A few months ago, an article in Business Insider proclaimed, “Divorce isn’t a failure, therapists say. In fact, it could mean the marriage was a success.” I didn’t pay much attention to it since you can find secular counselors and therapists who will say just about anything. But recently John Stonestreet did a Breakpoint commentary on the article and used it to illustrate some important points about the biblical words for love.
Instead, I would like to look at the premise of the article. Does a divorce really mean that your marriage was a success? I don’t think couples that have been through a divorce would say that. I doubt their children would say that. One of the chapters of my book, Christian Ethics in Plain Language, documents what psychologists have discovered about the emotional and economic damage of divorce on children and even later in adult children of divorce.
Years ago, Diane Medved wrote a book with the arresting title, The Case Against Divorce. The book begins with an admission. “I have to start with a confession: This isn’t the book I set out to write. I planned to write something consistent with my previous professional experience helping people with decision making . . . To my utter befuddlement, the extensive research I conducted for this book brought me to one inescapable and irrefutable conclusion: I had been wrong.”
The therapists cited believe that marriage can help you grow, and sometimes you change so much that you conclude your marriage isn’t helping you anymore. If you go into marriage expecting it to help you grow, and you’re not growing, then divorce is the next step. If, however, you go into marriage with a biblical view of two becoming one flesh, then getting a divorce is not a sign of success.