By Elizabeth Prata
A follow-up blog essay on this topic is here
Yesterday Rachel Hollis posted the following on her Instagram-
Guys, I have some hard news to share and the honest truth is, I have no idea how someone announces something like this, so I’m just going to say it. Dave and I have made the incredibly difficult decision to end our marriage.
We started out as best friends 18 years ago and the truth is, that core friendship and the parts of us that work so well, have become a band-aid for the parts of us that don’t. We have worked endlessly over the last three years to make this work and have come to the conclusion that it is healthier and more respectful for us to choose this as the end of our journey as a married couple. We remain dear friends as we raise our family as co-parents and run our company as partners. We are choosing joy—even though, I’ll be honest, the last month has been one of the most awful of our lives. I want to be strong and bold and optimistic for you now, but every ounce of my energy is reserved in being those things for my children.
That said, having been such an open book to this beloved community, we hope that you can allow us a human moment. We hope you can understand our need to process these changes away from social media. We graciously ask that you respect our privacy so we can focus on what matters most, our four kids and the next chapter of what our family looks like now.
Rachel’s husband Dave posted the following-
Our marriage has been a triumph in so many ways… and it has run its course. Despite still loving and deeply respecting each other as friends, co-parents and business partners, Rae and I decided that the best way to allow each of those to thrive in the future is to end our marriage while the option for a beautiful, unconventional new family, friendship and partnership still exists as a real and hope-filled option.
This is a decision we have wrestled for years and made with so much counsel, thought and prayer… keeping love for each other and our kids as the ultimate and only goal.
Frankly, our friendship’s strength is the testament to our ability to have done the work of the last few years. As much as this isn’t the way we may have dreamed up the future of how our family or friendship would look, while of course there is overwhelming sadness, there is also a massive sense of gratitude for what was as we transition into the promise for what will be.
No matter the form, we’ll always be a family connected by these 4 amazing kids… and we will always be here for each other.
We will stay committed to this work of impact as a team. That said, having been such an open book to this beloved community, we hope that as real people, with real lives and a family, you can understand our need to process these changes to our life away from social media, out of the public eye.
We graciously ask that you respect our privacy as we navigate these challenging waters from where we are to where we’re going. As much as there will be sadness until we reach our next shore, your love and support will be part of the bridge that affords us the opportunity to reach the other side, new… ready to write the next half of the story of our evolving family.
First, let me say that before I was saved I went through divorce. It is devastating. It is the tearing apart of one flesh that God put together. It hurts, and you never really get over it. I feel for Rachel Hollis and Dave Hollis as they make this tragic decision.
Second, let me say that I feel for the children. I am the daughter of divorce and as unsuited as my parents were, coming from a broken home is still extremely difficult. The kids will never get over it.
Third let me say that I noted some troubling phrases in Dave’s post. I emphasize the words that sparked my concern. “the next half of the story of our evolving family.” … “the option for a beautiful, unconventional new family” … “No matter the form, we’ll always be a family”. My thought is, someone’s about to ‘come out’ as homosexual.
As for Rachel Hollis the author, two years ago when “Girl, Wash Your Face” was at its height of popularity, I wrote twice on the book- ( Girl, Wash Your Face Review )
and concluded, “Just because someone calls themselves Christian and is really, really famous right now, doesn’t mean they have an orthodox Christian message to share. As a matter of fact, the warning in Luke 6:26 indicates just the opposite.”
“The “lies” Hollis claims to be busting is simply the secular world view. That’s normal, the whole world is in the sway of the evil one (1 John 5:19). The world lies to us. Always. That Hollis is giving you engaging self-help tips on how to deconstruct those lies and push on toward higher/better/more clear living, absent the Bible’s instruction, is just more lies. She is sending you from one end of a secular world view, to another. You will come full circle.”
And this second essay, More reviews on Girl, Wash Your Face. which included further thoughts and others’ reviews on her book. It all pointed to this very moment, which I feared would happen. Hollis placed much emphasis on her work as a career woman, not as much as a mother.
Biblically, marriage doesn’t “run its course”‘. That is a direct insult to God. The course is for life. You work at it. It’s hard. It involves sacrifice, submission, compromise, and more hard work. The Bible has MUCH to say about marriage, which is a picture of Jesus and His Bride.
Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. (Genesis 2:24, cf Matthew 19:5)
Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. (Hebrews 13:4)
A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord. (1 Corinthians 7:39)
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word… (Ephesians 5:22-26).
Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. (1 Peter 3:7)
These and the many other verses that speak to marriage do not indicate that ‘marriage has run its course.’
Divorce for reasons other than sexual immorality (of any kind, the word in the verse is porneia) or abandonment is a sin. Remarriage for either or both would potentially result in both being considered adulterers. In either case, the elders of the church need to investigate the grounds in order to determine if the grounds are biblical or if the request for divorce is born of fleshly desire. In neither of the statements from Mrs Hollis nor Mr Hollis was a church mentioned or a mention of biblical counseling enacted in order to make a biblical determination. It might have happened, but they don’t mention it. Since the Name of Jesus is absent from both their divorce statements, I suspect seeking biblical course for their parting was not sought.
They say they are “choosing joy”…but they are not. They are choosing heartache, sin, and a broken home for their little ones. They are choosing to make a blot on the honorable name of holy matrimony and on the name Christian. In my 2nd piece on Hollis’ book, I’d said-
“Sadly, many of Hollis’s ideas are not based on a strong Christian foundation. Thus, her book and its advice fails to rely on the atoning work of Jesus on the cross for our sins, and instead promotes a secular worldview of self-sufficiency.”
Sisters, whenever we rely on ourselves we will fail. We do not have the strength to go through life in a holy and God-pleasing way unless we rely on Jesus and His righteousness and His strength. May God give the Hollis couple the grace to repent.
Ligonier: When God Allows Divorce
GotQuestions – What are Biblical Grounds for Divorce?
GotQuestions Blog – What does the Bible Say about Divorce and Remarriage?