It's official. Jenna and Channing Tatum announced on Monday that after nine years of marriage, they're calling it quits.
It's just a matter of time before the grocery store racks are stocked with magazines promising the gossip behind the news. And while we may not buy the magazines, plenty of us will walk past them and read the headlines like we're driving by the scene of an accident -- except we probably won't feel sorry for the victims in the tabloids.
Frankly, when I saw the headline at a news website today, I was momentarily surprised. I read an interview with Channing Tatum a couple of years ago and, based on the way the writer described him and his wife, they seemed like the rare Hollywood couple that might actually make it. Two years later, I shrugged my shoulders at the headline and felt a little smug.
Of course they're divorcing, I thought. They'll get married again next year and get divorced again.
I hate that attitude and with good reason.
One of my dearest friends has been married three times and I've been around when it has come up in conversation. When the other person hears about his multiple marriages, their eyes grow a little wider and they follow up with a startled "oh." You know what they're thinking though.
Three marriages? I can't believe it. He seemed so nice.
I want to jump in and say, "Believe me, I've got strong religious convictions about divorce, but you don't know all of the facts of the story."
But it's too late. The damage has been done. He's one of those people.
The thing about divorce, whether its the Tatums or your neighbor who's getting one, is that it's so public. The husband and wife move to separate homes, their kids have to awkwardly explain it to friends (maybe even teachers) at school, people ask invasive questions and repeat things that should be kept private.
Maybe we haven't had the misfortune of getting a divorce, but I wonder what we'd feel like if the embarrassing details of our lives were released to the public. Our reaction might be, "You don't understand. You don't know all of the facts of the story."
A lot of people wouldn't care though. We'd be one of those people.
The early 20th century preacher Oswald Chambers once said something that has stuck with me for years: "Jesus says regarding judging -- Don't. ... There is always one fact more in every man’s case about which we know nothing."
I wish I had remembered that principle when I saw the headline about the Tatums this morning. I hope other people remember that principle if they ever learn the parts of my story I'd rather not tell.