As you’ve heard before, the divorce rate in our country is around 50/50. As if that wasn’t disappointing enough it seems that our culture’s view of marriage has reached an all-time low. A radio station in Charleston, West Virginia is offering one couple a Valentine’s Day prize unlike any other:
a free divorce.
That’s right, WKLC-FM (aka Rock 105), is giving one “winner” 10 free billable hours from a local law firm for the purpose of filing for divorce. The “prize” is worth about $3,000. While they have received some negative reaction about the contest, it has mostly been a popular promotion. In fact, the response from applicants is overwhelming. It’s reported that they are receiving “about one (application) a minute.”
If the prize isn’t outrageous enough, the attitude of the station sure is. “Sure we can give away concert tickets, and we do,” said Program Director Jay Nunley. “That’s going to make you happy for a little while. This is the chance to make someone happy for the rest of their life.”
Now it’s true, divorce is not the unpardonable sin. In fact, the Bible does give two grounds upon which divorce is permissible (Marital unfaithfulness, Matthew 19:9; & Unbelieving spouse that desires to leave, 1 Corinthians 7: 10-16). But even with those, God still hates divorce (Malachi 2:16) and He always desires reconciliation if at all possible, even in these situations (1 Cor. 7:11).
But what breaks my heart, and I imagine the heart of God, about all of this is the flippant attitude that people have towards the sacred bond of marriage. The “for as long as you both shall live” (or the slightly morbid, old-fashioned version “till death do you part”) is no longer taken seriously. Maybe it should be revised to reflect modern attitudes; “for as long as you are ‘happy’ ”, or “for as long as you don’t find someone more attractive”.
Few people, anymore, enter marriage with a “lifetime” commitment in view. Getting married today is more like buying a car. No one buys a car thinking that it will last for a lifetime. In fact, once it hits about 100,000 miles it starts to have wear and tear. So while you’re trading in that Corolla you might as well trade in Carol too.
This is one of those issues in which the church needs to be the salmon of society. We should swim against the stream. The church should recapture and reemphasize God’s original intention for marriage now more than ever. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24)
MARRIAGE IS: 1 MAN + 1 WOMAN = 4 LIFE