Divorce and Alzheimer's

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • Sept. 15, 2011
  • In the Media

A Statement by Joni Eareckson Tada on Pat Robertson's comment on Divorce and Alzheimer's

“Any marriage has its challenges, but add a serious disability and they can, at times, seem overwhelming. This is why God instituted marriage as a lifelong commitment – Heaven knows it requires vows, solemn and serious, to weather a couple through the demands of disability."

“I was dismayed when this week Pat Robertson said to a nationwide audience that Alzheimer's disease is a kind of death that makes divorce justifiable. When a Christian leader views marriage on a sliding scale, what does this say to the millions of couples who must deal daily with catastrophic injuries and illnesses?"

“At the Joni and Friends International Disability Center, we encounter thousands of couples who, despite living with serious disabling conditions, showcase the grace of God in their weakness every day. Marriage is designed to be a picture of God’s sacrificial love for us. Alzheimer’s disease is never an ‘accident’ in a marriage; it falls under the purview of God’s sovereignty. In the case of someone with Alzheimer's, this means God's unconditional and sacrificial love has an opportunity to be even more gloriously displayed in a life together!”


Post A Comment

(view posted comments below)

All comments are reviewed by Joni and Friends before they appear on the website.

  • Your email address will not be published with your comment or be displayed anywhere else on our website.
  • We do not rent or sell your personal information to other companies or individuals.
  • For more information please see our privacy policy.
Post A Comment 


Unfortunately Pat Roberson has been not Reading the fruits of the spirit! Also; this has happened before with careless comments he has made. My mother suffered for twelve years with this disease. I watched as a man who was a wonderful father, but; was not always a wonderful husband feed her every day for seven years three meals a day. As I was looking through the window of the nursing home. I could see the reason. I could see his "true" love for my mother demonstrated. It brought tears to my eyes! Sometimes it IS those times's that show our true character, love and loyalty! Mary Fitzpatrick-Karling
  • May 7, 2014
  • 9:54 a.m.
  • Mary
yes joni while graduating in 1979 had a car accident with my jeep having a brain injury and graduating in 1979 living on a lake Winnebago received your first book and read it. the lord saved me from that jeep accident , and then in recovery dove in lake by my home and split my head open and had stiches in shape of a V.after reading your testimony has has meant . so much for me through the years. for the past 25 years now have worked for a theme park SilverDollarCity. my grandmother brought me to in summer of 1971.pray for your healing after watching john Ankerberg today. thanks again joni and pray for your marriage. Bart
  • March 25, 2014
  • 4:46 p.m.
  • BartBaker
Yes Joni you are so right in your comment about what Pat Robertson said that you may consider Divorcing your mate if they contract Alzheimer's Disease. I am ashamed of Pats comment. A man of God that I have admired for many years. I wonder if his wife feels the same way his does? Whatever happen to the Marriage Vows for better or for worse; in Sickness & in Health? I think Pat needs to re-evaluate his comment & take a Closer look at his Bible & his Commitment to Marriage. His comment sounds to me like an excuse not to be bother in caring for you love one, but put them away for a new mate. I Hope to God nothing like this ever happens to anyone especialy one who represents God.
  • Feb. 28, 2014
  • 7:29 p.m.
  • Ed Lugan
I agree,and it is through having a one to one relationship with Jesus that I do. Thinking outside this,I would go along with the other way of thinking. Joni, you are so right. Wow, you must long to be in glory. I do and I'm okey. Love, thoughts and prayers. Irene.
  • Aug. 25, 2012
  • 1:42 p.m.
  • irene
Of course Pat is wrong - dead wrong. The vow(s) of marriage are as sacred and unconditional as the Father's covenants with us. How, if two become one, do we divorce ourselves?
  • Aug. 20, 2012
  • 8:51 a.m.
  • Grant Kitting
The way our society views our fraile, sick and elderly is deteriorating. Even as advances in medicine are occuring to prolong life, our collective attitude toward those with special needs and mental challenges is barely accepting, at best. Jesus said marriage is a covenant. I don't think that means when your spouse loses their mind to a disease you abandon them. Pat Robertson opened his mouth and inserted his foot unfortunately on this one.
  • July 28, 2012
  • 4:48 a.m.
  • Amy
Alzheimer's isn't death. Being dead is death. The Bible is really not complicated. I have seen people twisting it lately to believe what they want to believe. For example, there is no hell. Either we believe the Bible or we don't. I wasn't the one who wrote it. Some things can be difficult to interpret but it is the things that are simple to interpret that people are twisting.
  • April 17, 2012
  • 7:39 a.m.
  • Janis
Divorce and Alzheimer's together. I can imagine how hard that can be. And it's not only about the mental condition of the person, but what's happening in their hearts. We cover many different areas of life at our divorce website that include mental and emotional.
  • Jan. 30, 2012
  • 11:13 a.m.
  • Ken
My Dad has altzheimers! He is a good Christian man! My mom takes care of him. We need your prayers! I asked Mom if she was angry at God for giving my Dad this terrible disease, when he doesn't seem to deserve it. Mom said she needed God too much to be mad at him. I struggle when I see men my Dad's age and they seem to be enjoying life with their loved ones! I need prayer! Happy Birthday to your husband! I pray God will Bless both of you!
  • Dec. 12, 2011
  • 8:42 p.m.
  • Cindy Carrington
Thank you so much for your courage in speaking out on this issue. God is sovereign and full of mercy. I pray to our Lord that He will bless Ken and you forever. I expect to watch you dance in eternity under the admiring eyes of all the saints and angels before the throne of our King of Kings and Lord of all.
  • Dec. 10, 2011
  • 12:43 p.m.
  • Chungpeng Fan
Previous Next