(Notes on a discussion of one of today's major problems in modern societies:)
1. EVERY CASE HAS TO BE CONSIDERED ON ITS INDIVIDUAL MERITS and the problems involved. The rules laid down by the Lord in the New Testament had to do with the man putting away his wife, which was the custom in those days.
2. MEN COULD VERY EASILY DIVORCE THEIR WIVES in favour of another woman, which was forbidden by Christ unless the wife was already guilty of infidelity. There is not a great deal in the Bible on the subject of women who want to dump their husbands, except that it says that "the woman is bound to her husband as long as she lives" unless he departs, in which case Paul says in 1Cor.7 that "a brother or a sister is not bound in such a case."
3. THE SITUATION DEPENDS A GREAT DEAL ON THE ATTITUDE OF EACH of the two parties concerned. If either departs from the other, the remaining party is not bound to remain unmarried‚ according to the Scriptures. Therefore in a case quite obviously where, because of the agreement of both parties to be separated with the obvious intention of each to remarry, it amounts to an ipso facto divorce, to which in such a case the Scripture apparently consents by inference.
4. THE LORD IS VERY REASONABLE and merciful and understanding and loving and kind, so that if two people simply do not want to live with each other He does not make rules to force them to do so as man does. He agrees to let them depart from each other if that's what they both want.
5. THEREFORE, IF IT BE WITH THE CONSENT OF BOTH PARTIES, IT IS POSSIBLE AND SCRIPTURALLY PERMISSIBLE, with the understanding of possible remarriage to someone else. However, if either party objects to the divorce, it is strictly forbidden according to the Scriptures! It must be with mutual consent and uncontested, and it must be for the agreed reason that neither cares to live with the other any longer.
6. HOWEVER, WHERE CHILDREN ARE INVOLVED, THIS SHOULD BE AVOIDED by all means if possible, unless there is a very good reason why the relationship is no longer good for the children themselves‚ where parental strife is a constant bad influence on the children or could even endanger their physical safety.
7. WHERE SUCH A UNION IS THEREFORE POTENTIALLY INJURIOUS TO THE CHILDREN concerned‚ certainly a separation would seem better, in which case the only fair settlement is a division of the children also between father and mother according to agreement. Of course‚ if either is an unfit parent for any child, to award a child to such an unfit parent would certainly not be advisable.
8. IN THE CASE OF A DIVISION OF THE CHILDREN between two fit and agreeing parents, both the preference of the children and of each of the parents should be taken into consideration and if possible an agreement should be reached between all in which both the parents and the children are as satisfied and as well cared for as possible.
9. IF THE PARTIES CONCERNED FIND IT IMPOSSIBLE TO REACH AN AGREEMENT between themselves‚ then third parties must be brought in for arbitration and enforced settlement, preferably their superiors and elders and leaders in the Lord. The Local Colony Council in which they live should interview them, discuss their problems both together and separately and come to a united decision on what the Colony thinks is best to be done if they are to remain within our society.
10. IF EITHER OF THOSE CONCERNED OBJECTS TO THIS DECISION, it could possibly be appealed to a higher authority of the next level or two, but certainly no further, except in possibly extreme or exceptional cases.
11. IF EITHER STILL REFUSES TO AGREE to the settlement, the disagreeing party can always depart from the Colony as a backslider with none of the children and seek System legal assistance if they so desire‚ in which case the parents will be compelled to abide by the laws of the system of the country in which they both live and if they are both still living under its one legal jurisdiction.
12. HOWEVER‚ ONE COUNTRY CANNOT ENFORCE ITS LAWS ON ANOTHER country unless agreed upon by treaties or reciprocity and through the legal process of extradition which can prove quite difficult and easily avoidable by simply moving to another country.
13. SO IT WOULD BE FAR BETTER FOR BOTH PARENTS AND CHILDREN THAT THEY AGREE to the settlement recommended by their Colony and the officers under whose jurisdiction they live, rather than go to the extreme of leaving our Society to get their way by seeking assistance from the System and a court order to attempt to get it by force of law.
14. IN MOST CASES I WOULD STRONGLY ADVISE BOTH PARENTS WITH CHILDREN TO TRY TO STICK IT OUT and survive without separation for the sake of the children, at least until they are of legal age or sufficiently grown to understand it as well as to no longer be too heavy a burden on either parent.
15. HOWEVER, IN OUR SOCIETY IT IS EASIER FOR A WOMAN with children to live separately from her husband because she has the assistance of the Colony in the care of both herself and her children if the Colony so agrees. Even a man with children separated from his wife will receive assistance in the care of his children in our Colonies if the Colonies so agree.
16. SO THE ECONOMIC PROBLEMS of separate maintenance in our Society are almost non-existent compared to their severity in the System. However, for the sake of the psychological effects on the children of such a separation of a mother and father and the division of their small family unit, I would not advise it unless there is no other solution and such a solution is agreed upon by all concerned.
17. AS WRITTEN BEFORE IN "ONE WIFE" AND ELSEWHERE, IN OUR COMMUNAL COOPERATIVE TRIBAL FORM OF SOCIETY, THE LARGER FAMILY UNITY COMES FIRST and is far more important than the tiny private selfish family unit of two and their own children. So that which is best for the Colony or the larger Family is the primary consideration‚ and not merely the individuals involved.
18. EACH LIFE AFFECTS MANY OTHERS IN OUR FORM OF SOCIETY and must be lived in harmony with others and cannot be lived selfishly and privately as they individually please‚ unless they wish to leave the Colony and our Society. So a settlement which is agreeable to all concerned, and particularly to the larger Family unit of the Colony as a whole, is the most advisable and will undoubtedly be best for everyone concerned.
19. PERSONALLY, MOM AND I WERE ABLE TO STICK IT OUT FOR 25 YEARS and our children were all grown and married and could be on their own before we agreed to separate for reasons good for the Revolution, as you can all see by now. If you can't get along with the mate you now have under almost any circumstances, how do you know you're going to be able to get along with the next one under almost any other circumstances?
20. WE HAVE FOUND ALL TOO OFTEN THAT PEOPLE WHO CAN'T GET ALONG WITH THEIR MATES, FREQUENTLY CAN'T GET ALONG WITH ANY MATE! So that often it is not a problem of difference in mates, but the problem is in learning how to get along with anyone if necessary, particularly for your own sake, your children, the Colony and the Revolution.
21. TOO OFTEN A MATE IS SIMPLY BORED and wants a little variety or a change, but this is not a sufficient excuse for breaking up a marriage. The other mate may find it wise to let the adventurer sample a little variety or change if he or she can find it, and may find they'll return home better satisfied with what they already have, which is usually the case.
22. THE GRASS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE FENCE ALWAYS LOOKS GREENER, but usually only because of inaccessibility. A foray into other forage usually teaches us that the other field is no greener than our own. Our Colonies offer infinite variety and adequate opportunity, so there should be no problem by anyone in finding something for everyone!
23. HOWEVER, TOO OFTEN SOME MISMATCHING MATCHMAKER WITH THE MINISTRY OF MEDDLING barges their way into a Colony and tries to upset the fruit basket by offering new variety for everyone simply because they're a little dissatisfied with their mates.
24. BUT THIS RESHUFFLING OFTEN DOES MORE DAMAGE THAN GOOD in the long run. Too often the excuse is used that he or she is not a strong enough mate for you and drags you down, whereas a weaker mate may actually be what you need to be their strength and strengthen you!
25. THIS RESHUFFLING IS PARTICULARLY OFFENSIVE without authorization from leadership and where children are involved, particularly by some people who have been unsuccessful in their own marriages.
26. SOME PEOPLE SEEM TO HAVE FORGOTTEN ALL ABOUT SOMETHING CALLED LOVE, REAL LOVE‚ which can survive almost any difficulty‚ difference, weakness, shortcomings‚ failures, faults, sins, or obstacles. If you want to leave your mate simply because there is something about them you don't like, you're going to want to leave every mate you ever get, because there is bound to be something you don't like about each one!
27. THE ABSOLUTELY PERFECT MATE SIMPLY DOES NOT EXIST or they wouldn't be human‚ and too often what these particular perfectionists don't realise is that they themselves are not without their serious faults and obnoxious habits and unpleasant idiosyncrasies which are going to annoy whoever they live with.
28. SO IF THEY CAN STAND TO PUT UP WITH YOU, MAYBE YOU'D BETTER LEARN HOW TO PUT UP WITH THEM TOO and be thankful that anyone is willing to live with you at all, you stinker! Quit trying to run off with every new pretty face, soft touch or bulging muscle that passes by!
29. FOR GOD'S SAKE, AT LEAST DON'T GO AROUND BUSTING UP OTHER PEOPLE'S MARRIAGES JUST TO SATISFY YOUR OWN LUSTS or just because you can't understand what they see in each other!—Or because you want to justify your own broken marriage!
30. REAL LOVE IS NOT BLIND, BUT STILL HAS AN EXTRA EYE! But if you're so stupid as not to realise that, maybe you don't even have one! For God's sake, leave well enough alone and quit trying to pair up everybody you run into with somebody else you think would be better for them!
31. YOU MAY WIND UP WITH A BUNCH OF BROKEN MARRIAGES on your hands and a lot more unhappiness than if you'd just left them alone to scrap it out between themselves and be strengthened by the experience of being able to overcome their own difficulties. If they're not complaining, why should you be? Keep your long nose out of other people's business, Buttinsky!—Or you might just get it busted and deserve it!
32. IF IT BE OF MAN‚ IT'LL COME TO NAUGHT BY ITSELF. If it be of God, no man or woman can stand against it, so don't you try!
33. AND YOU LITTLE HOT PANTS who are always running off leaving your little Nobody Mate and going into heat over some big shot may find that you're jumping in and out of bed with Mr. Big Wheel may amuse him for while, but eventually leave you behind with Mr. Nobody again, and you're only the worse for wear!
34. AND YOU LEADERS WHO FALL PREY TO THE WILLING WILES of such willy nilly little rascals may wind up with your fingers burned for your trouble!
35. SO IN CONCLUSION I WOULD SAY THAT IN GENERAL THE BIBLE RULES FOR MARRIAGE ARE STILL THE IDEAL and work very well with God's help and your patience if given half a chance so why don't you try 'em?—Read 'em again and see if you can't make it work if you try!
36. SOME PEOPLE JUST DON'T TRY HARD ENOUGH OR GIVE GOD A CHANCE. That weak wife‚ Brother, ought to bring out the protective instinct in you or may be God's way of teaching you love, patience and mercy.—And that weak husband, Sister, may be just what you need to bring out the strong motherly instinct in you that'll make you a good leader and keep you both closer to the Lord!
37. FOR GOD'S SAKE, DON'T TRY TO HAVE TWO VERY STRONG LEADERS IN THE SAME FAMILY if possible, or they may simply tear it apart!—Somebody's got to be the follower!—Are you willing? If not, ask God to give you the grace to be willing to be made willing and try your best to make it work, or you may find you've simply jumped from the frying pan into the fire!—Of course, maybe that's just what you want—more fire—and you may get it and get burnt!
38. JUST REMEMBER THAT "WITH GOD NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE," and "all thing are possible to him that believeth," and you "can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth you" with enough supernatural Divine Love for anybody‚ so you could even put up with the Devil himself if you had to—like Jesus did!
39. JUST LET ME WARN YOU that any such excursions which affect children or result in a child or a broken marriage and a deserted mate are going to be strictly dealt with by us! Your position in the Family will be at stake!
40. IF THAT MATE "BE PLEASED TO DWELL WITH THEE" and your children, you'd better stick with them or you're going to hear from us!—And if that mate wants to stick to you no matter how many little flousies you add to your harem, you'd better stick it out—no matter how much you have to stick it out!
41. AND YOU'LL HAVE TO STICK IT OUT A LOT WITH THAT MANY AROUND!—In fact, you may have to stick it out so much you'll get so tired of it you'll wish you'd never had any additions to the one you already can't satisfy! God help you!
42. SO FOR GOD'S SAKE AND YOURS‚ TRY TO MAKE IT GO with the one you have!—And don't go to bed with anybody else unless you're prepared to make it permanent!
43. WE STILL BELIEVE IN MARRIAGE AND CHILDREN AND FAMILIES, and you're gonna be stuck with a bigger one then you may have expected if you don't look out!—And we're gonna make you stick with 'em if you stick with us!—Especially if children are involved.
44. OF COURSE, IF YOU WANNA DESERT THEM ALL and take off for parts unknown out of the Family, we'll be glad to have them and help them find a mate and a parent that deserves them more then you!
45. AND YOU MAY WAKE UP TOO LATE and find someone else has taken your place!—Like the sad old song:
"Somebody else has taken my place!—
Somebody else now shares your embrace!"
Divorcees Anonymous recommends: "Don't do it!—You'll be sorry!"
Stick to your mate!
—Or too late
May be your fate!