When The Pot Boils Over, There is the Spill-Over to Clean Up.
Some things are easier said than done. When my old neighbor Ed, from Saskatchewan, tells me a problem, it is hard to end our conversation. Last week, he shared that a close family member is filing for divorce and their whole family is in turmoil as a result. My old neighbor informed me that when the marriage pot boils over, there is a real mess to clean up. The divorcing couple must deal with how they will divide their financial assets, possessions, and property. Spousal support, child custody, child access, and child support are difficult spill-overs to be cleaned up.
According to Ed, some divorces clean up pretty fast and easy as they are the uncontested ones. There may be some divorces without hard feelings but, unfortunately, for the member of Ed’s family, the divorce proceedings are full of disputes about everything from assets to child custody. When the couple married they vowed to have and to hold each other for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, to love and cherish each other until death. Sadly, the marriage boiled over and had become empty.
When a pot boils over on a stove, you blame the cook who handles putting it on to boil. Ed has found that blaming and resenting during divorce proceedings doesn’t end with the divorcing husband and wife, but becomes a virus that infects their families and friends. Somehow it seems that if people can blame one partner or the other for the marriage breakdown it explains the divorce.
At the time of Jesus, in the Bible, it was lawful for a husband to write a certificate of divorce and send his wife away. The wife might not still be able to return to her parent’s home. She would be without any resources and the object of shame. Jesus said that Moses allowed divorce because their hearts had become hard. They were out of touch with the intentions of God concerning marriage. In the beginning, Jesus said that God made us male or female. For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother, and be united with his wife, and the two will become one flesh. They are no longer two but one as a family unity of husband and wife, to be respected and not separated from each other until death.
Jesus knew writing a certificate of divorce was lawful, but he saw it as heartless and hurtful towards wives by husbands. God intended marriage to be full of great potential and blessing a taste of heaven on earth. Two can be better than one, by expanding love, help, and protection. Together husband and wife can double their abilities for earnings, parenting, caring and sharing. God wants couples to grow together in love that is patient and kind. A spouse’s love on earth is to be like God’s love from heaven. Marriage love is learning to become selfless, patient, and keeping no record of wrongs. In our world full of envy, boasting, pride and strife, love is limited or missing. God’s love never fails for us, it protects us and perseveres us. God wants us to taste that type of love in marriage.