Some thoughts on men, women, marriage and divorce

The other day, I read an article entitled “More Wives Should Dump Their Husbands” by Politics Daily (http://www.politicsdaily.com) contributor Delia Lloyd. Lloyd, who has worked as a producer for Chicago Public Radio and is currently a free-lance writer based in London, has been featured in The International Herald Tribune, The Guardian Weekly, and on the BBC World service.

The title of her article pretty much covers her primary point: women should drop men who are less-than-faithful/supportive/perfect.

In the interest of full disclosure, Lloyd’s writing makes it abundantly clear that she is a liberal feminist, and comments like “Monogamy is unnatural” stand in stark contrast to Biblical mandate. Nevertheless, Ms. Lloyd makes a number of keen observations and valid points in an era when headlines about prominent, failed marriages are an almost-daily affair, and we all know someone (perhaps we, ourselves) who has experienced a broken relationship of some sort.

In fact, I’m about to say something that I may regret later. But I actually agree with Ms. Lloyd on a number of things. (Stick with me for a bit here, please!)

First, Ms. Lloyd notes that marriage is difficult. There is no disputing this. Anyone who thinks marriage is anything but difficult is delusional. She also notes the devastation that divorce wreaks on the parties involved. Indeed, the personal and emotional damage to husband and wife that part ways, not to mention the collateral damage to kids and even extended families may take years to heal to some semblance of normalcy. And she also makes the point that wives should not feel responsible for their husbands’ infidelity.

Let me be clear. This is absolutely true. While Biblically speaking, wives do have a responsibility to their husbands, the reality is that, ultimately, it is the unfaithful husband who chooses to be unfaithful. And the men who abuse their wives? Same deal. Whether they physically leave or not, these men have vacated the relationship, and the wives that they have abandoned should not feel responsible for the choices that they have made.

Here, though, is where Ms. Lloyd and I part ways. She uses these truths to say that women should not hesitate to boot their lowlife husbands to the curb. In some cases, this may be appropriate, but I truly fear the end of her logic: “Women shouldn’t settle for mediocrity in their mates to avoid the perils of online dating in their 40s.” This statement opens the door for myriad reasons for wives to dump their husbands, and sadly, statistics tell us that this viewpoint is extremely popular both in and out of the church.

God designed marriage between one man and one woman to be the one truly good solution for the one thing that He saw in all of His original creation that was “not good.” The problem is that, ever since the fall, no human has ever been perfect. So, at some point, we are doomed to be mediocre. If nothing else, it is inevitable that we will age, losing our good looks and physical stamina! But none of that negates God’s design for marriage.

So here’s what I would say to Ms. Lloyd and anyone else. The Bible outlines exactly two reasons why a marriage may be legitimately dissolved. The first is marital unfaithfulness. I.e., the spouse leaves to be with someone else. And the second is that one spouse is saved, and the unsaved member decides that he/she can’t live with them anymore. I.e., the unbelieving spouse leaves. Even in these cases, the overwhelming message of Scripture is that we should fight tooth and nail to preserve and restore that relationship. But when restoration proves absolutely impossible, then Ms. Lloyd is absolutely right. We must not blame ourselves for something that we didn’t choose or do.

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2 Responses to “Some thoughts on men, women, marriage and divorce”


  1. 1 delialloyd May 7, 2010 at 9:52 am

    Thanks for this Jeremy. While we clearly disagree on a few issues, I felt that you treated me fairly and respectfully. I very much appreciate the link and thoughtful discussion of my post

    All best

    Delia Lloyd
    http://www.realdelia.com

  2. 2 jgeerdes May 7, 2010 at 11:43 am

    Ms. Lloyd,

    I am honored that you read the post. Thank you!


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