In April 2 IssueBy Linda Stephens, Columnist
Favorite thing…. Daffodils or march flowers or jonquils. Whatever name you call them, they are a beautiful spring flower. My grandmother planted rows of them around the birdbath in her front yard. As a child, I wondered how did she get those rows of pretty yellow flowers so even?
Divorce. I’m thinking about divorce. No, I’m not thinking about divorcing David, I’m thinking about several couples I know who have recently divorced, or are in the process. In my own family, there’s a marriage of over 30 years that is struggling, big time. I want to believe these two people are going to do the right thing, do the hard work to forgive and restore their relationship but so far, I see little action from them. In their immediate family there are two adult children and their two spouses plus three grandchildren that will be affected for the rest of their lives. Not to mention their extended family of over 30 people.
Divorce… fathers and mothers leaving their children…. ignoring and breaking their vows “to love each other till death do us part”. There’s all kinds of reasons for divorce, most of them wimpy… husbands or wives “aren’t happy” so they leave. And goodness knows, we parents want our children to be “happy”, whatever that is. Husbands and wives aren’t getting the attention they want from their spouse, so they leave. Husbands and wives “fall out of love” with each other and on and on it goes. We must “man-up” and “woman-up” and honor our marriage vows, instead of wimping out, destroying our families, leaving our children to pick up the pieces for the rest of their lives. The word is commitment.
We all know the stats… children of divorce are twice as likely as children from intact homes to drop out of school, 3 times more apt to get pregnant, 6 times as likely to be in poverty, 12 times more likely to go to jail! Most parents would not intentionally make their children do any of these negative, awful things. Yet, daily parents are choosing divorce and creating these terrible “opportunities” for their children.
Oh, but you say, “I got a divorce and my child didn’t do any of that”. Well, thank the Lord, he/she didn’t. But your child did suffer long-term emotional and relational damage. When the child enters adulthood, “the unexpected legacy of divorce hits”, according to Dr. Judith Wallerstein. Two-thirds are unable to form lasting bonds with someone of the opposite sex. She tracked 100 children of a hundred divorces for twenty five years. Only 60 married, of whom twenty four divorced. And that’s what we’re seeing to day… the children of baby boomers are divorcing, just like their parents did. And passing the legacy on to their children.
A few years ago, I led an after school “program” for children of divorce at one of our elementary schools. I ordered a couple of age appropriate books and made out some simple “lesson plans”. A few minutes into the first session with these six children, it became very clear that what they needed most was to talk to someone who would listen. So that’s what I did. They talked and I tried to listen, love and encourage them. One of their strongest desires was to have an intact family with their Moms and Dads together. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen them but I think of them often and wonder how they are doing.
For many reasons, we must turn the tide against the tide of divorce. Especially, if we are Christians. We need to bring back the standard of marriage and family that God created and ordained for us. We must begin in our own homes and honor our marriage vows and stay married… “for better or worse, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer”. Most of us know very little about “doing marriage well”, but we can learn. We can read books, attend marriage conferences, pray regularly for our marriage and “do” the hard work that marriage requires.
Wonderful resources are available for families and churches to use with their young people. Dads and Moms could teach their children by example and also by teaching their children about dating relationships and choosing a mate for their future marriage. Every church should form a Marriage Committee to set up programs, speakers, and group studies about “how to do” marriage. Family Life Today and Focus on the Family are two faith based organizations that have wonderful marriage resources and ideas. It’s time for action. What are you going to do?
Citizens Against Government Waste is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government. “Porker of the Month” is a dubious honor given to lawmakers, government officials, and political candidates who have shown a blatant disregard for the interests of taxpayers.
There website if full of information you probably won’t find anywhere else. The examples of government waste and out of control spending is unbelievable, but unfortunately true. I just had to share the following with you.
CAGW Names Senator Harry Reid Porker of the Month. Had He But World Enough, and Time … He Would Spend All of Our Money. On March 25 Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) bestowed upon Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) the March “Porker of the Month” Award for his absurd belief that a federally-funded Cowboy Poetry Festival in Elko, Nevada (pop. 17,000) constitutes essential government spending. The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), which allots a small part of its $146 million budget to the festival, was defunded under H.R. 1, the Full-Year Continuing Resolution for fiscal year 2011, which Sen. Reid helped defeat in the Senate. On March 8, 2011, he described the proposed termination in a Senate floor speech as “mean-spirited,” stating that were it not for NEH’s federal money, the Cowboy Poetry Festival and “the tens of thousands of people who come there every year, would not exist.”
One day after Sen. Reid made his preposterous statement, Western Folklife Center Executive Director Charlie Seemann commented that the NEH funds just seven percent of the festival, and that he and his fellow cowboys “could certainly continue if we lose that funding.” That’s the individual, entrepreneurial spirit that has made America great, and it contrasts sharply with the attitude of Sen. Reid, who believes that taxpayers should pay for everything, even if a program can and should stand on its own.
In tribute to Sen. Reid and the Cowboy Poetry Festival, CAGW has decided to try its hand at a bit of verse. As Robert Frost wrote, “a poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong.” To see their poem, go to their website.
In closing, thanks again for reading my column. I appreciate all of you who do so. Continue to pray for our country and its leaders.
Till next week.