We Oklahomans have been getting a lot of publicity lately. No, I’m not talking about the nation-wide conversation about whether Sam is going to play or not. I’m talking about the articles that have been appearing in state newspapers and then circulated around the nation, and even in The Tehran Times. Go figure? All of the articles that have been published in the last two weeks have had to do with the failure of our marriages, the multiple times that Oklahomans marry, and the price that kids pay as a result.
If you missed the articles then you can read them simply by clicking on the links I’ve provided for you. The article in The Daily Oklahoman on September 15 titled, Lawmakers Study Divorce in Oklahoma, was interesting to me because it was so “business-like.” It gave me the impression that several corporate politician types got together in a room with a huge table and big leather chairs and concluded, “Divorce is costing our state money so we should change our public policy to help couples stay married.” That’ll fix it! Right. Just like your policies have fixed everything else huh?
Just two weeks later an article appeared in The Tulsa World titled, Oklahoma Women Are The Marrying Kind. The article quotes Mel Wellington, a minister and counselor in Tulsa, who said, “It’s not until death do us part, it’s until stress do us part.” I thought it was an interesting quotation because political types, Republicans and Democrats, want to legislate everything under the sun. They want to write bills, use legal jargon, try and “wow” us with their confident powers of persuasion, and convince us that they have the answer. Maintaining a marriage is much more than writing good public policy, it involves learning to deal with life’s struggles, TOGETHER, as a couple. Stress, the troubles of life, will either draw a couple closer together or it will split them like a lumberjack cutting firewood.
I think Mel Wellington has hit on something when he offered his take on the cause of the fragmenting marriages around our state. Marriage is a living entity that must be cared for, nurtured, cherished, healed when broken, and maintained through each of the changing seasons of life. In the 27 years that I’ve been married to the love of my life I’ve witnessed firsthand how stress and trials can pull and fray at our marriages. The tools needed to weather the storms are prayer, prayer together as husband and wife, and recognizing that God gave us to one another to bless and care for (even when we could care less!!).
Public Policy might help cut the costs to the State, but it is laughable to think that another policy will help save a marriage. We need to encourage couples to pursue God with all of their heart, both individually and together as a couple.