Celebrity divorce. It’s nothing new.
Think Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.
Divorce is as old as the Bible itself. But now Gwyneth Paltrow and her husband, Chris Martin, have introduced us to a new vocabulary when Paltrow announced last week their separation, and called it a “Conscious Uncoupling.”
“Conscious Uncoupling” is New Age jargon for a kinder, gentler divorce. One web site explained this way “Conscious Uncoupling: it’s all about personal growth and expressing love for the process that got you there.”
The psychotherapist who claims authorship for the expression, Katherine Woodward Thomas, was interviewed on the Today show to explain “Conscious Uncoupling.”
She said this “is a whole new way to end a relationship. A healthy way.” It is a “break up characterized by goodwill, generosity and respect.” Miss Thomas further explained that this is “a process that leaves both parties feeling valued, appreciated for all that was shared .”
Thomas made the dissolution of marriage sound like such a warm, fuzzy experience. I couldn’t help but think, that if a couple can bring that much goodwill, generosity, respect, appreciation and value to breaking up, why couldn’t they focus that energy on staying together!
One Counselor criticized “Conscious Uncoupling” saying it was “a nice term for bad behavior. She added, that it does “a disservice to the truth.”
And what is the truth?
Kay Robertson, of Duck Dynasty fame, expressed it rather succinctly when she appeared with the other Robertson women on Fox and Friends. Elisabeth Hasselbeck asked Miss Kay how she survived a very difficult 10 year period of her marriage with Phil Robertson.
Miss Kay said, “You depend on God. And I had a Grandmother who told me to fight for my marriage, no matter what.”
“Why?” Hasselbeck asked.
“Because she said it should be one man for one woman for life.”
Well, Miss Kay’s Grandmother was right!
When Jesus was asked about divorce by the Pharisees, He was very clear on the topic.
“Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”
“Conscious Uncoupling” makes a mockery of marriage. Marriage is divinely decreed by God. He ordained it. Ordered it. And “coupled” a man and woman together to become one. Not just physically. But mentally. Emotionally. And spiritually.
“Conscious Uncoupling” sends the wrong message. Marriage is serious. It is not to be entered into lightly. Or ended flippantly. Marriage requires constant maintenance. Work. Effort. And commitment.
Today God’s marriage laws are not respected. Or honored. Certainly not by Hollywood. Or by a world gone mad with lust and license. And too often not even by those who call themselves Christians.
I’ve known of Christians who dumped their spouse. Committed adultery. And married the adulteress. Their reason? They had a right to be happy. And they were not happy with their mate. It reminds me of a quip by C.S. Lewis who said, “…every unkindness and breach of faith seems to be condoned provided that the object aimed at is ‘four bare legs in a bed.’”
“Conscious Uncoupling” sounds simple. Easy. Almost enjoyable. But the truth is that a marital break-up is brutal. Heart-rending. Emotionally shattering. On the couple. And the children.
I’m sure “conscious uncoupling” will soon lead to a “conscious recouping.” Forget the new age jargon. Let’s call it what is it. Divorce. And adultery.
Let’s do more than criticize celebrities and condemn sin. Let’s work on our own marriages. Let’s make them what God intended. Let’s fight for our families. Let’s believe, preach and exemplify: One man. For one woman. For life.
Oh, and let’s not forget to teach our children, and grandchildren God’s plan for marriage is “coupling”, not “uncoupling.”
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman