There was a time when the darkness and loneliness of divorce seemed to me tragically romantic. Probably, I was reading too much Andre Dubus and John Updike at the same time. Raymond Carver probably did not help either. There was a resigned dark humor to the characters, an alcoholic loneliness, and (for Dubus’ characters) a tangible and inescapable divine presence.
By Cindy Koch – There are a thousand different answers to this dilemma, most derived from experience. Too […]
By Joel A. Hess – A couple of years ago, Pope Francis announced that it would be easier […]
By Marc Engelhardt –
Everything we have covered thus far highlights how wonderful sex is and that it is a gift from God. At the same time, it highlights how destructive sex can be for people when used outside the intentions for which God gifted it. It can be very discouraging to know that bonding ourselves to people through a misuse of sex will change our reality and who we are. What’s worse is that even if we were ignorant of the truth about sex we typically can’t blame anyone but ourselves for our choices. This can lead to discouraging depression.
By Joel A. Hess –
That’s really all you want to know, right? What’s the rule, Pastor? What can I do? What can’t I do? Just tell me, and I’ll do it. Just say it. Or, is this is a good reason? What if he does this? What if she does that?
This is not an unusual conversation that confronts a pastor at least a couple times a year. How often I have had a man or woman tell me they wish their spouse either cheated on them or beat them so they would have a good reason for divorce.
By Paul Koch –
I recall many years ago I was doing a Sunday morning Bible study at my previous congregation in Georgia. We were working our way through St. Matthew’s Gospel that happened to be the text that corresponds to our reading today of Mark 10:2-16. So, we began by talking about the harsh realities of divorce. Divorce seems to be a plague of sorts in our land, it’s no longer rare or shocking. All of us have come in contact with the realities of divorce. Either you have been divorced or your parents have, or you know someone who has gone through the hurt and struggle of divorce. And it is easy if you haven’t been divorced to speak with a certain self-righteousness about the whole thing. Then again, it is also easy to justify divorce to the point that it can seem a noble or necessary thing. During that Bible study in Georgia, I was no doubt more on the self-righteous side of things when a member brought to my attention the simple fact that most of the people sitting there had been through divorce. In Bible Study on a Sunday morning a small southern town, those who had not been divorced were certainly the minority.
By Marc Engelhardt –
In the first few Christ in Common recaps, I wrote about the awesome bonding, oneness-making result of sex, as well as our culture’s embrace of the separation of sex from marriage. Using all of that as a background, we now start to discuss how to engage and live in a culture that views having sex as a right.