Pastor Russ Dean* at Baptist News Global asks Why do we continue to label the death of a marriage as a ‘failed marriage’?
The United States remains one of the most religious nations on the planet, and in my part of the world the air remains tainted by a religious-conservatism that once dominated the ethos. Our collective conscience remains stained by a selective biblical literalism that allows us to pick and choose whom to bludgeon and how to bludgeon. You know what Jesus said about divorce, right? Most people do not – but, it’s in the Bible, so. . . “You failed.”
While he blames conservatives, he offers a thoroughly conservative (chivalrous) view of Christian marriage.
So much worse than the end of a marriage is a marriage that dies but is never given the grace of a kind ending – though we seldom acknowledge this reality. How many have stayed in some kind of Zombie Marriage, like the walking dead, occupying one house and one life, long after the intimacy and the companionship ended? Surely this is not what Jesus was encouraging with his words about divorce.
“We did it for the children,” they sometimes say. Really? And exactly what are your children learning from this kind of marriage? “The Bible doesn’t allow divorce, except for unfaithfulness.” Really? And to what exactly are you being faithful in this so-called “marriage”?
*He is co pastor along with his wife Amy of Park Road Baptist Church.