My wife and I started watching Jon and Kate about a year ago and got hooked. The kids are simply too adorable. We watched together the other night as the news broke about the divorce. As much as reality TV often presents a distorted view of the world, we sadly found that the family’s troubles are all too real and just as common among many marriages. While few of us have TV contracts or two vans full of kids, we can often face the same challenges of marriage. Some of my thoughts.
1. Marriage is hard.
Apparently Jon and Kate got married when they were 22 and 24. While that is not excessively young for marriage, I have found many younger couples look at only the bright side of marriage with unrealistic expectations. The expected romance, constant companionship and unending love. But once the honeymoon ends and real life hits, the real work of marriage begins. Throw one or two (or eight) kids in the mix and it can lead to an explosive situation or more commonly a steady erosion of that love that once seemed so unending.
2. People are messed up.
It doesn’t take much of watching the show to witness how two people can be self-centered, uncaring, mean, angry, and greedy. But really, most of us aren’t much better. Marriage can bring out the worst parts of us that we didn’t even know existed. One of the most important things marriage has taught me is how big a jerk I can be. And more often than not, rather than changing myself, I blame my spouse.
3. God can change things.
Without God’s help, we are all helpless to our selfish and destructive nature. But if we chose to put God at the center of our lives, and seek His will rather than our own, God can change us from the inside out. He can replace our selfishness with love, our anger with patience, and our fear with trust. I have seen marriages brought back together from the worst of situations in a way that was just short of miraculous. God works in ways that we can’t do on our own.
I don’t know what is in store for the Gosselins, or where they stand with God, but I hope that they will be able to look outside of themselves and let God repair in their marriage. Even when things look their worst, Jesus says, “I make all things new.”