Your stories: walking through separation and divorce. Part 2

UNIVERSITY PRESS

This is Part 2 in a series on separation and divorce among Christians. All these stories include editing and parts of a bigger picture. We’d be wise to know that what works for some families may or may not work for others but my hope is that God will use these posts in some small way. Maybe we gain a deeper understanding of just how hard this journey is for some of our brothers and sisters in Christ. Maybe it causes others to take a long serious pause before taking the next step in pursuing a separation or divorce. And perhaps it helps some give new thought to how they are handling their own current situation. 

Today’s story comes from a Christian man who has also walked through divorce in the recent years. 

Don’t divorce, especially if you don’t have biblical grounds. You have no idea how bad it will be for you and for your kids, and the negative consequences will never go away for your kids — not least that they’ll never again have an easy holiday, birthday, graduation, wedding, birth, or anything else. If you don’t have biblical grounds, it’s pure selfishness — you’re putting yourself ahead of God, your kids, and anyone else who knows you and observes your life.

If the divorce has to happen (which, in our no-fault legal system, is the case if your spouse chooses, regardless of your wishes), making the best of it for your kids is simple, though it may not be easy: just act like an adult who’s familiar with the Golden Rule. Unless a fight is for the benefit of the kids, let it go. It’s not a game you’re trying to win over your spouse. There aren’t any rewards for getting your way. You’re not proving anything. Grow up.

Never put the kids in the middle of any issue. They hate it, and you’re stressing them. Don’t communicate through your kids — communicate directly.

Don’t rush into a remarriage (goes double if the remarriage requires relocation a long distance away). Take all the troubles that are inherent in divorce and multiply them by 10 (or 100, if/when the second marriage starts to crumble, as it will do something like 75% of the time).

Don’t bad mouth your ex. You may succeed in alienating them from your ex, but then what have you accomplished? Even the secular course for divorcing parents that was mandatory in our county’s court system stressed this. The effect can be cumulative, with delayed results.

Tell your kids about the divorce together, agreeing in advance what you’re going to say to them. Doesn’t have to be dishonest, but it does have to be together. Doing it any other way is completely unfair to the other spouse and automatically puts the kids in the middle.

Leave new boyfriends/girlfriends out of things (especially the kids’ events) for as long as possible — preferably until there’s a ring involved.

Do joint celebrations of the kids’ achievements, like graduations, parties, etc. 

DivorceCare is a good program and helps with multiple issues, including bitterness and doing what’s best for the kids.”

Father, give guidance to the families that are walking through separation and divorce. It’s your grace and love that doesn’t leave them alone in this process. You do not withhold your love even though you hate divorce. For the couples using bitter words towards each other and holding kids as leverage I ask in  your Name to put a divine guard over their mouth. To open their eyes to what you want to help purge and renew. Give hope to the ones who think “things will never change”. Remind them that you are a God of miracles and the impossible. In Jesus Name, Amen. 

The next article is from a woman who says,from her experience, that divorce is harder than the death of a spouse – she has experienced both. 

Hey guys….I know this is a hard series. Hard to read and hard to write honestly. I’m ready to move on to some funny and light hearted stuff. But I know God has put this on my heart and as hard as it is I want to push through. 

 

Comments

  1. I enjoyed reading your post. I went back and read part one as well. Ok, so it’s not that I “enjoyed” reading it, I never “enjoy” reading about divorce but I agree with you that it does happen so it has to be dealt with.

    In fact, after only 3 years of marriage and two kids, my husband decided he wanted something different……After several months he decided he wanted to make it work, then two years later, the divorce finally happened. It’s been the hardest thing we have had to deal with. I was not a Christian at the time, I am now. He also was not a Christian (and I’m not sure about now).

    Our two children have been the ones to suffer. It is especially hard when the children are going between a conservative, Christian home and the total opposite.

    God has been so good and merciful to me. He blessed me with another family, a godly husband and two more children. I’m so glad God doesn’t throw us away when we “mess up” and gives us new life when we come to Jesus.

    • Renee…I’m sorry for what you’ve experienced. How neat that have since become a Christian – would love to hear more about that. I have a friend who is raising her granddaughter and she goes to a home environment (on certain weekends) that is not Christ centered and the concern there is very real. Prayer is such a huge part of things – we pray over her weekends many times asking that God would shield her and when she’s not completely shielded that he would give her a distaste for what she is exposed to that is not from Him but also protect her from anger and bitterness. To be a light where she is. Thanks for coming by and sharing today.

  2. Melody,

    I appreciated the grace-filled way you approached a very difficult and hard topic. I have witnessed too many friends whose lives and those of their children’s have been affected by separation and divorce and my heart hurts for them as their hearts never seem to fully heal from the pain and the trauma. Thankfully, God in His grace and His mercy specializes in repairing the broken ruins of our lives and in that there is always hope.

    Blessings,
    Dawn

    • Love how you put that – our God specializes in repairing the broken ruins of our lives and there’s always hope. So true.

  3. We are neighbors today. I was divorced in my early thirties, with three kids under ten. I hated it, was so hurt and devastated. I’ve been married to my second husband 34 years – and I can actually see God’s grace in the dissolving of my first marriage.

    • Single Mom with three under ten – I can only imagine how hard that would be. And what you said is what I’m learning through this series of people I know who are walking through this – there’s nothing sweet and freeing about divorce yet looking back you can still see the hand of God’s grace walking his children through. He is an amazing Faithful Father. Thank you for sharing.

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