It seems there is growing population of Christian children with divorced parents. My parents divorced when I was six and though I was not too involved in the process, I grew up with it, loving both my parents, but not really knowing till later that our family situation was “not normal” or “how it should be”.
Seventeen years later I am about to marry the man I do not want to live without, and suddenly my parents’ divorce is something that sets me apart. Something I had nothing to do with suddenly felt like my sin to carry.
Nothing hurt more than to have Christians I look up to assume I need to be treated differently because of my parents’ marital status, or that inevitably I too will end up divorced. I get that sin causes divorce, but we’re not just a statistic and we do not have ‘the plague’. My heart is discouraged every time someone “lovingly” points out that I’m different because of my family background.
Wouldn’t it be much more helpful to encourage the children of divorced parents? To inspire them to fight the statistics, to discern their relationships well, and to take the time to learn about the commitment and communication necessary to maintain a healthy relationship. In fact, it is my parents’ divorce motivates me to take this beautiful gift from God so very seriously.
And to other children like me, if you are fearful to love, or commit to someone because of your parents’ history, guess what? That is not of God. There is not a single verse in the Bible that says children of divorce are going to suck at relationships and never find lasting love.
It took me a long time to overcome the belief that I was not worthy of my amazing future husband because his parents were still together. I thought my past would burden him; that I was somehow broken because of what happened when I was child. IT’S NOT TRUE!
In fact I’ve worked pretty hard to divorce-proof my relationship. My fiancé can attest to this as I put that man through the ringer! (Love you handsome!)
So my fellow CODs (aka Children of Divorce), if possible, examine what caused your parents’ divorce and take the steps necessary FOR YOURSELF to guard against it happening to you! It’s God and you honey, and He’s an excellent teacher who is more than willing to help you figure it out.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” II Corinthians 5:17-18
Ultimately IT DOES NOT MATTER who thinks what about your past. You are not to blame for what you were born into. However, you are responsible for learning from the past, and what you’re going to do with this worldview you’ve been given.
Don’t let having divorced parents become a stigma. Instead, with God’s help, rise to the challenge of having healthy, lasting relationships… just living the thing.