I've been in a funk all day, and I believe Jon and Kate are to blame.
Just in case you've managed to escape all of the Jon and Kate hype, I'll get you up to speed. Go ahead and skip the next paragraph if this is old news. It's like a choose-your-own-adventure, isn't this fun?
So Jon and Kate have a reality show on TLC called "Jon & Kate + Eight" which chronicles the real-life joys and struggles of raising eight kids - a set of twin girls (age 8?) and also sextuplets (3 boys, 3 girls, age 5). Trouble has been brewing for the couple in the last few months. On last night's show they announced that they are separated, and actually filed for divorce yesterday.
I'm not going to go on and on about this, but I just need to get some things off my chest so that hopefully I can move on and not let their situation get me down any longer.
The first time I visited Gary's parents' house, there was a small wooden sign in the bathroom that said, "The best gift a mother can give her kids is to love their father." I'm so thankful that Gary and I both grew up believing and witnessing that.
It was quite evident in the interview with Jon and Kate that their kids are first in their family. That sounds so positive and innocent and hard to find fault with. But it's so dangerous. Of course parents should love their kids. OF COURSE. But a husband and wife need to love each other first.
In last night's show, Jon said, "it's not good for us to be arguing in front of our kids." While I don't believe in regularly having blow-outs in front of our kids, I think it's okay for them to occasionally see Gary and I have problems. But what they also see is how we apologize to each other and make things right. I can safely say that their world has never been shaken by seeing us disagree.
Kate said, the separation/divorce is "necessary because [her] goal is peace for the kids." Peace is never going to be achieved when parents don't love each other and the family is broken. My heart breaks for Jon, Kate and all of the kids.
Both Jon and Kate justify their decision to end their marriage based on the fact that it's a good decision for their kids. No. No it isn't.
They repeatedly talked about how it's all about the kids. I think that's why they're in this pickle. They even referred to their home as "their house" - referring to the kids. Jon said they bought it for them - "the security, the room, the land... all for them." I think they need to worry less about the security the house has to offer and worry more about the security that a loving marriage and family has to offer. That's where the kids will find real security - in watching a mommy and daddy who can't imagine life without the other.
I remember reading an article called Truly, Madly, Guiltily several years ago that received a LOT of negative feedback. The author, Ayelet Waldman was chastised for admitting that she loves her husband more than her kids. People were so upset with her claim, calling her an uncaring and bad mother. It's an excellent article. It's always stuck with me, because I'm also one of the weirdos who loves her husband more than her kids.
But I have a confession.
Gary and I are each having an affair.
While Ayelet may have been scrutinized for admitting she loves her husband more than her kids, I'll admit that I love the Lord first, even before Gary. Gary would say the same thing.
I think there's just an order to things.
No matter what comes our way, Gary and I married almost ten years ago on the premise that NOTHING would break us apart. We made a covenant before the Lord and before our family and friends that isn't ours to break. The only way we can keep it is by loving the Lord first, and then each other. Loving our kids and ignoring our marriage might keep our kids happy temporarily, but it sure isn't going to do anything to strengthen that covenant.
I'm sad for Jon and Kate and the eight kids who are being dragged through this mess. I'm going to continue to pray for them, and can only hope that they come to their senses and cancel the show so they can deal with this, without all of the world peering in, hoping to watch them fail. Isn't that why the ratings have been so high?
Hang in there, Jon, Kate, and your cute little eight.