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>You know what happens to elementary school students on ValenTIME’s Day? They eat a lot of sugar.

It was Halloween part II, but they were still very manageable. This week’s topic was “God’s family and my family,” so we got to hear a lot of interesting comparisons:

* We all Love each other.
* We all go to church on Sunday.
* Mary and Joseph don’t eat spaghetti anymore, but I do.
* Jesus doesn’t wear shoes in heaven, but moms make you wear them.

The most jarring part about the lesson was learning our “faith words,” matrimony and marriage. As I was reading out the simple sentences explaining that matrimony is what a man and a woman enter into when they love each other and want to commit to be together for the rest of their lives… I knew I was reading to a room half-filled with the products of divorce.

I don’t own the rights

The statistics were better than I’d hoped, but I think three out of ten had divorced parents and they are still at the age that sharing this is just a fact. The emotional tire marks have been left, but I don’t think they have processed them consciously yet.

Immediately I reverted to my semi-childish and certainly simplistic confusion about divorce. I understand that there are abusive situations and those are tough. I do not presume to understand divorce from a first-hand perspective.

HOWEVER, there have to be moments while a couple is dating or is engaged when the hesitant thoughts or red flags perk up, suggesting it is not right. “I am not really willing to commit to this person, for better or for worse.”

As a puritan, I firmly believe sex plays a big role in keeping people on the path to marriage when it’s not the right path for the couple. I also know that many people don’t trust that they can find someone for whom they would not be settling. People do not want to be alone.

So they take a leap that was never meant for them. And now their kids are in my classroom and I have to teach them about this holy sacrament through a vocabulary word and a definition.