“Despite being astronomically wealthy and living thousands of miles away from the average Brit, Brangelina’s relationship was perhaps the most aspirational of all.”
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are ending a two-year marriage --after 12 years and six children together--. Jolie is pulling the plug on her marriage to actor Brad Pitt because of “irreconcilable differences”. However, Jolie’s decision --which her attorney described vaguely as being made “for the health of the family”-- could have been triggered by differences in parenting style or by Pitt’s anger problems and substance abuse issues. Their split has sent shockwaves all over the world, with many expressing sadness. Throughout their 12-year relationship, we’ve seen their commitment to their professional work, humanitarian vocation, each other, and their children. As an Independent article put it, “despite being astronomically wealthy and living thousands of miles away from the average Brit, Brangelina’s relationship was perhaps the most aspirational of all --no tantrums, no screaming matches, no huge betrayals, just getting on with life, even with the stresses and strains of illness, operations and six children to boot--.” They appeared to be the exemplary Hollywood couple. Millennials reacted to Brangelina’s divorce with the idea that “if they can’t do it, no one can”. Thus, the headlines: “Love is officially dead” and “Love ends today”. But not everyone agrees. Mashable’s writer Martha Tesema writes, “love is far from dead. It’s very much alive, blossoming within the thousands of other high-profile power couples in the world we can look up to in awe”. Tesema is right: love is far from dead. The end of Brangelina does not mean love has ceased to exist. They’re mere mortals --like every one of us--. They make mistakes. They fight. They break up. But to take comfort in the marriages of other high-profile power couples still thriving is naïve. Brangelina’s split sounds the alarm bells: nobody is immune to broken relationships. We’re all fallible. By our own strength, we can never guarantee the constancy of our love. So let’s take heart, not in ourselves, but in the One whose love will never fail. Because He first loved us, we can keep on loving (1 John 4:19).