Thursday, July 17, 2014

"On Fire": Just One More Reason Why God Hates Divorce

Some of you know...

That my father passed away this past March. He and I were quite close even though he and my mom divorced when I was three. And you know what? At 40, I'm still seeing signs of how their split has affected/infected me. When the Word says that God hates divorce (and he still does-Malachi 2:14), it's for a myriad of reasons.

I thought about that as I watched a movie (again) that I actually saw sometime last year. It's entitled Enough Said and it is what I believe was James Gandolfini's last film before he passed away. Anyway, here's the gist of the storyline:

Two people meet. Both are divorced.

The woman in the relationship unknowingly (at first) befriends the ex-wife while she's dating the ex-husband.

As the two women get closer, the ex-wife airs out all (ALL) of the ex-husband's dirty laundry (purely from her point of view, of course) and it begins to totally alter the other woman's perception of him. To the point that she sabotages her relationship.

Here's the trailer:

It's a "cutely realistic" kind of movie. It's also a bit tragic in a way.

Here's why: As the ex-wife was divulging so much about her ex-husband from cleaning habits to sexual disposition to parenting, as a counselor, I couldn't help but to cringe at times. She was telling her ex's now girlfriend things that *only she should know*. Things that only a wife should *ever* know about. However, because of divorce, now this man was totally uncovered. In every way. He was vulnerable without choosing to be.

I'm not sure if a lot of us realize that this is a part of what the Word means when it speaks of *one husband* and *one wife* (I Corinthians 7:2) being "naked and not ashamed" (Genesis 2:24-25). It's not just a physical nakedness (although we were supposed to be virgins going into marriage, in part, for this reason as well) but marital covenant is supposed to provide the safe space to totally share *all of who you are* within another human being, knowing that it will not be exposed. Especially if you don't want it to be.

Yet when people disobey God and get divorced, oftentimes they no longer care enough about the person they vowed (Ecclesiastes 5:1-7) to stay with's feelings or reputation. In fact, I'm pretty sure that all of us can attest to a divorced person *talking way too much* about their ex. It really is disrespectful. It also helps me to better understand why Malachi 2:14 says that divorce has some violent elements to it. Marriage is to be a safe haven. Divorce is...anything but.

The movie? It's currently airing on HBO.

The PSA for today? There are two of them actually.

1) When you are dating someone, be very prayerful about how much you divulge to them---physically and emotionally especially. A man should have to say marriage vows to both God and you before he is worthy of being "naked and not ashamed" with you in every way. In other words, no boyfriend should be able to walk around having as much information about you as your future husband will. This is a big part of the reason why I actually agree with a part of something that Zoe Saldana said in a recent interview about exes: "I don't want to be the one going, 'I'm cool, because I'm friends with all my exes.' There's a reason why you're called an ex. I crossed you off my list. Moving on." When you were not responsible in your dating relationship, when both of you know more about one another than God ever gave you permission to, lingering in one another's lives is an act of disrespect to their future spouse. No wife should have to feel uncomfortable in another woman's presence because the other woman knows pretty much as much as the wife does. Cool, cordial, friendly with an ex? OK. Intimate friends? Uh-huh.

2) The movie is one more reminder why marriage is to be a *permanent* situation. You wouldn't want your husband telling others everything about you. You would want the good, bad and not-so-attractive to be kept safe. A responsible marriage provides that. A divorce does not.

No one wants to be "naked and not ashamed" on a temporary basis.

Just one more reason why God hates divorce.



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