What's Forever For?

Not since Zsa Zsa Gabor has anyone been so famous for just being famous than has Kim Kardasian. And of course, what she is most famous for recently is having a lavish, made-for-TV "royal wedding" and then filing for divorce only 72 days later. OK, we are used to celebrity marriages ending early and ugly (can anyone say "Charlie Sheen"), but 72 days? We have food in our refrigerator that is older than that! OK, maybe it wasn't totally shocking when Kardasian released the following from her publicist--

After careful consideration, I have decided to end my marriage…I hope everyone understands this was not an easy decision. I had hoped this marriage was forever but sometimes things don’t work out as planned. We remain friends and wish each other the best.

We don't have cable TV, so I have never, ever kept up with the Kardasians. I also never, ever watch the NBA, I didn't know Kris Humphries, Miss Kardasian's 72-day husband. The suggestion has been made that the whole marriage was simply an excuse to have the wedding which promoted the Kardasian brand and made a lot of money in the process. I don't know about that, but I do know that 72 days is a bit too short a time to "give careful consideration" to buying a new car, let alone something as important as one's marriage.

I'd like to say that this can happen only in Hollywood, but that is, of course, not true. The most extravagant and elaborate wedding that has ever been conducted at our church building also has another distinction. This was back when we had pews, and we had to remove the first two rows of pews to accommodate the string ensemble (including a huge classical harp) that provided the music for the wedding. This was (I believe) the first instrumental music that was ever used in a wedding at our building, but that is the the "distinction" I mentioned above. No, sadly, while this was the longest wedding I ever performed, it was the shortest marriage-- the couple stayed together barely 3 months after the wedding. In retrospect, I think the bride (like Miss Kardasian) wanted a big fancy formal wedding-- what she didn't want was a husband.

Yesterday for no particular reason, a old song lyric came to mind. I couldn't remember the song, just the phrase "if love never lasts for ever, what's forever for." Google reminded me that this lyric comes from the song "What's Forever For" written by Rafe VanHoy and recorded by artists like Anne Murray, T. G. Sheppard, Billy Gilman, and England Dan and John Ford Coley, and it was a #1 hit for country singer Michael Martin Murphey in 1982. Lynn often wonders why I can remember obscure things like song lyrics but can't remember to take the trash out on Tuesdays.  (Uhh... I think I did take it out today... I hope).

I think the song's questions resonate in a world in which people get married so that they can have a big wedding and then get divorced way too often and far too easily. "So what’s the glory in living? Doesn’t anybody ever stay together anymore? And if love never lasts forever, tell me, what’s forever for?" It is exactly that forever to which Jesus points when asked to comment on divorce (see Matthew 19:4-6). The reason that God failed to honir Judah's worship was because they failed to honor the forever in their marriages (see Malachi 2:13-16). Both of these texts lead us to ask the same question posed by this old country song, "If love never lasts forever, what's forever for?"