Help Your Children Survive Divorce
(Posted April 10th 2016 @ 6:10 PM by: Carol Clemans)
One of the negative fallouts of divorce is the emotional pain the children go through. I’ve counseled young and older children of divorce and most have the same negative feelings. They take the blame for the divorce. They feel somehow they caused the problems between their parents. They feel unloved, deserted, neglected, and devalued by the departing parent. If they cannot trust their parent who is supposed to love, care and protect them, how do they love and trust God whom they have not seen?
The custodial parent is usually the one who has remained faithful to God. This puts a double responsibility on him/her. He/she is dealing with their own grief and painful emotions and it’s difficult to put their pain aside and reach out to their children.
Children need to understand the simple truth that God has given us all choice that started in the Garden of Eden. If one parent chooses to leave a marriage, it’s because of their selfish choices. They cannot put the blame on anyone other than self. Children do not know this. They must be taught God’s truth bit by bit to build their own foundation that God needs to be in the middle of life choices.
Children need to know God’s Word – Psalm 139:13-16 (NlT): “You (LORD) made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous-how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!”
Children must understand their value and worth comes from God alone. He created them uniquely. He died on a cross to give them the gift of salvation. HE loves them unconditionally. God’s love is not based on performance. Some parents may only show approval when a child behaves a certain way. But loves needs to be shown unconditionally. Many children in divorced families can feel they are only loved when the parent is ‘happy’ with them. This is not God’s truth.
Parents are to teach God’s truth when they get up in the morning, when they walk along the way, when they sit down and when they go to bed at night. I know this puts extra stress on the custodial parent, but the time and effort invested in sharing God’s truth will be worth it. A child from a divorced family is just as precious and special in the eyes of GOD as a child who lives with both parents. Dad/Mom, it’s your job to show unconditional love to your child so they can experience GOD’S unconditional love. You must reinforce God’s truth that value and worth comes only from God and no one can take that away from them. Not even a departing parent!
Satan’s lie is that our worth is based on our performance and if everyone approves – BUT, remember that is Satan’s lie. GOD’S TRUTH IS: God created each one of us with a unique design in our mother’s womb. God loved us so much that He chose before the foundation of the world to come to us as a human sacrifice (God in the flesh) to be our redemption. Children need to be taught this truth. Their value and worth comes from God alone, not life’s circumstances. This truth will help the parent through his/her recovery from a divorce. God never leaves or forsakes His own.