Love and Alzheimers

Televangelist Pat Robertson (yeah that Pat Robertson) answered a viewers question this week in regards to Alzheimers and dating, by saying it would be understandable to divorce a spouse with the disease.

As you let that sink in you can see more on the story at Thinking Out Loud, an awesome blog by Paul Wilkinson that you should check out.

I don't want to comment too much on the story, beyond saying that I am appalled that this televangelist would make such a flip comment.

The issue it raises in my mind, though, is what value we, as believers, put on our marriages period.

I am saddened when I see the divorce rate among Christians equaling that of non-Christians. It seems that as we imitate the world, we are also forgetting the plain words spoken by Jesus on the matter:

"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." "Why then," they asked, "did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?" Jesus replied, "Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery."(Matthew 19:4-9)

Divorce was clearly not part of God's plan. In fact, it says that it was because their hearts were hard that Moses even spoke to the subject.

Hardened hearts should scare the HELL out of every Christian.

Divorcing a sick spouse is, in itself, sickening. And while we're thinking about it, might I add that way too much justification takes place in Christian circles, when it comes to the breakup of marriages--"I was lonely; I was bored; I was dissatisfied; He could never make me happy; she didn't meet my needs; I hated his job; she wasn't submissive; he didn't take leadership seriously..." Unless something's changed overnight, we don't live in a perfect world--we live in hopes of a perfect heaven, where Jesus meets our every need.

However, there is another issue at play here as well. While we may think we would never divorce because of illness, the enemy may gain ground in our marriages all the same. Are we even honoring our spouses? Where do we place our priorities? Are we chasing after our own pleasures or are we seeking to honor and bless the spouse (and maybe kids) that God has blessed us with?

Jesus loved extravagantly--sacrificially. He laid down His life for us out of love, yet in some marriages, it seems we forget to love as Christ loved and each seeks to get their own way.

It's a challenge to us all.

Can we love our spouses as Christ loved us? Will we put their needs and wants above our own? If both husband and wife seek to do that, then no matter what response it gains in the home, a harvest of righteousness is being sown, and there is peace in obedience.

Ultimately we are called to love though, without expecting a return!

I would love to see more Christians putting a priority on their marriages, above their own desires.

*Since this is about marriage, my wife and I wrote this piece together.

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