By Lynn D. Headrick
The title of this article is the wording of the headline over Ann Landers’ column in the Birmingham Post Herald of May 17, 1990. Her column reads as follows:
Dear Ann Landers: if anyone has the slightest doubt that we are living in a totally different world today, I challenge them to browse through the stationery store on the corner and check out beautiful cards for all occasions with the following messages:
Best wishes to My Dear Mother and Her Husband.
Greetings to my Wonderful Stepson.
Many Happy Returns to Dad and His New Wife.
Holiday Wishes to My Former Grandparents. I divorced your grandson, not you.
Congratulations on a Great Divorce!
Happy Anniversary to My Former In-Laws Who are Still in My Heart.
Best wishes to My Former Husband on His Birthday.
Happy Fourth of July to My Live-In Sweetheart.
Congratulations on Your Marriage. This one is sure to work. The third time is always a charm.
Indeed, these messages on greeting cards mirror a great change in our society. As Ms. Landers says, “We are living in a totally different world today.” God spake to Moses concerning the people saying, “Oh that there were such a heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that is might be well with them, and with their children forever!” (Dent. 5:29) Things are not well in marriage relationships in our society because people do not keep God’s commandments which are for our good (Deut. 10:13).
Have ye not read, that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, for this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh? So that they are no more two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let man put asunder” (Matt. 19:4-6).
Commercial greeting card publishers will not publish a card which will not sell for a profit. There must be a demand for a card which congratulates one on what is termed a “Great Divorce!” How desperately we need to teach young people that marriage is to be entered into with the idea that they will remain together until death. When problems in the marriage relationship arise, the thinking should be toward settling them immediately and there should not be the idea of getting a divorce. God said, “I hate putting away” (Mal. 2:16).
There would be no demand for cards which congratulate mother on her new husband and father on his new wife if every mother would teach the younger women to love their husbands (Tit. 2) and do so by way of personal example. If every husband would love his wife (Eph. 5:28) he would never receive a card to congratulate him on his new wife.
Social workers, juvenile court judges, school teachers and administrators and, indeed, all who think about the well-being of children know that divorce has a traumatic effect upon children. If God’s laws were followed parents would stay together and love their children. As you read this article determine in your own mind that there will be absolutely no need for your having to purchase and send a card to a stepson or to former grandparents, or to former in-laws because you have been selfish and divorced your partner or because you have married someone with whom you have no scriptural right to live.
Even the casual observer knows that cards which send greetings to one’s live-in sweetheart are very marketable because of the great number of people who live in such a situation. Our society uses a polite term like “my live-in sweetheart” but God calls this sinful arrangement by the term “fornication.” May God help God-fearing young people to overcome any temptation to live in this manner. “Flee fornication” (1 Cor. 6:18) because it will cause the loss of your soul.
We need to teach, teach, and do some more teaching concerning God’s marriage laws. They are for our good. Much heartache is spared by doing the will of God. Brethren, uphold the hands of Bible class teachers, preachers, elders and faithful parents who teach the truth on marriage. Little children need to memorize John 3:16 and Acts 2:38 but now let us include Matthew 19:4-6. May God give us the courage to live above the world in all areas of life.
Guardian of Truth XXXIV: 21, pp. 641, 663
November 1, 1990