If you have never experienced divorce as a spouse or a child, you may struggle grasping the enormous devastation of divorce. It is often hidden behind fake smiles and a facade that all is well. The shame and embarrassment hides just below the surface in hopes of being undiscovered. In the church world it is often treated like the unpardonable sin and thus limiting men and women from exercising their giftings and passions while adding an extra level of pain to their kids. In the secular world it is so widely accepted and almost expected that it minimizes the damage and distress it brings to the families involved.
Oh, I know God hates divorce. That message has been shouted from the steeples with a bullhorn lest anyone forgets. But what people fail to remember is that those going through divorce hate it as well. Then there is the child’s perspective. Every time “God hates divorce” is pounded on the pulpit of well-meaning preachers, a child sinks a little lower in their seats feeling like all eyes are on their family. Now, I’m not suggesting we ignore that God hates divorce any more than I would suggest we miss anything the Lord has to say to us through His Word. What I am suggesting is that perhaps for a moment we put ourselves in their shoes as we walk around the sacred walls of our self-pompous sanctuaries in search of compassion rather than judgment.
For example: Three children below the age of 10 find themselves suddenly without a father. One child knows what was done in secret that led to the crumbing of their family and ultimate divorce. She feels the weight and responsibility of that destruction each time she looks in her siblings’ eyes. One child is angry and almost completely destroyed by the loss of his “buddy” that was teaching him how to repair and build things. One child simply crawls up into a fetal position and sucks her thumb. The mother found herself all alone with no one to support her. Survival mode had to kick into high gear if they were every going to restore this wreckage they once called home.
Poverty was the foundation they were left to build upon. Experiencing rejection from the church family that they once had relationships with just added to the agony already swirling inside her soul like a tornado bent on destruction. Suddenly they were “THAT” family. No longer were they invited to people’s homes. No longer did parents want their children associating with THOSE kids because of the stigma of single parent homes. The shame of the father going to prison was locked up in the depth of the children’s hearts and the key was thrown away. It took years for them to safely unlock that dilapidated hidden morsel of a lie and remind themselves it is neither their fault nor their shame to bear.
Growing up with a mom who had to put herself through school if she ever hoped to support them was a second loss. Between mom’s emotional regression and the busyness of school, they had to take care of themselves in a home filled with cockroaches and no AC in the heat of Texas. Once graduation took place, then they lost her to a full-time job of being both mom and dad as well as the sole earner of an income. Things were more difficult than can be explained in one little blog, but you are getting the picture. Being divorced is Satan’s playground for the innocent. He uses it to destroy their God-given self-worth and identity. The Christians of the world should be the ones that come alongside these broken people and offer them a family that is safe to be a part of.
Let’s replace judgment with compassion and shunning with fellowship. Let’s embrace these families whose hearts have been ripped out of their chest, rather than pushing them away with the wagging finger of disgrace. Let’s speak love and hope to the core of their being so they just might dare to dream again. Let’s educate the children with the truth of God’s Word that screams out “I love you” from the depth of His heart! Here at E3 Christian Academy we have such a desire to minister to broken, hurting families. Join us as you never know what they are going through or why they are going through it. Lay down judgment and leave that squarely in our Lord’s hands as He is the only sinless one who can rightly do so. Let’s be careful to see past the masks and poor behaviors to the heart of God’s precious creation shattered into pieces they just don’t know how to put back together.
Kids of all ages struggle when their parents’ divorce and often they don’t care about the reason behind it. All of a sudden they find themselves living between two houses that never feel quite like home again. Or they feel rejected because one of the parents fails to ever reach out to them for whatever reason. Often they falsely feel a sense of responsibility for the breakup of the family. Or they watch their once stable parent who had it all together crumble before their eyes and they just don’t know how to fix it. They lose friends and sometimes have to move from the only home they’d ever known. Children are the innocent victims of divorce and they pay a price that was never theirs to pay.
Oh yes…God hates divorce…so do single mothers like me.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34: 18
Dear Lord, how my heart aches for hurting kids. Whether it be as a result of divorce or not, I take comfort in knowing that you are close to them and that they are not alone in the midst of trying circumstances. Help us Lord to see their hidden pains and help us uncover the lies burrowed into their heart of despair. Help us to see past the outward behavior caused by the pain they carry like a dead corpse resting on their backs. You have come to set us free so we ask for freedom for these children tangled up in the bondage net the enemy has enmeshed them in. Give us a heart of compassion and forgive us for our judgment. May we see as You see and love as You love!