Divorce: For The Sake Of The Kids

DivorceWriting in public settings I find myself lured from my work as I eavesdrop on conversations beside me. Don’t fret; I do have two simple guidelines for my “research”.

  • If you’re conversing in low voices or trying to have a private conversation, I’ll turn my music up or focus my attention to my work 200%.
  • If you’re speaking loudly or using large gestures, you’re now a public spectacle and have opened your conversation to the world. I’ll listen guilt free.

While writing last night I was continuously distracted by a couple out on their first date and felt inclined to periodically check-in on the progress of their date. First dates are fun to watch and it made me grateful I’m not out searching for the one. All the telltale signs were there:

Looking their best.

Communicating in over-confident, tones and words to demonstrate strength.

Laughing when conversation became awkward.

I’ve noticed the more baggage people have references are used to feel the other out: “My ex”, “My kids”, “When I got divorced”… that’s exactly what caught my attention and made me shift to some brainless updating so I could hear the date being broadcasted to the audience in the coffee shop. Pretty sure everyone present would be able to tell you the movie they were going to watch at 10:20 PM and the restaurant they were intending on going to…it was that loud. With people like this, who needs reality shows?

Don't tell me you've never listened to a loud conversation...on a flight, waiting in lines at the amusement park or the checkout lane...

Don’t tell me you’ve never listened to a loud conversation…on a flight, waiting in lines at the amusement park or the checkout lane…

The man in his early forties, noted by the passé goatee and scruff from his youth he’s clinging to, began to speak of how his ex-wife changed after they began a family ultimately destroying their marriage. What surprised me most were the many wise, though often confused, words that came from the man. Paraphrasing him, “She clearly had postpartum depression but wouldn’t listen to me. She wouldn’t go to a doctor. She was crazy and we argued constantly.” His son, now five years old, never experienced a home with a father and mother because after a matter of months the marriage shattered and they divorced.

When neither could see straight (because who can when sleep is a mirage and hormones make it unclear if you’re talking with Jekyll or Hyde) they split and went separate ways.

And that’s when many throw in the towel.

It’s hard to stick together during the grueling times if you haven’t committed fully to the family team.

Just a smidge of self-protection, making sure you get what’s fair (whatever that means) or your needs are met (whatever that means), when there’s too much of you your world will unravel. And that’s what’s happening to families every. single. day.

Left in the wake are innocent children desperately longing to have the Harry Potter experience of being protected by the unwavering love of two parents. But most parents these days haven’t moved beyond the selfish ways of children themselves.

They haven’t found a way to play fairly, to share, to compromise. Parents are too busy tending their childhood wounds to make the biggest difference their life could ever make: Raising a godly, heart-healthy world changer.

Parents are lured to divorce by a false sense that everything will be easier and go better if s/he were out of the picture. It’s partly true. My divorce was prior to having kids, but it’s true, life is easier when you don’t have constant battles to fight to get your own way.

All these years later, I clearly see it wasn’t just my ex-husband that caused our marriage to fail. Selfishness courses deep in my heart and can completely engulf me. Too often, I desire my own way, winning and being right more than protecting my husband’s heart.

The poison is in each of our hearts, our bent towards destructive ways, doesn’t change with a new relationship; it simply can’t remedy the state of our hearts. It’s more likely we’ll overdose on self because the more we can serve ourselves, the less sacrifice we need to live life out.

But like most traumatic events, people will focus on the alleged good that will come from a decision, “Kids shouldn’t see us always arguing, they should be in a happy environment.” Never mind the weight of the baggage divorce brings and the ripple effect when children are involved.

What the world doesn’t broadcast is the marriages can heal. Here is the opportunity for a live demonstration showing kids how to problem solve and love others.

The wonder of healing is available for your heart, for your marriage. It’s simple, free and will breathe life into every crevasse of your heart. If you’re upside-down in your marriage and feel backed into a corner will you stop and pray with me?

You can pray through this verse with your name, the name of your spouse, children…you get the idea. Pray it aloud if you can and steep in God’s goodness! And when you’re done, will you drop a line here periodically to share the healing God is doing in your life and marriage? Yes, I’m that confident in God!

Psalm 121: 1-8

I lift up my eyes to the mountain-

Where does my help come from?

My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of the heaven and earth.

He will not let ________’s foot slip-

He who watches over _________ will not slumber;

Indeed, he who watches over ___________

Will neither slumber nor sleep.

The LORD watches over __________-

The LORD is ________’s shade at _________’s right hand;

The sun will not harm ________ by day,

Nor the moon by night.

The LORD will keep ________ from all harm-

He will watch over _________’s life;

The LORD will watch over

Your coming and going

Both now and forevermore. “

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8 responses to “Divorce: For The Sake Of The Kids

  1. awkward … I could feel the awkwardness of the conversation you were describing in that first date. I too am glad that I do not have to go back “out there”. I have never been divorced but that is because I have only been married once; the other two times we lived together and were legally common-law. We also had no children and none of us were following the Lord. Now, married to a man who seeks to serve the Lord and having a son together, I see that our relationship is not perfect but this time I am pressing into the Lord, asking for Him to change me and trusting that He can and will bring about what He desires in our marriage so that we honour Him together. Oh what people do without the Lord I do not know … for life is hard but it is harder without the Lord.
    Blessings Julie … thank you for having the courage to share your story too.

    • Right? What DO people do without Christ? Your article about change continues to resonate with me and is abundantly fitting here, Fifty Shades of Change http://dosedependent.me/2015/02/24/fifty-shades-of-change/ Such a good reminder for me to not judge or get too edgy, if hearts are willing, God will lead people one do-able step at a time towards ways that honor Him. Thanks for your honesty and pressing in always!

      • I do not know! It boggles my mind even more when people actually feel good about all the positive changes they seem to be able to make on their own because I have been wholly unable to change in my own strength! I used to wonder what was wrong with me Til I realized I am glad I cannot do it on my own because I see how completely I need to rely on Jesus. Self reliance & accomplishment are a trap from the enemy!!
        Thank you again for promoting my article! I keep reminding myself that there is one of yours I want to repost but I just can’t get the time of day to do it!
        Boy, I sure wish someone would pay me to write what God puts on my heart! Lol. First world problems. My mini rant for the night.
        Blessings ….

      • Thanks for the reminder we cannot effectively change without Christ! My prideful hearts needs to often be reminded of that!!!

      • If I ever got a tattoo I think John 15:5 would have to be it!
        Hey, maybe one day we will meet and bond at a tattoo parlour! lol.

  2. Julie, I love reading about a sad, depressing subject and realizing that even here you can get me to laugh out loud! I am so glad that you are encouraging people to stick it out. Sarah

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