Those Whom God Hath Joined Together…

…we pretty much ignore, apparently.

So this is probably old news to much of the world,  marriage might be a religious institution, we might have to go the whole nine yards and say that divorce is too.

And while we knew that the United States had long lost respect for the holy vows of matrimony, South Korea is not far behind. To be specific, Korea is third behind the US and the UK in terms of the highest rates of divorce in the world.

Quite a shame considering South Korea boasts numbers as high as 50% of the population being Christian. It seems increasingly difficult to correlate healthy marriages to Christianity.

We don’t have numbers for Korean American couples, but I’m sure they can’t fare that much better. The stress of the immigrant experience can only add to the burden on a marriage. I’ve witnessed marriages in which the couple serve as merely glorified roommates, and once the nest is empty, the opportunity to quit playing charades often grows. Confucianism can lead to the most hollow of relationships. Many children benefit from the parents’ sacrifices, but not from their examples.

I applaud the church in the above article for addressing the issues, as we cannot accept the fact that the mere proliferation of the Gospel will do the work of true transformation in the very metaphor of Christ’s love for the church. It is simply not in our culture to love one another well:

Contrary to the Korean system, husbands and wives “must learn” communication skills, Park said.

“In Korean culture [there is] no cross communication,” he said. “Men are handicapped; they don’t know how…. You must learn to talk to one another in order to enjoy a healthy relationship. Pastors must learn these skills and then teach them to their congregations.”

The following video asks the question, “Is Marriage Dead?” by NYC’s “The Resident”. Marriage is absolutely a sacrement (holy moment), but we bear the responsibility to value it in our own lives.  What God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.

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Comments

  1. Joseon says:

    ‘It seems increasingly difficult to correlate healthy marriages to Christianity.’

    I always found it odd how states in the Bible Belt have the highest divorce rates in the country.

    http://boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2004/10/31/walking_the_walk_on_family_values/

    What’s happening in Korea is troubling, as well. I think the main reasons seem to be:

    1.) traditional machismo clashing with greater gender equality

    2.) love of money and status over relationships

    3.) breakdown of community caused by urbanization

  2. elderj says:

    David, you’ve gone and stepped in it… bringing up some very close to the heart issues. The causes of divorce are many and varied, but the prevalence of divorce among Christians is shameful. The prevalence of divorce in the Bible belt is sad, but not surprising given that people marry at younger age — which is itself an indicator of the probability of divorce.

    The breakdown of community – and the consequent isolation of married couples does contribute to it I’m sure. The marriage relationship is expected to provide much more in the way of emotional, spiritual, and physical support than it was historically – perhaps more than a single other person could reasonably expect to shoulder. Combine that with the cult of privatized religion that virtually shuts people out of one another’s lives… the results are not too surprising.

  3. maliha11 says:

    divorces are very destructive no matter what religion it takes place in, its the same harm every where.

  4. David Park says:

    maliha11, I agree that divorce is destructive regardless of religion, but my point is that it marriage is considered a sacrement (holy moment) in the Christian faith. I am being a little more than facetitious when I insinuate that because the church has disrespected marriages, they should honor divorces, but only in light of the fact that we have failed to uphold any notion of the sanctity of the institution itself. By no means am I saying that divorce is not destructive. I just have a roundabout way of saying it 🙂

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