In the wake of the marital split between actress Gwyneth Paltrow and rocker Chris Martin, the psychotherapist who coined the term—Katherine Woodword Thomas—defined what “conscious uncoupling” means, as she guested March 31 on NBC News’ Today.
“…[a] conscious uncoupling is a breakup characterized by good will, by generosity and by respect. It is a process that leaves both parties feeling valued and appreciated for all that was shared…”*
But since when is divorce supposed to be a positive experience, where two people show “goodwill, generosity, and respect,” and where both parties feel “valued and appreciated?” Divorce is supposed to be messy—AND painful. Our kids, our society needs to see that marriage is nothing to be entered into lightly, or dissolved without great consideration for how many lives will be shattered by that breakup. It’s D-I-V-O-R-C-E; you can call it whatever you want, but you can’t remove the pain. You can only run from it, or numb it for a while.
Pain is an essential component of living and learning. We can wrap ourselves—and our kids—in gauze, hoping to outsmart life as we live it. But at the end of the day, we all must experience pain, because it’s part of the fall of man.
What does the Bible say about suffering—especially for CHRISTIANS?
Romans 5:35 (ESV) …we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
Romans 8:18 (ESV) For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
1 Peter 4:12-19 (ESV) Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.
In Hebrews 2, the author talks about how Jesus was “made perfect” through His suffering. Had He not a complete understanding of human pain, how could we accept Him as our High Priest, the One making intercession on our behalf?
Christians who believe their confession of faith should somehow merit a life free from suffering have not encountered Christ on the cross. Anything we do that God hates should cause us pain, so—just like touching a hot stove—we learn from our misery, and NEVER DO IT AGAIN! It’s hard to watch someone we love suffer, but it's inevitable, especially for believers. Does Jesus understand? Absolutely. He’s been there. You can trust Him with your pain.