Why has divorce received special mention recently? It’s nothing new. Liberals are constantly testing the waters, like what they did when the RH bill was still being pushed. And as we pro-lifers mentioned time and again, ad nauseam, the implementation of the RH law will be followed by pushing bills like divorce, as we are seeing now.
Our divorce pushers have managed to turn this dialogue on divorce a demagogue where sound reason is trumped and drowned out by the clamor for the destruction of marriage. But wait, there’s more to marriage than just two folks agreeing to sign a piece of paper. Before we start joining this divorce bandwagon, let me point out some important things about marriage that we might have overlooked.
The family is the basic unit of society. Mommy and Daddy are not only biological parents; they are also the primary source of protection, education, and values of children – all necessary for them to grow up as citizens contributing to the good of our society. To ensure the stability of the family, mom and dad’s marriage need to be stable – in fact, it needs to be permanent. Children grow up best in this stable environment where mom and dad work together to build the family in love. A stable family ensures a stable society.
It is a fact that couples do experience difficult times during their marriage, but this should not mean that they should foresake the vows they have taken on their wedding day. “For better or worse…until death do us part” is a promise the bride and the groom make that is permanent, and a vow that should never be foresworn. On their wedding day, they promise to stick it out with each other and with the family they have built together until the end. If we allow couples to divorce, every couple facing trial and tribulation will most likely choose the easier way: divorce. In this case, who will be there long enough to build a solid family? Here is where we see that marriage is something that is intrinsically good for society, and society benefits from this permanence of marriage.
Divorce, on the other hand, only seeks to separate the couple by making them renounce the marital vows they promised to each other years ago. There is nothing intrinsically good in divorce. It destroys the family, and studies show that this destruction has profound and lasting effects on the couple’s children. Children who grow up in this stressful environment of brokenness are a shell of themselves when they eventually grow into adults taking part in building society. The family is, after all, the microcosm of society.
Divorce proponents say that a divorce law will prevent husbands from physically and emotionally abusing their wives. This is wrong on two counts: first, abuse does not primarily come from husbands. Many husbands ARE victims of abuse, but will not come out publicly to admit it. Regardless of who does the abuse, a divorce law will not prevent it; it only grants the victim a way out of the marriage.
Instead of divorce, why don’t we see the good in marriage and reinforce and strengthen couples? Learning to be a good husband and wife, and learning how to be even greater parents, takes years to fully grasp. We therefore should support all efforts by both the Church and the government to come up with tangible solutions in order to strengthen the family. A lot of effort should also be made to prepare those who seek marriage, so they do not wed unprepared for the realities of married life. Let us build and fortify the family instead of destroying it.
What has marriage and the family contributed to society? A lot. So it makes sense to preserve this institution instead of destroying it. On the other hand, what has divorce contributed to society? Is it more logical to destroy and to separate, rather than to strengthen and rebuild?
Anthony James U. Perez
Filipinos for Life