Till death do us part. That’s the vow most men and women take at their marriage…and the vow that too many break in divorce. Paul Rampell, a real estate lawyer in South Florida, has a “solution” for the problem of high divorce rates in America.
He suggests a “wedlease” instead of wedlock.
Most people will admit that the divorce rate in America is a troubling one. The frequency of divorce is unnecessarily high and the consequences of divorce on family members too great. Some experts blame the people in marriage; others blame the institution, itself.
Paul Rampell, a lawyer in Palm Beach, FL, believes that the structure of marriage is “deficient” and causes too many people to pin their marital bliss on “something of a coin toss.” He asks, “Why doesn’t society make the legal structure of marriage more congruent to our behavior?”
Here’s his suggestion (in part):
Marriage is a legal partnership that lasts a lifetime — one lifetime to be exact. Generally speaking, that is a long time for any partnership. People, circumstances and all sorts of other things change. The compatibility of any two people over decades may decline with these changes to the point of extinction.
Why don’t we borrow from real estate and create a marital lease? Instead of wedlock, a “wedlease.”
Here’s how a marital lease could work: Two people commit themselves to marriage for a period of years — one year, five years, 10 years, whatever term suits them. The marital lease could be renewed at the end of the term however many times a couple likes. It could end up lasting a lifetime if the relationship is good and worth continuing. But if the relationship is bad, the couple could go their separate ways at the end of the term. The messiness of divorce is avoided and the end can be as simple as vacating a rental unit.
His proposal brings a literal meaning to the old adage “trade her in for a younger model.”
There are soooooooo many things wrong with his idea. Here are just the big ones.
- I don’t know of any woman (or man) who wants to be looked at as “property” to be “leased.” Our species has suffered from the flawed mindset of “people-as-property” long enough. Why go back to it?
- If we institute “wedleases,” we’ll need to change our definition of the word “promise” to include various conditions that allow us to break them. For example, “I promise to love you for the rest of my life…unless you get wrinkly.” No, that’s not shallow….
- This is just another example of lowering the standards in our culture. Why live up to a high standard – a lifetime commitment – when it can be lowered?
- The “messiness of divorce” isn’t avoided as Rampell claims it would be. He’s just changing the name. Failure is failure, regardless of what it’s called.
Any serious attempt to solve the problem of divorce should include a consideration of Jesus’ teachings from 2,000 years ago. Based on Matthew 19:8, Jesus didn’t think that marriage was broken; He said something else was broken.
Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning.”
Divorce – and lots of other problems – would be drastically reduced if our hearts weren’t so hard.
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