It’s horrible – and yet not the end! – A view on divorce.

Newsweek has the last couple of weeks spend quite some leverage on issues of divorce as the looked back on what they called the “Divorce Generation”. It was 1968 when my (our) dad left home with a good friend to the family. I remember my reaction; although I was loathed by the way my father had been treating us in the family, his departure shook our existence because families (couples) did not divorce and especially not in the Southern part of Holland where I came from and where people had a Catholic background.

The shame and isolation one went through was unprecedented and seems to be totally ill-founded when compared with the consequences of divorce and the way we look at it today. However, since then I have been confronted with many different divorces and people getting together again after having been divorced.

In my hometown everyone knew about the divorce and people showed little understanding for the consequences in the lives of the members of the family. After I became a Christian, the hate towards my father for leaving us and his negative influence in our family (I cannot describe this here in public), was dealt with by Jesus Christ and in a miraculous way I got healed from wounds on the inside of my being. The young kid who had to grow up too quickly, too soon and who had lost his years as a child playing was brought back to life!

The whole concept of divorce has since then played a major role in my life as I met and got involved in many different counseling situations addressing this issue. The sanctity of marriage and the depth of commitment meant to be given and experienced in it have directed my mind on this matter to such depth that I even today refuse to watch a film where adultery and divorce are portrayed as entertainment. The fact is that there has been a radical shift in attitudes toward divorce in a matter of only a few decades. I realize that. Having seen it up close now so many times, I have gotten used to divorce as a fact of contemporary life. But I have not changed my theology of divorce. I still see it as a terrible thing. Unavoidable in many situations—but still terrible.

I checked the figures from the Barna Group which does intensive research and polls in many different areas and who specify decisions and lifestyles by Christians…their information shows a chocking reality on the area of divorce among Christians. Personally I think that we in the church need to rise up to the occasion and talk, teach and pray more on this and many other matters where we as Christians have gone astray from the specific guidelines God gives us in the Bible. Without trying to put blame on people who have already gone through divorce and who are aching under the trauma of it, I still want to say that divorce is serious and horrible! A person who had gone through two different divorces came to an acquaintance of me and said: “You know what I want?” he asked, with tears streaming down his cheeks. “I want to hear two things from the church. One is that divorce is a horrible thing, that it is one of the biggest failures a human being can experience. The other is that this is not the end of my life—that God may still have good things in store for me.”

That, my friends, is also the Way I see it!

John

Population Segment

Have Been Divorced

No. of

Interviews

All adults

33%

3792

Evangelical Christians

26%

339

Non-evangelical born again Christians

33%

1373

Notional Christians

33%

1488

Associated with non Christian faith

38%

197

Atheist or agnostic

30%

269

All born again Christians

32%

1712

All who were not born again Christians

33%

2080

Protestant

34%

1997

Catholic

28%

875

African-American

36%

464

Hispanic

31%

458

Asian

20%

128

Conservative

28%

1343

Moderate

33%

1720

Liberal

37%

474

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One response to “It’s horrible – and yet not the end! – A view on divorce.

  1. Wow, John. Thanks for sharing that part of your life with us. I also know many who have gone through divorces. Kelly and I just started tonight an 8 week marriage enrichment class to hopefully keep this from happening. God bless.

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