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When the Vow Breaks: Contemplating Christian Divorce

Author: Graeme Davidson
Published By: SPCK (London)
Pages: 192
Price: £12.99
ISBN: 978 0 281 06153 2

Reviewed by Ursula Franklin.

This book, by an Anglican priest, who has been through a divorce himself, has been written sensitively, but honestly.  It gives practical advice: for example, there are several tables within the book which enable the reader to take a more detached and objective view of Christian divorce.  These tables seek to help in providing a very down-to-earth view of the process, such as the dividing of possessions and  "Custody of  the dog?", as helping to assess such matters as relationships, future happiness, separation, meeting your children's needs. There is a useful suggested reading list.

The beginning chapters are helpful in presenting Christian marriage and the hazards that develop, but there are parts of the book which make me think it is more suited to a post-modern society, e.g. in  the 'Future Happiness Table', there is the question, "What would make you unhappy for the next 5+ years?" Self fulfilment is seen to be the important thing, while concepts such as 'duty' and 'responsibility to the wider family' are significantly diminished.  Sadly for many Christians seeking divorce, emphasis is placed on individual planning: and only then is God's approval is sought. Surely our relationship with God should influence our thinking before we begin to plan a future life.

This book makes for informative and stimulating reading.  Certainly the consequences of a divorce for the individual are honestly listed and make sombre reading.

Ursula Franklin

Pastoral deacon: Central Baptist Church, Chelmsford

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You are reading Issue 48 of Ministry Today, published in March 2010.

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