So Article 50 has been delivered. The news has been filled with people's responses. One of the most common analogies used is that of a divorce. That we've filed to end our marriage with the EU, based on irreconcilable differences.

This has led to those who voted Brexit saying how divorce is often for the best. They sound like the children's book that we picked up from the Library this week: "Two Nests".

It's all about how a mummy bird and daddy bird are much happier when they live separately, in two nests. Their little baby bird gets to fly happily between them. It's the false hope that I have heard time and time again from parents leaving their marriage: it will be better for the kids because we'll be happier. Fortunately for most chicks, birds are generally pretty good at staying together for the breeding season.

On the other side of the Brexit vote, those who wanted us to stay in are emphasising the pain and cost of divorce. They want to make clear the lasting damage that will be done to us a nation as we are torn away from the continent.

The thing is that Brexit isn't divorce. Brexit is the end of a economic and political treaty between the UK and continental Europe. It's not the ripping apart of two people united in relationship by God.

Divorce is always tragic in the Bible, because it's not the financial cost, but the relational cost that the Bible emphasises. The pain of broken trust and the distress of divided families. The Lord says in the book of Malachi:

'Has not the one God made you? You belong to him in body and spirit. And what does the one God seek? Godly offspring. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful to the wife of your youth.

“The man who hates and divorces his wife,” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “does violence to the one he should protect,” says the Lord Almighty.

So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful.' (Malachi 2:15-16)

Now this is God's word to God's people. The Bible never expects people who aren't Christians to live according to the Bible. But for those of us who are believers in Jesus Christ there are two reasons that the Lord calls on husbands, in particular, to remain faithful in marriage.

Firstly, the sake of the children; God says that children need faithful marriages, so that they can learn of Him. The parents are both to model and teach what it is to know God.

Secondly, the sake of the wife. The husband is charged to protect her, and divorce does her violence. Not necessarily physically. But always emotionally. It might not be politically correct. But it's true.

So let's stop calling Brexit a divorce. It trivialises the deep pain felt by those whose marriages have tragically ended in divorce. And it belittles the seriousness of God's attitude to this most precious of human relationships.

Divorce is much more serious than Brexit.

 

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