Recently, family Wapiti did some hunting for a new church home subsequent to moving to a different house in a different locale. In the process, I noted something that all of the larger churches had: a divorce support group.
How the Church handles divorce is always a thorny issue, one that often earns her some jeers from the manosphere. On the one hand, there is the pastoral responsibility to look after the flock, to close ranks around those in need. On the other there is the pastoral responsibility to discipline the flock, rebuking wayward brothers and sisters toward repentance.
While I tend to think that pastors err too much toward caring and not enough toward discipline, I recognize that the Church and her leaders are presented with a no-win scenario: What should be done about those members of the Body who divorce, or those divorcees who present themselves at the church door? Care for them? Or discipline them? Adding to the problem is victimhood. Usually, divorcees will blame their former spouse for their quandary: women because he was such an abusive or bad guy that they had to get out, men because the solipsistic and hysterical woman took their children, sold them for a few ducats and prizes, and kept half or more of his hard-earned stuff. How are church leaders to know the difference, when most/all claim that “she kidnapped my kids and took me to the cleaners” or “he was so bad I had no choice”?
So I can appreciate the difficult position the Church and her leaders are in. That said, what I find reprehensible is when Church leaders exculpate one population from their sins, and by extension, placing responsibility for the state of this population on another group. In this case, I’m talking about choice mommies–the “population”–and men, the always-useful other. Single mothers are near-canonized in churches, those saintly women, struggling so hard to make ends meet. Little thought is given to how they got into that position, and whether or not their present condition was due to her choice (most likely) or his (far less likely but still possible).
Thus I cringe when I see things like this from Pastor Driscoll of Mars Hill. I suppose one can add his moral support to the sum total of cultural and financial incentive for women to divorce, and to the near-complete liberalist campaign of removing the stigma from choice mommyhood:
It’s important for kids without a dad to have godly, male investment in their life. Young boys without a dad need the godly investment of a man. Young girls without a dad need a godly man’s loving encouragement. And the single moms really appreciate godly men investing in their kids.
[The church nursery is] a good place to meet a nice gal. Single guys may not know this, but nice, single gals who love Jesus and want to marry and become a mom someday are working in the nursery. That’s like fishing in a trout pond if you’re a single guy. And the single moms dropping off their kids should be considered for marriage too. After all, Jesus’ mother was a single mom until Joseph married her and adopted Jesus. [bolded emphasis mine]
As mentioned before, there are many reasons for children to be without a dad, and not many of them are good. This white-knighting on behalf of single mothers may be helping a truly innocent woman make her way through a bad situation. Or more likely it is enabling the terrible choices of a choice mommy who has and is harming her children through her self-destructive and child-harming behavior. Furthermore, how do/would my male readers feel, if your children are the ones a choice mommy is presenting to the nursery for some Godly man investment, as opposed to your paternal guidance?
Then there is the bit about trolling for a wife in the single mom pond. This is just not very wise, and I recommend my brothers avoid looking to this population for long-term mates. Sorry choice mommies, I’m not judging you, but I am judging the evidence, and coming to appropriate conclusions based upon that evidence.
Last, there is the whole bit about Mary being a single mom. I doubt Pastor Driscoll is intending to indulge in blasphemy here, more likely he is clumsily attempting to illustrate that we may not know exactly how a single mother found herself in her position. Even then it is an imperfect analogy, for Mary wasn’t single, she was betrothed, which back then was a state akin to marriage. Joseph took betrothal-marriage so seriously that he meant to divorce her quietly–therefore turning Mary into a single mom for being an apparent adulteress–and would have were it not for divine intervention.
Rather than soft-pedal and condone the socially retrograde behavior of choice momies, perhaps church leaders would do better to sadly note their condition while strenuously condemning from the pulpit divorce as the evil that God hates, an evil that Moses only granted to the Israelites because their hearts were hard. I still think Dalrock’s sign at the church door would serve as a good reminder to all that while accidents happen, divorce is not accidental.
About the author: EW is a well-trained monkey operating heavier-than-air machinery. His interests outside of being an opinionated rabble-rouser are hunting, working out, motorcycling, spending time with his family, and flying. He is a father to three, a husband to one, and is a sometime contributor here at Spearhead. More of his intolerable drivel is available at the blog The Elusive Wapiti.