John and Kate plus 8 is a widely popular show about a a family with eight kids, six of them from one birth. They have had a show on TLC for a couple of years now chronicling the rasing of their 8 kids and the trials/adventures the family has faced. Well fame has had a price for the Gosselin family as John and Kate’s marriage is now on the rocks.
I have seen the show a few times over the years and each time I have had two reactions. 1. Raised levels of anxiety as I would picture what it would be like to try and raise 8 kids and take them out in public. 2. How there seemed to be a constant nagging and negativity dynamic that had developed between John and Kate. Now I know that raising 8 kids is stressful and I thought that most of their tension and animosity toward each other was more due to how they handled difficult situations.
Yet I was always bothered by the interview parts of the show in which Kate would launch into long diatribes about how John was messing things up or not doing things right and John would sit there with this glazed look on his face as if he had been raptured from his body.
Well with the season premiere this last week it was well known that John and Kate’s marriage was in dire straights. Ratings were higher than ever with a record 10 million viewers turning in to see the ice storm that had become the marriage of John and Kate.
Christianity Today had an excellent article recently on how massive amounts of bitterness had enveloped John and Kate’s relationship and how as professing Christians they should seek biblical counseling and accountability from other Christians.
Yet the reason I blog about this is not so people googling the topic will come to our blog, but because it highlights how foundational and practical a robust understanding of the Gospel is to marital life. Mark Driscoll routinely says that when you put to sinners together for life you have to have something to do with the sin that will ensue. Otherwise you will always get death; death of intimacy, death of affection, death of honesty, and ultimately the death of the marriage.
The bitterness that has manifested in the marriage of John and Kate is not uncommon, in fact it is quite common in marriage. It is the residue of unresolved sin. It is sin that has not been atoned for. Either Jesus will pay for the sin done in marriage or you and your spouse will. There is no third option.
Crystal and I have to continually remind ourselves that our marriage and love for each other does not have to die and suffer for the sin we commit against each other, because Jesus has already atoned for it.
Marriage is precious but absolutely impossible without a means for dealing with sin (the Cross), and a source for reconciliation (The Grace that is a result of the work of the Cross).