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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Fiscal Cliff and Divorce

Fiscal Cliff Follies!

So, if you were riding in the car I was driving, and I turned and started driving toward a  brick wall, going faster and faster, and then, when you were sure you were about to be in a awful wreck, but at the very last second, I  turned the corner, even though it meant I was headed toward another brick wall on another street, would you get all excited and be gratefully kissing my feet that I turned?  I know if you did it to me I wouldn't be.  I’d  be asking you what in the world is wrong with you and what you were thinking in the first place to drive into the wall, and why you decided to turn toward another one!

Well, that’s kind of what happened in D.C. isn't it?  The “fiscal cliff” and “budget crisis” exists primarily because of choices our leaders have been making for years, and by choosing not to seriously work out solutions, they created this “fiscal cliff” situation, so who are they kidding trying to convince us they have done something wonderful by working out this last deal?  They were the ones driving us into the brick wall, turning the corner to avoid something that shouldn’t have to be avoided in the first place?  And up to now (even now), all they do is blame the other party, regardless of which party they are in, it’s the other guys’ fault!  Really?  That’s what we elected them to do?  If only they would take as seriously doing their job effectively as they do creating political drama!

But that isn't what this blog is about.  You may be as frustrated over all this political garbage as I am, but I also think we can learn from it in other arenas.  They say that we are now in the time of year that includes a higher rate of divorce filings.  Could I suggest a parallel?  As these marriages are rushing headlong toward their various cliffs and brick walls, are they not in much the same position?  That is, the vast majority of divorces (if not all of them) come about because of crises created by the couple themselves!  Sure, there are divorces that come because of stress on the marriage due to natural disaster, or terrible losses such as the death of a child.  But even then, it isn't the stress that causes the divorce, but how the couple responds to the stress. 

In marriage, each partner makes choices, and there are choices that are made as a couple, too.  A few examples.  For instance, is one partner really going to choose to make a life and death crisis out of which way the toilet paper comes off the roll?  Are those dirty socks on the floor really worth discarding a marriage’s future?  Or, conversely, are the toilet paper coming off the front side, or saving a few steps to the clothes hamper really more important than how your spouse feels…to the point that you’d go to divorce court over them?  It kind of reminds me of the love chapter in 1 Corinthians 13, where love is described as not keeping score of wrongs suffered, as enduring all things…lots of give and take, lots of grace and forgiveness all included in that definition of love.

Choices, choices, choices.  As this new year begins, if you are married, how about making some choices in regard to your marriage, or encouraging some of your married friends to make wise choices?  You know, things choosing to turn off the TV, cell phone and computer until AFTER you have spent some significant time communicating to your spouse that you love them.  Or how about deciding that this year you will choose to simply accept that one little habit of your spouse’s that you currently choose to be irritated about?  Or how about choosing to CHANGE one of those habits you know annoys your spouse?  Or maybe just adopt a whole different attitude of choosing to be so centered on the needs of your spouse that you have no time left to be self-centered.  In other words, CHOOSE IN YOUR MARRIAGE TO DO WHAT WE WANT OUT GOVERNMENT LEADERS TO DO:  QUIT HEADING TOWARD THE CLIFF IN THE FIRST PLACE!

Divorce is a pretty lousy way to celebrate a new year.  How about doing your part to help lower the number of divorces filed by doing YOUR best to make sure your own marriage is excluded, and encourage friends whose marriages are struggling to get some perspective to make different choices?  Maybe we can lower the incidence of divorce just a little bit for 2013.  Sadly, I’m more optimistic that we can do that than I am the our elected officials will start acting responsibly!!!

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