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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Children of Divorce

Recently a video was flaming through the internet called The Child of Divorce.  Because I am mother and step mother to five children that have divorce as part of their family history, I watched,  I was interested.  Basically, it was a verbal letter written from the point of view of a child of divorce.  It was clearly painful, and there is much pain in divorce.  However, it left a terrible taste in my mouth because it ended without any hope - as if the divorce doomed this child to a hopeless, sad and unhappy future.

I think we need be very cautious and not allow shame or regret dominate the conversation regarding children of divorce.  It's not the way God intended families to work, but there aren't a lot of things in our fallen world that still function the way God intended.  Intact first-families also create cycles of negative behavior, dysfunctional relationships and false realities.  It is easy to blame all woes an adult will face on the divorce, but we know God overcomes evil and will do so in our families.  The trials we face are the ways He reveals our dependence on Himself, whether children of original families or not.  Knowing these specific fears, hurts and relationship challenges allows me to focus my energy on the needs my children will have.  Every child will face issues in their life - I have a head start and know some of what ours will need to deal with.  That makes a good starting point for a healthy emotional life.

If you read here often, you know that I am not "The Christian Divorce Advocate."  I believe divorce is only a viable option in extreme circumstances and efforts to salvage the marriage have been attempted over time.  I do not think it is an 'easy out' for dissatisfied spouses.  I do believe children have the deepest and most ongoing sacrifices.  But the tone of many is to discard these children as unable to thrive because of divorce.  We need few labels and less judgement.

I don't want the divorce to be what defines my family (more about that here) I do believe God heals fully and will fill in the gaps where we have fallen short.  This is not a rant - I genuinely believe we need to shift the conversation regarding children of divorce.  Sometimes they are treated as if they are plagued, doomed and destined for failure.  I don't believe it.

Do you instantly label, define or judge others based on their family background?  It's so easy to do - I'm working hard to change the stigma!