"Marriage is pure—pure as water, colorless water. The goal is... to keep the marriage pure and colorless, not to muddy the colorless water... with lies, bitterness, resentment..."

Combining legal expertise and a Christian viewpoint, author Solon Phillips argues the case that he calls “involuntary divorce” (i.e. unilateral dissolution of a marriage, or abandonment) as being damaging and destructive for both parties. Examining this thesis from all sides, each chapter presents a new facet of the issue. Key to his position is that marriage is not a legal contract, that is, the parties are not bound by any legal consequences if the marriage ends, the way they would be if they reneged on a loan or other binding arrangement. Yet marriage is, he believes, a binding, permanent covenant overseen by God, and as such, warrants the greatest effort to sustain. Counselors, even pastors, may purposely or unknowingly encourage two people to break up. Friends and family may do likewise, swayed by emotional, abstract claims made by someone whose word they take unquestioningly. But the end result will be devastating. Phillips offers some tips for positive long-term prospects of marriage, such as marrying an educated person and waiting until both parties are at least twenty-six years old.

Building his case carefully, Phillips intelligently utilizes straightforward and logical arguments, underpinned by legal facts and Biblical examples, though he emphasizes that even non-Christians can agree with the importance of avoiding divorce. He suggests giving this book to pastors so they can understand their own role in helping to keep marriages together. He urges those in a faltering marriage, and their friends and families, to consider his words carefully and make efforts to save, not dissolve, the union. Based on legal research and sincere opinion, Colored Water would be an excellent study guide for church or other groups interested in the issues the author presents so capably.

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