“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” -Genesis 2:24
“…as long as we both shall live.” -traditional wedding vow
Apparently, vows don’t count much in Hollywood anymore. USA Today is focusing on the topic, proclaiming “they’re all out of love but the spotlight lives on.” I wonder how much the star power of divorce sets a cultural trend that isn’t quite so great.
On Thursday, the news broke publically that Amy Winehouse’s two-year marriage to Blake Fielder-Civil had ended. Mr. Fielder-Civil called her “intolerable to live with.” This was the latest in the current string of celebrity break-ups.
I haven’t kept up with all of them, but apparently the list includes Billy and Katie Lee Joel, Nas and Kelis, Usher and Tameka Foster Raymond, the 16-year marriage of Bradley Whitford and Jane Kaczmarek and the 28-year marriage of Mel Gibson and Robyn Moore. And, of course, Jon and Kate Gosselin, who I’ve really heard enough about lately.
It’s it times like this that I root for them to do the same kind of story–and give the same kind of graphics, pictures and focus to the couples who are staying together. There are actually more than you think.
One of the most overblown and inaccurate statistics in our culture is that “half of all marriage end in divorce.” If one was to research it, you’d find out that it’s not true. You see, there are, indeed, about half as many divorces as there are marriages each year. But that statistic doesn’t take into account all of those who stay married in a certain year. I can’t remember the last time I saw a lead story about all of the marriages that remained together for another year! And, especially, not from Hollywood.
Oh wait a minute! Beliefnet just published a cool gallery of Celebrity Soulmates, couples who managed to stay out of the tabloids and focus on keeping their relationship strong.
Let’s hear it for the likes of Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, going strong well after 20 years, even in the brightest of Hollywood limelight.
So let’s hear it for Karl and Mona Malden, who’s marriage lasted 70-plus years until his recent death. (They’re not included in the “Celebrity Soulmates” gallery, though I vote they should be in the follow-up.)
I know it’s not as sexy, but it is inspiring and beautiful to hear of those who’ve gotten married, work at marriage, stay married, and say to our culture that it is possible to live out the biblical invitation in a modern-day context.