After running a usual spin on a couple who was having marital problems and then turned to Jesus, Pat Robertson of The 700 Club is telling me there is no peace for the wicked when coming into a marriage–meaning nonChristians. You need Jesus to make a successful marriage.
There are a variety of factors involved in a good long term relationship, marriage or living in sin. I’ve been with a lovely hard-headed woman for the last 16 years in my “unofficial marriage” and I’m an atheist. Every month there are compromises where we have to talk situations out as to our needs and really the key to a good marriage is communication and quite honestly, a bit of luck (and most importantly a sense of humor).
With that said, what does Pat do with a repaired marriage story? Pat uses the moment to do an altar call. Christian marriages are a testimony to nothing when marriages without Christ work. Especially interesting is the amount of divorce you see within church showing that Christ is a toss up–some marriages with Jesus work, some don’t. Interestingly enough, some statistics suggest born again Christians have a higher failure rate. More evidence that this is nonsense.
If you want to claim Christ makes a personal difference, great, it’s your spiritual experience. Stop claiming Christ has anything more to do with marriage than religious compatibility–and even that isn’t enough if the personalities are clashing.
SIDENOTE: I also see nothing wrong with multiple long term relationships, the only concern being children. Divorce is frowned upon, but in bad situations it is needed. Or sometimes people do grow apart and move on. If you have two to three long term relationships in a lifetime that does not indicate failure–it’s a part of life and there’s happiness to be found in more than one person as I don’t believe in the concept of “soulmates.”
In the past, couples were trapped by religious tradition and a marriage could get extremely abusive and unhappy all for the sake of “staying together.” Staying together for the kids is admirable when necessary but it has to be evaluated in each context. If all you’re doing is fighting in front of the kids most likely they may learn to repeat your mistakes. Better to have a divorce with the kids staying with one parent then to prolong such agony. Our society is better for the ability to divorce when needed. Maybe divorce should be used as a testimony that “Jesus got me out of this bad marriage.”