“Divorce is the result of selfish people.” I was in church when the pastor made that bold and unapologetic statement. Initially, I thought that it was a stupid statement on his part. Afterall, people get divorced because of horrific things such as physical abuse, molestation etc. So, how could I look at a divorcee in such a situation and accuse him/her of being selfish?
Well, I had an enlightenment. I understood what he was saying and I 100% agree with his statement. I was raised to believe that marriage was and still is a sacred union between a couple who professed their love and devotion before man and God. It was about two people joining together and becoming one “loving” couple who expect to spend the rest of their lives together.
I recognize that some people may cringe at my romantized notions of marriage. However, do not be fooled, I am aware that it takes work and commitment for such an idea to last or should I say survive and thrive. So what does all that have to do with selfishness? Well, in the beginning (borrowing a little from the bible) of a relationship most couples are usually pretty happy, accommodating and all the other sappy stuff that comes with new romance. All the effort and daydreaming culminates on the wedding day. However, a few years later it seems that ‘all hell broke loose’ and the happiness has turned to tears, fighting, and pain.
The connotation of selfishness is an individual has choosen to put him/herself before others. In a marriage, it takes so many different forms.The worst of those is abuse: it is a very self indulgent person who finds pleasure in hurting others s/he is suppose to love. Physical, sexual and emotional/psychological abuse are primarily about power, control and satisfying a personal need which are the ultimate forms of selfish.
Infidelity, lack of communication, spending time with friends more than family, and as the list goes on and on it can be summed up into “me, I, mine”. People grow apart when they stop caring about the other person. It could be both people in the marriage or one partner. When we think of a couple who has a strong marriage(which seems to be few) one of the major characteristics of that relationship is “how much they care about each other.”
As mushy as all the “lovey dovey” stuff sounds, it is what seems to make a relationship work. When each person can put self aside then s/he can say to the other ‘what do you need of me?’ I am not talking about the doormat personality but a mutual sense of concern and caring for one’s partner and family. I have actually witnessed such a relationship with my own eyes and it has left a lasting impression in my mind but unfortunately, I almost never see these things in most couples.
The pastor also respond to the couples who report that they no longer love each other. He said “then you two have never loved each other.” I am sure he understands that sentiment very well afterall, he is married to and loves his wife for over 50 years so I would trust him to understand the concept of love. I pray that I will be as blessed in the love/right choice of mate department.
The rumors are marriage is obselete and it is impossible to be monogomous. If that is true, then there is no hope for society. Broken homes are all the rage for the last couple decades and infidelity is the new ‘it’ behavior. Maybe it is just silly of me to think that there are still people out there who see the value of commitment, honesty, and integrity.
*1 Corinthians 13* The love chapter. If you want to know what love looks like for any relationship then read this.