Jon & Kate Gosselin: A Family Tragedy Times Eight
- Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Last night I watched one of the most heart-breaking television programs I’d ever seen: Jon & Kate Plus 8 (TLC). The reality show — molded out of the daily lives of the Gosselin family (Mom, Dad, a set of twins, and sextuplets) — had for many seasons been one of my favorite escapes from the oft-nauseating TV menu comprised of Nightly News (depressing), profanity-filled sit-coms (disgusting), and a multitude of other reality shows (dumb).
Jon & Kate seemed to have it all. But the illusion quickly began to crumble around us all when, a few months ago, it was reported that Jon was having an extra-marital affair. Then came the troubling eyewitness testimony from friends and family about how Jon and Kate were barely hanging on to the idyllic image that Hollywood had created for them.
The true reality of Jon & Kate Plus 8 was that Mommy and Daddy were not getting along, the marriage was floundering, the family was rife with tension, and wealth/fame had reportedly become the prime motivator (to some degree) for remaining in the spotlight no matter what the cost. The show, in other words, was a sham.
Finally, last night, after months of speculation, rumors, and gossip, we tuned in to hear the tragic truth straight from the Mom and Dad Gosselin. Yes, they were getting a divorce per an on-screen caption that was about as cold and direct as it gets: "On Monday June 22, 2009, legal proceedings were initiated in Pennsylvania to dissolve the ten-year marriage of Jon and Kate Gosselin.”
Especially disturbing were some of the comments made by both Jon & Kate, which indicated that far from seeking to make things work with each other, they were simply giving up and moving on — despite their “Christian” faith and their professed desire to live godly lives according to scripture which, in addition to giving a plethora of advice/truth about how to live as Christians, also condemns divorce:
“I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery" (Matt. 19:9).
“Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate" (Mk. 10:9).
“To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife” (1 Cor. 7:10-12).
“Are you married? Do not seek a divorce” (1 Cor. 7:27).
Keep in mind that with regard to Jon and Kate, we are not talking here about anything extreme
that would necessitate either Jon or Kate leaving. Jon is not beating
Kate. Nor is Kate having multiple affairs or abusing the children. This
is a common issue of a man and woman who, ten years after getting
married, are now two VERY different people than the ones they were when
they first met and fell in love — due in part to circumstances that
thrust them into the public’s eye, which in turn brought them wealth
and fame. They are also people who, like everyone else, has issues they
But rather than working, working, working, and working even more at the marriage — they've quit. Rather than fighting with every fiber of their being for the godly/biblical way to handle their conflict and differences — they've given up. Rather than scratching and clawing and tenaciously holding on to each other no matter how much pain it causes — they've let it all go. Rather than seeking God’s help to go God’s way — they've opted for escape so there will be, as Kate put it, “peace.”
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