The Sublette County Journal
Volume 5, Number 24 - 2/8/01
brought to you online by Pinedale Online
St. Valentine died a martyr on February 14, 270 and people came to believe that birds began to mate on that day. Then it became a custom for young people to meet on the eve of the saint's feast day. A gentleman drew the name of a lady and the two became valentines. A valentine in our day is a sweetheart or a gift sent to a sweetheart or someone dear to the sender.
It's a sweet time for sweethearts but it must be bittersweet for hearts broken by divorce. We are told that half the marriages being performed today end in divorce and the rate for second marriages is even higher. Change can be good but when a change in morality and family life results in broken marriages, one-parent families, bewildered children, and illness caused by emotional and financial stress, why don't we learn what is causing our problems and fix them?
Reverend Dick Kalber suggests that the 60's brought about a change that goes against the teaching of Jesus, Mohammed, and all the teachers of ancient religion. His theory is that our society began to switch from an emphasis on the welfare of the group to an emphasis on self. It was even called the "me" generation.
Are we seeing the consequences of that switch from the welfare of the group (family) to a self-centered attitude? When people marry who are more committed to self than to a spouse, the marriage hasn't much chance to survive. I suggest that the same thing has happened in our government and society as a whole.
It takes a unified effort by both spouses to nurture and teach children; to monitor the influences of materialism, television, and declining morals; and to honor their vows to each other.
I was asked if I had ever considered divorcing my husband. No, I haven't. I think the first few months of adjusting to "we" instead of "me" are difficult but not cause to quit. Besides, if you truly love (not just fall in love with) someone, how could it be that you stop loving that person? Maybe it's possible if that person hurts you enough and probable if that person hurts your child.
Never having been divorced I can only imagine the suffering, self-doubt, insecurities, guilt, financial struggles, and other consequences of deserting and being deserted. And, what's to assure a child that a parent who stopped loving its other parent won't stop loving the child too?
I find it hard to believe that anyone would marry knowing that the spouse was apt to abuse or drink too much or be unfaithful. Unfortunately, this does happen. Surely, no one is naive enough to really believe we can change a spouse into what we want one to be. Not that people can't change but they have to want to and to do it themselves. It seems reasonable to expect the person to change first and marry later.
Maybe many of the people who divorce married because most people marry and they feel inferior if they don't or, because they were more infatuated than in love.
When their expectations fall short, divorce is an easy out if they aren't committed enough to work things out. Such a marriage can hardly stand the stress of not enough money, demands of jobs, anger, or even petty irritations.
A person who believes in God and his commandments can hardly justify mistreating anyone, let alone a spouse or a child. It's far too common in our world that a big strong man deliberately abuses, physically or psychologically, the woman he promised to cherish. Too often children witness or experience terrible violence and suffer the consequences for their entire life.
Children are subjected to painful physical and mental abuse. Marriages are demeaned by infidelity. Is it any wonder that so many marriages fall apart?
I know the statistics are distressing and there are lonely hearts but there are still a lot of valentines around - spouses, children, grandchildren, and true friends. I have a lot of valentines and I hope you do too.
Happy Valentine's Day!
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