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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN

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Split Up.Com

Someone observed that marriage is like horseradish- men praise it with tears in their eyes!  And comedian Rita Rudner said, "I think men who have a pierced ear are better prepared for marriage.  They've experienced pain and bought jewelry." Rodney Dangerfield chimes in with these words- "My wife and I were happy for twenty years.  Then we met." While jokes about marriage abound, what is happening to many marriages is anything but funny.  Divorce has become so common that family expert and writer Dennis Rainey says America is now a "culture of divorce".

But while much more common than ever, divorce is no less painful.  It is, after all, a splitting back into two of what God has joined together into one flesh (Matthew 19:4-6).  As one person observed, a divorce is like an amputation: you survive, but there's less ofyou.  Social scientists have been studying divorce and its effects for several decades now.  Space does not permit quotations, but the findings help us understand why the Bible says that God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16).  Divorce is damaging to everyone in the family- husbands and wives, sons and daughters.  And it is damaging in every way measurable financialy, emotionally, mentally, socially, and spiritually.  God loves divorced people, but He hates divorce and the misery and loss it brings into human homes and hearts and society.

A NEWSWEEK article ( December, 11, 2000, pp. 81-82) reports that average legal fees for a divorce top $20,000, causing some divorcing couples to search for cheaper ways to divorce.  InterNet divorce sites and services with names like "DivorceMart" (at divorcewizards.com) and splitup.com help couples "wrap the whole thing up for $500," thus "making breaking up easier to do for couples who can work out their own deal." Sounds  so easy and cheap- but an online split-up still takes a family off-line.  The illusion is that divorce is a simple and painless solution, but it always destroys a family.  A split-up via splitup.com or a split-up via expensive lawyers and divorce courts still results in a marriage that is ripped apart.  The adults and children involved in the splitting of a home are never left unharmed.  As Harvard sociologist Armand Nicholi III said, "Divorce is not a solution, but an exchange of problems." Novelist Pat Conroy said of his own marriage breakup- "Each divorce is the death of a small civilization."  The price a family pays for a divorce is always terribly high, even if the cost is considered cheap.

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ