I had the wonderful fortune to witness my nephew and his fiancee get married on December 30. The church was beautiful, so peaceful and holy. In the quiet of the church, what was palpable was the love these two had for each other. Yes, they are young. But, they had found each other and as I watched the sacrament of marriage, one thing was clear, they truly complete each other.
I headed back to my home town and later that first week of the New Year, finally got to finishing up all the mail that had accumulated during my absence. Magazines are always piled on the bottom of the stack, so it took me awhile to get to them. As I started looking at the two or three magazines that had collected, I was stunned.
There, boldly staring up at me was a cover and headline that shook me to the core. Above the name of the magazine in fact, was this headline “A Guide to Divorcing Well”. Are you kidding me? There is no ability to ever divorce well. None. Marriage is a lifelong commitment and if it is ending in divorce, there is no way that can be good or done well.
It took me a few days to calm down enough to pick up the magazine and read the article itself. I did not make it through the article very well. I didn’t have to – much as I expected, it was about taking advantage of the spouse. It had tips for minimizing the cost of divorce and simplifying the process. What? Divorce should be hard and painful; it should not happen. How have we as a society gotten to this point where national magazines scream headlines on how to divorce well? The magazine used that headline because they knew that it would draw people in, it would sell copies, it would speak to people. But, in selling more magazines, how many people became intrigued, excited even by what divorce could be for them?
When I was at my nephew’s wedding, it was a radiant event. They were so clearly sharing their love with each other, we all witnessed that in their marriage. And, they were embraced by a large family, showering them with love as they began their life together. There is nothing radiant in divorce. There is no light, no joy; only brokenness and pain. Divorce is not good. It can not be done well. Town and Country Magazine, you may have been genteel in the day. But, any magazine that espouses “divorcing well” is far from genteel, far from classy. By the way, you have just lost one more subscription.