of His Son, who died in our place. Let's follow His example of faithfulness and love that perseveres in the face of being wronged.

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