I studied the very young husband, then the wife, looking for signs that they were listening to me. Would they still follow through on their divorce?
“You must have only been married for a year or two. Give it another try. Don’t throw away your youth like this.”
I turned back to the Registry Office counter to finish my own business, wondering if my words would have any effect on the anxious couple in the waiting room behind me. I’m just an ordinary local person. Why should they listen to me?
I certainly hadn’t intended to lecture complete strangers when I came to register my child this morning. But when I saw the husband and wife there, looking so unhappy and unsure, I couldn’t help talking to them. You see, I know from personal experience that divorce doesn’t solve anything.
So many people in our town are like me: uneducated, married young, and ill-equipped to make relationships work. Now I’m a little older and more experienced. I can see that broken relationships are bad for our whole community. So I gave those divorcing kids my very best effort:
“Getting a divorce will only make you more unhappy. I should know.
“Young man, it’s not so hard to make your wife happy. Buy her some pretty things. Tell her she’s beautiful. She’ll soon come around.
“Young lady, you shouldn’t be so harsh on your husband. Stop criticizing him and build him up instead. Then he’ll be kind to you.
“Don’t forget, our town is small. Everyone will know that you got divorced so fast. They’ll laugh at you behind your backs.”
Honor is very important to us on the Silk Road. This was my last-ditch effort to shake some sense into the couple. I had no idea if it would work.
“Where is your child’s birth certificate?” asked the administrator across the counter from me. I searched through my documents, trying to stop my hands from shaking with the drama of the divorce show-down I had just created.
Then I heard quiet footsteps behind me.
I turned around just in time to see the young husband and wife walk out the door and head towards home together.
What a result!
But what about the many thousands of other young couples in towns and villages across our country? Who will give them the support and advice they need?
- Pray for Silk Road couples who marry young and struggle with their relationships.
- Pray for caring and wise people to share forgiveness and love with Silk Road families.