Thursday, January 27, 2011

The ZigZag Café

We will be convening here at the ZigZag café, Suisse, on Thursdays for conversation and dialogue. I invite you to stop by every Thursday for the question of the day. Your thoughts and participation are most welcome. Pull up a stool, avec un café, un thé, ou un chocolat chaud, et un croissant, and join in here on Thursday at the ZZ café.

For today:

Do you think that lovers committing themselves to one another until death is realistic nowadays?

12 comments:

Lukas und Céline Kuhs said...

I think that until death is the only way to live marriage in a redeemed way. In a way as God designed it to be.

It is not only realistic, it is necessary, in my opinion.

Is it harder nowadays? I'm not sure, but I tend to say no.

Angela said...

I agree with Lukas. Marriage is for life and
breaks up far too often for merely selfish
reasons. Perseverance through troubled
times pays off.

Angela said...

I'll add that often (not always) the new found
freedom of a divorced person is a temporary
happiness. At least this is what I've observed
in friends I know. A lot of regret comes out
of the decision in the end.

Would a willingness and brokenness before
God bring about healing?

I see almost anything being called "abuse" today
in regards to divorce. I asked a couple I know
what they think of "emotional abuse" and they
thought that probably most couples out
there have emotionally abused their partner at
one time or another.

Greg said...

Lukas,
Thanks. Sounds pretty realistic for you, and if it is, why does it seem to happen so infrequently? Do people fear long term commitment or perhaps just want to try something different?

Greg said...

Angela,
Thanks. Why does it appear that perseverance is so frequently lacking and almost any excuse will do to create division?

Angela said...

One reason for lack of perseverance is
that many people are looking at what they can
get out of their relationship rather than what
they can offer it to nurture it and make it
beautiful. Easy to put oneself before the other!

Greg said...

Angela,
It's the economy of exchange that seems to rule so often today.

abigail said...

Interesting question, Greg.

I don't know that making a commitment to a lover UNTIL DEATH is really any less realistic "today" than it ever was. I think it's always been difficult.

I think that today, "marriage" (which I notice you did not use as a word choice) has become a commodity, has become a political issue, has become about an expensive day with lots of pink lace, and has become a part of a narrative that is a different narrative than we, throughout history, have imagined or lived by. In short, I think that the expectations for "marriage" in the 21st century might make meeting those expectations UNTIL DEATH more difficult--

but if you strip that away the actual commitment can be done in just as realistic a way as ever:

With faith, hope, trust, love, some common sense, and a measure of difficulty.

Re: Divorce. Yes, I suppose it is more common now than it was a hundred, two hundred etc years ago. And while I believe divorce is always a breaking of Shalom, I also think that sometimes it is necessary and is for the good of individuals who live in a world where perfect redemption has not yet been realised.

And while increased divorce rates have a tragic element, there is also a positive element. I believe that more easily obtained divorces might be in keeping with biblical laws that gave grounds for divorce, that allowed a woman to divorce her husband for certain reasons, and then the puritans (in America) who insured that women could divorce because previously they had no recourse to escape a harmful situation (I think I should be citing a MK lecture here).

So, I think that while there are plenty of divorces that might happen "on a whim" we should look at the flip side of the coin and see that plenty of those "lasting marriages" of days gone by were contexts of harm and abuse. Just because the marriage technically lasted doesn't mean it was a God-honoring relationship.

I'm not sure the statistics on that have changed. But who could know?

Tamra Larter said...

I missed this conversation yesterday, but I really agree with what everyone has said.

People breaking up are not any happier really... every new relationship brings us only with new oportunities to bump into yet another's unique brokenness.

Harvel Hendricks wanted to name his book "Getting the Love You Want" "Giving The Love You Want" but the publisher or agent urged that a book with such a title would not sell. The principles in his book support giving what you'd like to receive. I think you are right on Greg. Not easy, but not any harder than ever before, I concur.

Greg said...

Abigail,
Thanks. Good points. True, the commodification of marriage is a pity, and has the tendency to turn relationality into a consumer product. Not good for imagining and living together in a realistic manner. Relationships until death have enough going against them, without piling on unrealistic expectations. But I do also believe it possible to re-narrate commitment and to configure it in imaginative and fresh ways that inspire - until death.

Yes, divorce is surely a multi-faceted situation. The breaking of Shalom, as you put it, is most unfortunate, but sometimes sadly necessary. I think there are many current marriages that ended a long time ago and God is not honored by maintaining a piece of paper that is no longer an expression of reality.

Greg said...

Tamara,
Thanks. Until death - A joy and a task.

How about this? While giving what we want to receive has traction, perhaps giving without receiving has more.

Tamra Larter said...

Greg - A joy and a task, yes. I get it and like it.

Giving without receiving has more... I can see that. Thank you for that. Thank you very much.