For years my wife was an
elementary school nurse at one of the six elementary schools in our
area. Many of the children who
came to see her shared the details of their home life.
A large percentage of them came from single parent homes,
mostly due to divorce, and some of them lived under conditions that
would sadden all of us.
One day, a small child
came into the clinic with a stomach ache, a common complaint of
school children. When
attempting to make contact with the father listed in the records the
child stated, “Don’t call him, he’s not my dad anymore, he moved
out.” The sad truth is, many
fathers, and mothers, believe they can just walk away from the
responsibilities of marriage, parenting and sometimes even the
responsibilities of life. This
child and many like him, suffer from the uncertainties and fears
created by the decisions of their parents.
In today’s society the
media and even some friends often encourage us to watch out for
number 1. They say, “If it
feels good, do it.” But all
actions and decisions have resulting consequences that sometimes
last a lifetime. I often
counsel with single parents whose children are still suffering even
after ten years following a divorce.
I realize that in many cases there was nothing that could
have prevented a divorce.
However, many others give up too soon in trying to resolve conflicts
in their marriage or they wait too long to address issues that
became major ones because they were allowed to build too large.
Be ready to advise your children or grandchildren that when
they enter into a marriage contract with someone and they have
children from a previous marriage, they have an increased
responsibility that God expects them to honor; to take care of
helpless children. When
divorce is chosen by members of your family the children must be
made to feel as safe and secure as possible.
Advise their parents that they must NEVER use them as
pawns or message bearers between parents.
Jesus said in Matthew 18:5 and 6, “And whoso shall receive
one such little child in my name receiveth me.
But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe
in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his
neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea (KJV.)
Common Sense Application
Advise family members who have gone through a divorce,
regardless of how long ago, to find a Divorce Recovery program at a
local church and attend.
You’ll be surprised how it will help them!
2. If they have children
from a previous marriage, research the Internet and local bookstores
for information about single parenting.
3. For those who
are considering remarriage, remind them that the children will
always be more affected than they think.
Advise them NOT to get married until they and their intended
have attended premarital counseling and have fully addressed the
blended family issues they will face.