22 July 2009

should you stay in a marriage?

A couple of days ago, I was listening to Dave Ramsey. Someone emailed in that her husband just "discovered" that he was gay; however, they decided they would stay together for their young child until she was 18.

Dave recommended divorce. He said something to the effect of "ask any family therapist with any brains. They will tell you that staying together for the kids is a bad idea." Really? For what it's worth, I am a licensed and board certfied psychologist who is also a Christian. I also have a master's degree in counseling, where my primary focus was on marriage and family therapy. I briefly did research in the area of paternal absence and my results were pretty clear that separation isn't good for the child. Specifically, we found a link to childhood aggression.

Other research briefly described here demonstrates that children from divorced families are:

  • more likely to suffer academically
  • more likely to have legal problems
  • more likely to live in poverty
  • more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol

More importantly, what does the Bible say?

Malachi 2:16 (NIV): "I hate divorce," says the LORD God of Israel"



Genevieve said...

I agree wholeheartedly. Some of Dave Ramsey's ideas about financial health are sound, but I am more and more convinced that his worldview is vastly different than mine. One of the many reasons I would recommend his book, but not his radio show or website, which have become more of a pulpit for his rants than for any kind of wisdom.

Jason Kanz said...

I feel so blessed that I came through a family of divorce relatively unscathed, but I had a mother who was pretty magnificent and an extended family to surround me. With that said, there were times we were without.