The issue of whether or not DIVORCE should be legalized is a matter to be seriously considered by the Filipinos. Each must have a stand because it is the fabric of the society of which we are members that is being considered. Personally, I am against the legalization of divorce. My arguments are based not just on a Christian perspective, but on societal, philosophical, and legal ones as well.
-“That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24)
Marriage is primarily designed to be a permanent union between a man and a woman. It allows two very different people to come together and be one in the eyes of God and the society. The amazing transformation of two individuals into one is due to the love of the couples for each other and their vow before and to the Lord. The capacity to love is a privilege given by God, and such love permitted the coming together of two people.
-Because two people who experienced two different kinds of upbringing are brought together to be one, conflicts between them will certainly arise.
Personality clashes are but natural within marriage. Marriages are not made to be perfect. The wedding ceremony isn’t the culmination of marriage, but only a commencement exercise. Couples enter marriage not with the view of perfection, but of a constant effort to bring out the best in their relationship. Having a nice wedding ceremony is a privilege, but being in a marriage is both a privilege and an obligation. Marriage is a practice of responsibility – a responsibility when fulfilled provides corresponding happiness for both.
-What concretely are irreconcilable differences?
House Bill 1799 or the Divorce Bill provides for irreconcilable differences as a ground for divorce. But how do we actually measure irreconcilable differences? Couldn’t every conflict be just an irreconcilable difference when no effort is done to reconcile differences? And if effort is claimed by both parties, what range of effort is allowable to determine a conflict’s being irreconcilable?
The term ‘irreconcilable differences’ is primarily an ambiguous and vague term denoting almost anything that comes into disagreement between the two parties. Such provision will only discourage couples from adjusting with and understanding each other which will create a more grievous result to their children and a negative spill- over effect to the society.
-“Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.” (Ephesians 5:22-23)
No two masters can become in one household. Submission is necessary; however, the fact must not be abused by husbands for sovereignty requires capability and responsibility. A man is always expected to lead his household to goodness.
Certainly, absolute feminists will argue with me regarding the validity of the verse. But then, this is a command from the Lord which is absolute, irreversible, and unquestionable. No matter how we, women, would want to regard ourselves so highly, we must accept the fact that our husbands should lead us.
-“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” (Ephesians 5:25)
Here’s the catch. Husbands, you also have the responsibility to love your wives. Wives must submit to your efficient leadership, but you must in turn love your wives. The love required of husbands is pure love – love that is never selfish, damaging, abusive and hurtful. Just as Christ gave himself up for the church, so are husbands expected to pour out an everlasting love for their wives.
-If husbands are first and foremost commanded to love their wives just as Christ gave himself up for the church, being anti- divorce could never be pro- violence against women and children.
The argument that is usually given in support of the legalization of divorce is that divorce is an affirmation of the State’s policy on anti- violence against women and children. Isn’t this justification unreasonable and is just used as a cover up to the true intention of negligence towards the relationship? Divorce will definitely not be an appropriate response to ultimately stop violence against women and children. First, it is not a direct answer to the problem. Second, it does not provide a preventive measure for violence. What restraint is given to maltreatment and abuse? Third, it is not a sufficient remedy. If the existing Anti- Violence Against Women Act is deemed insufficient and ineffective, why not target the act itself by amending it to include provisions that will ensure the cessation of violence against women and children?
As a woman and a mother, I am also one in the fight for anti- violence against women and children. But the bill on the legalization of divorce will never be a success on part of the fight. If husbands, for instance, wronged in the aspect of violence against women and children, by all means separate from your husbands. This is not a contradiction on my position. In the first place, God commanded husbands to love his family most especially his wife. Hurting wives is a proof of the absence of love.
-The essence of marriage is the permanent union between a man and a woman.
When an essence of a thing diminishes totally, there is a transformation of a thing to another. If permanence of union which is an essence of marriage gets lost, the union could never be called marriage anymore. It is already a different thing and can never be called marriage anymore.
-If marriages can be broken anytime, what is left of its sanctity? If husbands and wives can easily break apart, what justification remains of the desire to transform a relationship from being boyfriends and girlfriends to being husbands and wives?
Will not divorce destroy the sanctity of marriage? If marriage will just be an easy way- in and easy way- out relationship, what differentiates marriage from any other romantic partnership?
-The uniqueness of Filipino culture and society which gives primacy to the family could never be traded off with other cultures lacking such character.
If every part of the world has legalized divorce, does it necessarily imply that we legalize it as well? Cultural and societal assimilation must never be the goal of Filipinos. We must take pride for having a firm social foundation because we have families which are solid and are basically a result of strong marriages. Filipinos, as many have asserted, are a uniquely happy nationhood. Happiness could primarily be attributed to having strong emotional support from the family.
-Destroying marriages is like destroying the foundation of our society.
Families are the building blocks of society and marriages are the building blocks of families. What benefit of society stems from the promotion of a negative life? Will not a complete family contribute to the general strength of our society? Every part is always ordained to the whole. Having majority of the families with a solid foundation may result to a strong and stable nationhood. It is essential for every Filipinos to experience a healthy, balanced, and complete family for their complete self- actualization. It is usually within the family that a person gets comfort, love, satisfaction, and assurance.
The enactment of the Divorce Bill is unconstitutional. The constitution declares that the Filipino family is the foundation of the nation; furthermore, it is the State’s responsibility to develop and strengthen families and protect marriages as an inviolable social institution and a foundation of the family.