How many times have we heard these words?
“I, (Bride/Groom), take you (Groom/Bride), to be my (wife/husband), to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part.”
Yesterday Pat Robertson of the “700 Club” shocked many when he said that divorcing a spouse that has been stricken with Alzheimer’s disease was justified. He further explained that the disease in itself is “a kind of death” & therefore is OK.
He went even further explaining what advice should be given to a friend in this situation…..
“I know it sounds cruel, but if he’s going to do something, he should divorce her and start all over again, but make sure she has custodial care and somebody looking after her.”
How very sad to me that not only was this said but that it has also hit the public attention. How sad that it would cast such a negative light on Christians & on the commitment of marriage. Let me say straight out – I do not agree with Pat Robertson.
Christ took marriage seriously. In a discussion with a group of Pharisees, He states:
“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” (Matthew 19:4-6 NIV).
The Pharisees continued their line of questioning by asking Christ…
“Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?” (verse 7).
“Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning.” (verse 8).
Divorce was permitted due to the condition of our own hearts. They were hard, cold, calloused. But that was never the way God intended from the beginning.
Alzheimer’s is a debilitating disease that ends up affecting the entire family. Life is changed forever as the disease robs an individual of memories, of loved ones, of all that was once held dear.
May our hearts remain tender towards our loved ones that may be stricken with Alzheimer’s or any other life threatening disease. May we be filled with compassion & desire to take care of them. May we remain loyal & committed, doing for them as we would desire they do towards us.
No, Pat Robertson, you surely got this one wrong. May the world not deem this as the opinion of each & every Christian. Surely it is not.
May illness not be the end of commitment but the beginning of commitment.