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. . . More specifically, our children’s romantic future.
I’ve got a few years before I put this in play, but I am thinking about something I’m going to start telling my kids in their teen-age years (i.e. before they start Dating/Courting).
It would go something like this:
Asking someone to marry you, or saying ‘Yes’ to a proposal is a pretty big step, and a pretty strong commitment, but during your engagement period, even if it’s the day before your wedding, we will support you if you really want to break off marriage plans.
We might encourage you to rethink your decision, and suggest that maybe you are just getting cold feet, but if in the end you don’t want to get married to this person, for whatever reason, we will support this decision.
But (and here is the main point), once you get married, if things go bad, we will not support your decision to divorce your spouse, except for extremely extreme reasons*. We will encourage you in a hard marriage, we will protect you in a dangerous marriage, we might encourage temporary separation, we will pray for your marriage and we will hold you and cry with you. But we will not say that it is okay for you to end the marriage.
So it will not be grounds for divorce (from the perspective of our family) if you feel like your spouse doesn’t love you anymore, or isn’t really a Christian, or is abusive, or is a workaholic, or really bad with finances or lazy or mean or whatever.
(Again, I would tell them this before they find The One, so they don’t think it’s about that person.)
What do you think? Too harsh?
I feel like I want to get them to agree in writing that we are reasonable in saying this. But that may be a little over the top.
*The big question is, what would be the extremely extreme reasons. Severe Physical abuse? Only unfaithfulness? Pastor John wouldn’t even agree to that as a reason for divorce.