Life is Really About Relationships
It seems to me that the more I think about marriage and relationships, the more opportunities I am given to talk and impart God’s truth and love to people. A few days ago, I had the opportunity to talk with one of my neighborhood kids. As he rode up to me on his bike, I realized how long it had been since we’d talked. It had been four years, and he was now 12 years old. As he shared about his family, I realized a lot had changed since our last conversation. I invited him into the house while my husband Leon fixed his bike.
He told me all about the recent changes in his family. His mother had kicked his dad out of the house many years ago. He thought it was just a few years ago and then realized it had been about four years. He shared how hard it had been for all of them. The saddest thing he shared was his perception that people from his culture didn’t know how to have good relationships. Most of their relationships ended in divorce.
He said, “I know I’m being a downer, but there is no hope for me!”
What a shocking statement from a 12 year old boy!
I asked if I could pray for him and he said yes. My husband and I prayed and asked the Lord Jesus to restore hope in his heart and to remove the lie that he couldn’t have a good marriage.
To my amazement, he told us that he felt like crying because God was so good. He wanted to follow Christ and be a priest someday. He was definitely touched by our loving God. We continued talking about many things like school, teachers, and sports. I could tell he felt very comfortable and loved at our house as he shared about his life.
What an amazing experience this was for my whole family! I can’t wait to see him and his family again and find out how they are doing. I pray that our loving and awesome God will touch them in such a way that they will recognize that with God everything is possible-- especially a good marriage.
As this example illustrates, kids suffer when moms and dads split up. But why is there emotional trauma?
As Steven Earll, a licensed counselor, writes:
“Children (and adult children) have the attitude that their parents should be able to work through and solve any issue. Parents, who have given their children life, are perceived by their children as very competent people with supernatural abilities to meet the needs of their child. No problem should be too great for their parents to handle. For a child, divorce shatters this basic safety and belief concerning the parents' abilities to care for them and to make decisions that truly consider their well-being.
Children have the strong belief that there is only one right family relationship, and that is Mom and Dad being together. Any other relationship configuration presents a conflict or betrayal of their basic understanding of life. In divorce, children [tend to] resent both the custodial and absent parent.”
Children are one of the most wonderful gifts given to us and loving them should be our highest priority. When couples have serious struggles in their marriages and are considering divorce or separation, they should consider the impact of such a decision on the whole family. You might be struggling right now. Don’t give up! Seek the help of the Lord by attending a marriage class. Learn better ways to communicate. Ask God to heal your heart from previous hurts. Don’t think that divorce is the answer. As you persevere in your relationship, you will also help your children to have a better understanding of true commitment and true love.