Marriage is Easier the Second Time. Not!

Roughly 48% percent of all marriages will end in divorce in America. The family is under constant attack as the new norm has now become blended families. Over half of all families in our country are second marriages with step-parents, and blended siblings.

We even see in the Bible where this became the societal norm of doing whatever was right in our own eyes (Judges 17:6). It is sad and disheartening that so many families have reached this place of compromise, but we cannot simply ignore their plight, throw scripture grenades at them, and expect their circumstances to get any easier. These families need our help! Marriage is tough enough the first time, but blended and second marriages bring tons of complicated baggage, and husbands and wives need our support and guidance to navigate through these hills and valleys. Many churches have no equipping tools to assist these families so the husbands and wives end up feeling different, and left feeling like a third wheel.

What are some ideas of new church ministries, and even things you as an individual can do to help guide and encourage husbands and wives in this situation?

If you are on a second marriage and a blended family, what has been your experience, whether good or bad, in your church?

Katie Cruises Out of Tom’s Top Gun Life

by Stephen Goode

Why in the world is a pastoral marriage counselor writing about the breakup of a celebrity couple who had irreconcilable differences in their marriage? After all, isn’t it a common occurrence for celebrity couples to create endless make-up and break-up headlines? What good would it possibly do to discuss such a common Hollywood event?

Katie and Tom seemed so fun and exciting! They were always jetting around and having fun, many times with their daughter Suri. There has been nothing out of their monetary reach since Tom has amassed such a large fortune, and Katie still has more than most young ladies her age (likely millions). It should be the dream for most girls to marry someone famous and just live happily ever after, except for one large problem.

Worldview

Whether or not we wish to acknowledge it, we all have a core worldview that drives every decision we make. Who we are and what we believe is going to impact every single area of our lives, which is why I wasn’t surprised when the internet became clogged with stories and rumors about Katie leaving Tom in New York.

Tom’s Belief in Scientology and L. Ron Hubbard

Both Tom and Katie had very different religious upbringings. Katie was Catholic and Tom became indoctrinated into the world of Scientology to the point of fanaticism. Scientology stems from science fiction author L.Ron Hubbard. Hubbard’s beliefs were driven by the theory that confidence in one’s own abilities was man’s only hope for success. I am not making this up! In Hubbard’s words he said,

There is only one security, and when you’ve lost that security, you’ve lost everything you’ve got. And that is the security of confidence in yourself; to be, to create, to make any position you want to make for yourself. And when you lose that confidence, you’ve lost the only security you can have. … Self-confidence is self-determinism. One’s belief in one’s ability to determine his own course. As long as one has that, he’s got the universe in his pocket. And when he hasn’t got that, not all the pearls in China nor all the grain and corn in Iowa can give him security, because that’s the only security there is.

Why World Views Matter

The Apostle Paul directed Christians to not marry non-believers (those who do not follow Jesus Christ 2 Cor 6:14), but why? Isn’t it enough to be great looking, and striving to be happy? If you look at Katie and Tom they are a hot looking couple with everything going their way! Why did Katie run from all the things that so many of us dream of having and achieving?

As amazing as all these achievements are, it boiled down to worldviews!

Tom’s commitment to Scientology has been seen for years and he has proclaimed his beliefs on many shows. Few know that Tom actually aspired to become a Catholic priest when he was younger, but when his acting career launched he never looked back. He placed Scientology in the spotlight and in 2005 everyone remembers the jumping couch episode on Oprah as he proclaimed his love for Katie.

Worldviews Impacted Child Rearing

Most articles are pointing to Tom and Katie’s daughter Suri as a primary driver in Katie’s leaving. Katie was in fear of Suri being indoctrinated into Scientology causing Katie to take drastic measures to protect Suri from Tom. Although there are many inconsistencies we go through as Christian parents, at least we have a clear playbook in the Bible on how to reach a consensus.

This is why it is so important to discuss religious beliefs with even a potential spouse. Doing so you can see if you are both in agreement on your beliefs and commitment to Jesus Christ. There is enough chaos in a Christian marriage without finding out you and your spouse don’t have the same belief systems! One of the only things that have kept my Wife April and I together was our common faith in Jesus Christ. There were days we awoke not wanting to be married anymore, but the common bond in Christ tied us together while we worked through our differences.

We all need to pray for Katie and Tom as they go their separate ways, but most of all I pray for salvation to come to Tom’s life.

What ideas and comments can you add to this topic?