The Bible and Children of Divorce

Wayne Stocks —  In Theology October 31, 2011

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Mr. W. says:

I ran across this article when looking for Biblical information ot help me with communicating with my daughter. Her mother and I recently divorced and she is just 9 years old.
When reading, I felt bad about divorcing. However, I know the home situation my ex and I shared was worse than us splitting apart. My daughter really would have a skewed point of view if I had stayed and she continued to see the arguing and yelling.
One thing that particularly touched me in this article was the mention of Mark 9:42. I have heard about this and thought about some of the things my ex-wife is doing now when she appears to be driving a wedge between my daughter and I. However, when I read this article, it looks like I’m guilty of the same thing just because I left the marriage.

I’m really confused now but I’m sure God will help me straighten this out. It will be an uphill battle but sometimes those are the best battles because you learn so much during them.

Wayne Stocks says:

Mr. W.,

I applaud you for seeking out God’s Word and God’s Will when it comes to your daughter. I believe that God’s Word is clear when in comes to the issue and divorce, and that God gives us His word because He cares so very deeply about us. He knows what is best for us even when we don’t or can’t or won’t.

I do believe that God’s will is reconciliation when possible, and I do understand how this can seem impossible. I read about God’s people (Israel) and how many times they rejected him and how He, in his steadfast love, still came and died for them so that they might be reconciled to Him. I think about my own life and all the times I had turned my back on God, and how He loved me enough to be patient with me and show me grace and invite me to become part of His family, again through Christ’s death on the cross. When it comes to your situation, and I obviously do not know all the details, I would implore you to remember that there are multiple choices. So many times these things boil down in our own heads to “Do I stay and remain miserable? Or, do I leave and seek happiness?” Always try to remember that there is a third option – by the grace and power and Christ we can stay and seek transformation in ourselves to create a better situation. No matter whether you seek physical reconciliation with your wife, you will need to seek that transformation in your own life (and hopefully in hers as well) to work together to raise your daughter and help her through this difficult time.

That said, we serve a God of second chances. You should absolutely seek His will, as revealed in scripture, but remember that no matter where you end up, neither you nor your daughter are ever outside of His reach. I would encourage you to draw near to Him, and the Bible promises that He will draw near to you.

The point now is not about who did what, or who is doing what now. The point is not about who is guilt of what or who shouldn’t being doing what. The point now is that you (and your ex) have been given a great gift from God – your daughter. Whether you are married or not, God has entrusted her care and upbringing to you. Make sure that you love her unconditionally, allow her the freedom to love both of you, and help her (and/or) get her help in order to process and talk about the emotions of the divorce and the things she is going through. I would encourage you to seek out a Gospel Centered program for her like Divorce Care 4 Kids. You can search for one near you on http://www.dc4k.org/. Many churches also offer the equivalent program for adults called Divorce Care that you might want to consider.

I will be praying for you, for your daughter and for your ex. You might also want to put a prayer request on our prayer wall at http://divorceministry4kids.com/wall-of-prayer/ so that others can pray for you too.

Again, I commend you on seeking out answers and help for your daughter. In that regard, she is already a step ahead of so many children of divorce. Should you wish to continue this conversation (but prefer not do it here in the comments), or if there is anything I can do to help you or your daughter, please please feel free to e-mail me at wayne@divorceministry4kids.com.

Sharon says:

Do you have anything I can read about the upside down family law court system in OK? How do you help three little boys whose father adores them, helps them with all their sports, mother has an affair and the court system gives him only standard visitation. 4 days a month is UNPARDONABLE! What can be done to come against a small town judge who clearly has issues against men herself to rule the way she did???

Wayne Stocks says:

I apologize for my delay in answering your question. I wanted to let you know that my answer will be included in a new post this coming Monday. I will post a link here in the comments once it is published.

Wayne Stocks says:

The link to the article with the answer to your question can be found at: http://divorceministry4kids.com/2012/helping-a-non-custodial-father/
I hope it helps!