By David Schel
I was intrigued by students walking out of class for seventeen minutes on March 14th as well as March for Our Lives on March 24th. I wonder if their outrage might extend to another area of their lives where they’d be justified in feeling adults have failed them?
Just as all kids deserve a safe place to learn, they also deserve their two parents under one roof in a happy and healthy marriage. At least half our nation’s children don’t have this. Why aren’t kids as outraged about divorce, which happens up and down their block every day, as they are about something that happens in only a few places, and to only a tiny percentage of students, as horrifically tragic as it is in each instance? Because sons and daughters have no voice in their parents’ marriage. Yet they are the ones most hurt if that marriage ends.
Kids have always had a voice in their school through Student Council. It hasn’t been an equal voice; however, it has been a voice nonetheless. Students are feeling right now that this voice hasn’t been enough and so they are trying to have an even louder voice. In the end though, they are still powerless and dependent on adults to enact their desires. To even have their March for Our Lives, they needed adults to provide financial and logistical support.
So, what must happen for kids to speak up against divorce and organize a March for Our Families? How many more kids must grow up with all the losses, hardships, and depravity of divorce? The answer is simple, just as not one more child should ever again experience the devastation of a school shooting, not one more child should ever again experience the demolition of their family! Just as kids needed parental support to March for Our Lives, they would need parental support to March for Our Families. Are you ready parents? Are you ready to give up the divorce culture which has hurt so many and allow your children to march for their families? Have enough kids suffered yet?
To be clear, standing up against divorce is not being completely anti-divorce, per se. Rather, it is to be against the reasons that lead a couple down the path to divorce. Moreover, it is about embracing responsibilities to families. Divorce is a very sensitive subject in our culture. It is difficult to make concrete statements regarding the issue of divorce because it’s extremely personal and emotionally driven. Every marriage has a combination of dynamics, which can create gray areas that make divorce seem justifiable. Truth be told, the only reason divorce is truly justifiable is domestic violence. This criminal behavior should never be tolerated.
So, what would it mean to March for Our Families? Again, it’s simple. Kids expressing their desire for their parents to demand of themselves what they demand of their kids. That spouses get an education, keep their promises, and never quit!
Education is always the key to success, but when it comes to the two most important jobs of all – spouse and parent – no prior education is required. Depending on your state, anywhere from one hundred to seven-hundred-fifty hours of education are required for a manicurist license where the worst that can happen is a broken fingernail. Zero hours of education are required for a marriage license where the worst that could happen is a broken family.
Most people don’t want the government involved in their marriage. Understandably so. Unfortunately, the government is already involved in over half of marriages – through divorce – and at tremendous cost to taxpayers! Government is also intimately involved in the breakup of cohabitating couples with children and these relationships dissolve at even higher rates.
For the government to be involved in marriage education though does not mean they would be teaching it. They could just be record-keepers for 3rd party private educators of differing ideologies to freely teach from a broadly outlined curriculum addressing everyday marriage issues, including money, health, family, communication, intimacy, unmet expectations, conflict resolution, domestic violence, and the effects of divorce on children and adults. Grading would be based on attendance and in as much as course providers would pay the state a fee as well as scholarship those who can’t afford the course fee, there would be no extra cost to the state and the government would ultimately become less involved in marriage with less divorce.
Even with an education, marriage isn’t easy and help may be needed along the way. That’s okay. When a student isn’t doing well, parents don’t encourage kids to give up, get an F, and have a party. They encourage them to work harder, speak with a Guidance Counselor, get a tutor. Parents need to do the same with a marriage counselor – for as long as it takes – to fix and continue their marriage. Or else, stop teaching their kids to not quit their commitments.
Promises form the basis for our entire society. They are reflected in everything we do. Our contracts, our laws, even in every purchase we make, right on down to the smallest pledge – “I’ll pick you up from practice at five, honey!” Some people say promises are made to be broken. When they are, however, we know what happens every time. Feelings get hurt, hearts get broken, people get sued. Nothing good ever comes from a broken promise. And no broken promise hurts greater or harms more than the broken ones made to our partners. Wedding vows are more than just promises – they’re the most solemn pledges of all.
So, good for you kids, for speaking up because you feel adults aren’t listening. Sadly, if you want your families intact, you’re going to have to March for Our Families just like your March for Our Lives because adults aren’t listening. The dog didn’t eat our homework. We, as parents, haven’t done it.