Marriage, Reconciliation, and Divorce

“Reconciliation lies at the very heart of Christianity. For some years now I have followed a simple rule, that whenever anybody asks me a question about divorce, I refuse to answer it until I have first talked about two other subjects, namely, marriage and reconciliation. This is a simple attempt to follow Jesus in his own priorities. When the Pharisees asked him about the grounds for divorce, he referred them instead to the original institution of marriage. If we allow ourselves to become preoccupied with divorce and its grounds, rather than with marriage and its ideals, we lapse into Pharisaism. For God’s purpose is marriage not divorce, and his gospel is good news of reconciliation. We need to see Scripture as a whole, and not isolate the topic of divorce.”
John Stott, Issues Facing Christians Today, p. 303

Down Syndrome and Divorce

I recently read about a report from the American Journal on Mental Retardation with research about the divorce rates among families with a Down syndrome child.

The research, which took place over a 12 year period (1990-2002), indicates the divorce rate among families with a Down syndrome child was lower than the divorce rate among other groups. The other groups studied included one group in which there was no disability among children in the families and one group that included families with children who had birth defects other than Down syndrome.

That’s right, the divorce rate among families with a Down syndrome child was lower than the divorce rate among families having children with no known birth defects. These findings seem to contradict the conventional wisdom about families with a Down syndrome child and give hope to parents who have a precious son or daughter with Down syndrome.

I have been contemplating the results of this study for some time now. Each time I consider the findings my mind goes off in a different direction. Somehow, I always seem to come back to the same place in scripture.

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Top 10 Myths of Divorce

The National Marriage Project at Rutgers University has published the Top 10 Myths of Divorce.

This is a helpful discussion of some of the most common misinformation about divorce. For example:

  • Have you ever wondered if people learn from their mistakes so that second marriages are more successful than first marriages?
  • Does living together before marriage improve the chances for a successful marriage?
  • If their parents don’t get along, are children better off if their parents divorce?
  • Following a divorce are children better off living in a step-family or in a single-parent family?

These and other questions are discussed. Answers are well-documented. This is a good read for those interested in separating good information from myths about marriage and divorce.