Don't Divorce!

Some time ago, as a pastor, I spoke with a married couple who had two small children.  The couple was trying to convince me that their children would be better off if they were to divorce instead of putting the children through listening to the couple argue all the time.

That conversation prompted me to write the following narrative. Sorry it's so long but please read through to the end.  I think it's important.   

Scenario # 1
 
A man and a woman are married.  He was raised with a good example of how to love his wife and she was raised with a good example of how to respect her husband.  The couple are happy in their marriage and they decide to have a baby.  They have a little baby girl and God does like he has with every other baby girl born before this, he puts an innate desire in this baby girl for healthy male affection.

The dad and mom are ecstatic that God has blessed them with a wonderful baby girl and every day from the day the baby girl is born, the dad hugs her and kisses her cheek and forehead and tells her how beautiful she is and how much he loves her.  When he shows her this kind of affection, it satisfies the baby girl’s need for healthy male affection. 

The baby girl begins to grow up.  The mom stays at home and cares for the baby girl while the dad goes off to work every weekday.  The family goes to church every weekend and they read the Bible to each other every night.  He works eight hours each day and then comes home.  The little family lives in a small apartment and eats dinner around the same table every night and the dad and mom laugh and talk about everything that the wonderful little girl did all day.  The dad comes home every night after work and hugs and kisses the wife and plays with the baby girl.  Once every week, the father goes out with his friends from church and bowls at the local bowling alley where he talks about challenges that he has as a man.

The dad continues to meet the baby girl’s need for healthy male affection by hugging her, kissing her cheek and forehead and telling her how beautiful she is and how much he loves her  When the little girl is two years old, the dad and mom have another baby. This time it’s a little baby boy.  The dad and mom again are ecstatic that God has blessed them with a wonderful baby boy.  The children continue to grow and the little family is happy.  The dad continues to meet the little girl’s need for healthy male affection by talking to her, listening to her dreams and sorrows, smiling at her all the time, telling her how proud he is of her, how beautiful she is and how much he loves her. 

When the little girl is seven years old, the dad has moved up in his company and can now afford to buy a house for his little family.  They move into a small house and continue to sit around the same dining room table talking over dinner every night.  Now that the little girl is beginning to get a little older, the dad continues to meet her need for healthy male affection by talking to her, listening to her dreams and sorrows, smiling at her all the time, telling her how proud he is of her, how beautiful she is and how much he loves her.  However, now he begins to talk about more serious things with the little girl.  He talks to her about God and Jesus Christ and what God has meant to him all his life.  He also talks to her about all the possibilities the little girl has ahead of her.  He also begins to talk to her about the man that God will give her to marry one day.  The little girl looks at the dad and tells him that she wants to marry someone just like him. The dad just smiles.

The little girl’s brother is a typical brother who teases the little girl sometimes but because his dad has demonstrated how to show affection to a woman by hugging and kissing his wife and talking nicely and always serving her, the little boy begins to do that for his big sister too.  He hugs her and talks nice to her and tells her that she’s pretty. 

When the girl starts going to middle school, the dad talks to her about boys and that they are less mature than she is and that soon, they will stop teasing her and start paying very close attention to her.  He explains that they will start paying close attention to her because soon she is going to start looking more and more like a woman and that the boys are soon going to be very interested in girls who have curves like women do.  He explains that it is natural for the boys to show interest in girls but that it is important to remember that God has one man in particular picked out who the girl will marry when she is much older.

As the girl gets ready to go to high school, the dad sits down and talks to her about why the boys are beginning to show so much interest in her.  They are showing interest in her because they are beginning to see her as a woman more and more every day and they are becoming more and more interested in her body because it’s different from theirs.  He explains that it is important that she saves her body for her husband who God will show her later in life.  All the time the dad continues to meet her need for healthy male affection by talking to her, listening to her dreams and sorrows, smiling at her all the time, telling her how proud he is of her, how beautiful she is and how much he loves her.  He talks to her more and more about God and Jesus Christ and what God has meant to him all his life.  He also talks to her about all the possibilities the girl has ahead of her.

The girl goes through high school and comes home a couple of times to tell her dad about a particular boy who makes her heart beat fast when she talks to him.  The dad explains that this is completely normal and that it is the emotion of puppy love that she’s feeling.  This is preparing her for when she meets the man God has for her long after she has graduated from high school.  He encourages her to talk to boys and learn how they think.  He reminds her that he loves her, is proud of her and that she is beautiful.

The girl graduates from high school and goes off to college.  At college, she calls her dad often and talks about all the things she’s learning and seeing.  She also tells her dad about the things she is learning as she reads the Bible and goes to church.  She tells her dad that she has gone out on a couple of dates with a couple of guys but that she has been careful to watch for habits of things about the boys that she wouldn’t want to live with for the rest of her life if she were to marry any of the boys.

As she goes through her college years, the girl turns into a beautiful woman.  She goes home whenever she can and visits her parents.  Her dad continues to meet her need for healthy male affection by telling her how proud he is of her, how much he loves her and by hugging her and kissing her on the cheek and forehead.

As the girl is coming to the end of the fourth year in college and getting ready to graduate, she meets a man at church who is three years older than her.  He has already graduated from college and is working in a job that pays him enough to have a car, apartment and to take her on picnics now and then.  The girl calls her dad one day and tells her all about the man she met.  She tells him how much she reminds her of her dad and that she hasn’t discovered any habits or things about the man that she couldn’t live with for the rest of her life.  The woman and man continue to date for another year after she graduates from college. 

Finally, the man calls the dad and asks if he could have his daughter’s hand in marriage.  The dad says yes and the man asks the woman to marry him.  She says yes and they set a wedding date for eight months later.  They begin to go to the pastor at their church for premarital counseling and the dad continues to tell his daughter how proud his is of her and that he loves her a lot.  The girl is careful to stay within the boundaries that God has established and only holds hands with the man and kisses him sometimes.  She can’t wait to give herself completely to him and he can’t wait to give himself completely to her!

Finally, the wedding day arrives!  The dad walks his daughter down the aisle to where the man is waiting.  The minister says, “Who gives this woman to be married to this man?”  The dad, with tears in his eyes says, “Her mother and I do.”  Then he kisses her on the cheek and on the forehead and gives her to the man.  It is at that point that the dad gives permission to the daughter to look to someone else to fill her need for healthy male affection for the rest of her life. 

The man and woman are married and that night they give themselves completely to one another both physically and in every other aspect of their life.  A couple years after their marriage, the man and woman have a little girl and the process starts all over again.
 
OK, that is the wonderful version of marriage.  Let’s take a look at the other version of marriage.

Scenario #2

A man and a woman are married.  He was raised by a single mom and didn’t have a father in his life to give him a good example of how to love his wife.  She was raised in a family where her father was an alcoholic and wasn’t around much.  She didn’t have a good example of how to respect her husband.  They are unhappy in their marriage.

He works 10 to 12 hours each day and when he comes home he just grabs something to eat before he goes out to hang out with his friends most nights.  She is always mad at him because he doesn’t make enough money to pay all the bills because they bought a large house that they couldn’t really afford early in their marriage. 

One day, the woman discovers that she is pregnant.  The dad and mom are horrified that they are going to have another mouth to feed and more bills to pay.  . They have a little baby girl.  God does like he has with every other baby girl born before this, he puts an innate desire in the baby girl for healthy male affection.  The couple gets mad at God because he blessed them with a baby girl.

The dad is forced to work harder and longer to support his family and pay for the house.  The dad seldom even sees the baby girl much less has time to hug her and kiss her cheek and forehead and tell her how beautiful she is and how much he loves her.  He does, however, make an effort.  Because he doesn’t show her the affection she longs for the baby girl’s need for healthy male affection is not satisfied. 

The baby girl begins to grow.  The mom goes to work to help pay bills and puts the baby girl in child care where no one shows her love.  The family goes to church every weekend but they are mad at each other as they drive to church most Sunday mornings.  They seldom ever read the Bible individually much less together.  He works 10 or more hours every day and is exhausted when he gets home. 

The little family still lives in the large house that they can’t really afford and are struggling to make ends meet.  As often as possible, they eat dinner around the dining room table at night but the dad and mom seldom laugh because they’re worried about the bills.  They are also mad at each other because he doesn’t show the mom that he loves her because he’s always at work.  He is mad at her because she keeps saying he doesn’t love her even though he’s working his tail off to show her that he loves her by keeping the nice house and all the nice things she has.

The little girl often sits at the end of the table and listens to her parents fight.  They seldom talk about the things that the little girl did all day.  The dad comes home every night after work and falls asleep in front of the TV.  He sometimes hugs and kisses the wife and plays with the baby girl but it gets to be less and less often.  Several times per week, the father goes out with his friends from work and bowls at the local bowling alley and drinks beer and complains about his wife to the other men there.  The dad also meets a lady at the bowling alley who shows him respect and makes him feel good.  He has sex with this lady from time to time. 

The dad has never really met the baby girl’s need for affection by hugging her, kissing her cheek and forehead and telling her how beautiful she is and how much he loves her.  She always finds herself feeling empty and unloved by her father.  When the little girl is two years old, the dad and mom have another baby.  This time it’s a little baby boy.  The dad and mom again are horrified that God has blessed them with a baby boy! 

The children continue to grow and the little family is not happy.  The dad continues to retreat as the mom continues to demand more and more from him.  She is outright disrespectful to him in front of the children and in front of her own friends.  The little girl’s need for healthy male affection is terribly unmet. 

When the little girl is seven years old, the dad is so mad at the mom that he throws up his hands and declares that the children would be better off if the mom and dad weren’t fighting all the time and instead were divorced!  The dad and mom get a divorce.

Now that the little girl is beginning to get a little older, the mom has moved into a little one bedroom apartment and is struggling to make ends meet.  The kids are in daycare most of the time now and the mom is mad most of the time.  The dad tries to meet little girl’s need for healthy male affection by talking to her, listening to her dreams and sorrows, smiling at her, telling her how proud he is of her, how beautiful she is and how much he loves her.  However, now that he only sees her every other weekend, the girls need for healthy male affection is terribly lacking.

The dad feels so disconnected from the little girl that he feels funny talking about more serious things with her.  He seldom if ever talks to her about God and Jesus Christ and what God has meant to him all his life.  He almost never talks to her about all the possibilities the little girl has ahead of her.  And he never talks to her about the man that God will give her to marry one day. 

The little girl looks at the dad and tells him that she wants to marry someone just like him.  The dad sheepishly smiles.  The little girl’s brother is a typical brother who teases the little girl and never seems to leave her alone.  He didn’t have a dad in the home to demonstrate how to show affection to a woman by hugging and kissing his wife and talking nicely and always serving her, so the little boy never begins to do that for his big sister.

When the girl starts going to middle school, the dad isn’t there to talk to her about boys and that they are less mature than she is and that soon, they will stop teasing her and start paying very close attention to her.  He never explains that they will start paying close attention to her because soon she is going to start looking more and more like a woman and that the boys are soon going to be very interested in girls who have curves like women do.  The dad never explains that it is natural for the boys to show interest in girls but that it is important to remember that God has one man in particular picked out who the girl will marry when she is much older. 

However, the girl discovers on her own that the boys at school are starting to give her some attention.  She is starved for male affection so she dives right in.  She begins to talk to boys between every class.  As she begins to develop more curves, she notices that the boys show her even more affection.  This is intoxicating for her since she has gotten almost no healthy male affection from her father. 

As the girl gets ready to go to high school, she notices that when she wears shirts with low neck lines and shorts skirts, the boys really show her affection.  Her dad sits down and talks to her about why the boys are beginning to show so much interest in her.  They are showing interested in her because they are beginning to see her as a woman more and more every day and they are becoming more and more interested in her body because it’s different from theirs.  However, he fails to explain that it is important that she saves her body for her husband who God will show her later in life.  Worse yet, he attempts to meet her need for male affection by telling her she’s beautiful because of the provocative and seductive clothing and make up she’s wearing.  He doesn’t bother listening to her or talking to her because his new wife is calling him to hurry up.  Instead, he reinforces her attempts to get male affection by dressing like she is and engaging in risky behaviors. 

He talks to her less and less about God and Jesus Christ and what God has meant to him all his life.  He seldom talks to her about all the possibilities the girl has ahead of her because he sees her so infrequently.

The girl goes through her first year in high school and discovers that the boys really pay a lot of attention when she acts certain ways.  For instance, when she flirts with them and “accidentally” bends over in front of them with her low neck blouse, they really hang around her.  She is just amazed at how easy it is to get boys to pay attention to her like this.  When she sees her dad she tells him about the boys she hangs around with most of the time and how much fun they are.  He reinforces her risky activities and smiles and tells her that he’s happy she’s having fun.  The dad explains that this is completely normal and that it is the emotion of puppy love that she’s feeling.   However, he fails to explain that she is being prepared for when she meets the man God has for her long after she has graduated from high school.  

He encourages her to talk to boys and learn how they think. He reminds her that he loves her, is proud of her and that she is beautiful, all the time reinforcing her dangerous behavior.  In her junior year in high school, the girl has discovered that the boys will show her tons of affection if she does certain things for them or lets them do certain things to her.  Many of these things are sexual in nature and the boys are very good about whispering in her ear how beautiful she is, how proud they are of her, how much they love and care about her.  They really make her feel good when they show her affection by hugging her and kissing her on the cheeks, forehead, neck and lips.

Soon, the girl decides to go all the way with one boy who really makes her feel loved by listening to her dreams, sorrows and by telling her how beautiful she is and how much he loves her.  So she tells him that he has to use a condom and she agrees to have sex with him.  She knows it isn’t what her dad or mom would want her to do but she just can’t get enough of the male affection that she has been missing for so long! 

The condom fails and the girl gets pregnant. 

Now she’s a junior in high school and she is going to have a baby.  She gives birth to the baby girl because she knows from the few times she’s been to church that that is what God would want her to do.  The girl drops out of high school because she can’t raise the baby and go to school at the same time.  She never goes off to college. 

The girl lives with her mother as she raises her baby girl.  Now and then, the girl goes on a date with a boy who shows her some affection.  The girl is still so starved for male affection that she lets the boys she dates do almost anything to her as long as they tell her she’s beautiful and listen to her after they’ve had sex. 

Eventually, the girl meets a boy who shows interest in her and he asks her to marry him.  She agrees. The boy is a little reluctant but he marries her anyway.  The boy works a lot and when he’s not working, he sits in front of the computer playing games.  After a couple of years, they have another baby.  The boy gets sick of the girl demanding more and more of his time so he files for divorce. 

Now the girl is without income, without a home, and without someone who will love her.  The girl calls her dad and asks if she can move in with him just until she gets her feet on the ground.  He tells her she can’t because his newest wife doesn’t want the hassle.  The girl lives in a dingy one bedroom apartment for most of her life and is miserable.
 
This isn’t a pretty picture is it?
 
Please, please, please, do everything you can to keep your marriage together!  Stop thinking about yourself and start thinking about the children you and your spouse  brought into this world!
 
Don’t be scenario #2…

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