Welcome back to this week’s series, where we are examining some basic questions about Divorce Ministry 4 Kids. Yesterday we answered “Why Divorce Ministry 4 Kids?” and today we will tackle: “Why now?”
This one is easy – because God said so! Allow me for just a minute to share some of my journey on this road. A couple of years ago, I was listening to a radio broadcast about the decline of marriage in American reflected largely in high divorce rates. The skies did not open up, and I did not hear the audible word of God, but I did have a nagging sense that I should research the issue further. At the time, I thought, “maybe God wants me to write an article about his view of divorce or on the negative impact of divorce on our society.”
I’d like to say I immediately answered the call of God and got right at it, but took a more familiar road. I did some research, printed some article, read a little bit, and then moved on to other things. I did intentionally ignore God’s call, but I certainly let it take a back seat to many other things. Still, the issue continued to percolate within in me (something I now realize was the Holy Spirit working on me).
About eight months ago, something rekindled the fire, and quite frankly, moved it in a whole new direction. Reading in Malachi, I came across some of the more well known verses in the Bible on the issue of divorce. Malachi is the book that contains (in some translations) the “God hates divorce” language. But, it was not that verse that really caught my attention. It was Malachi 2:14-15:
14 But you say, “Why does he not?” Because the Lord was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. 15 Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth.
What struck me most about these verses I think is often missed, or overlooked, in favor of the broad assertion that “God hates divorce.” Divorce does grieve God, and think these verses explain one of the principal reasons that divorce grieves Him. Note the explanation of why God brought together the man and wife as one. What does the Bible tell us that God was seeking in that union? Godly offspring! In these verses, God reveals that part of what grieves him about divorce is that it interferes with His plan to produce godly offspring. If not explicit, I think this is an implicit suggestion in scripture of the effects of divorce on children. I hope to repost that article sometime soon here on Divorce Ministry 4 Kids.
Since publishing that article in early December of last year, I have been researching the issue of divorce generally, and the effects of divorce on children specifically. I’ve read countess articles, books and publications, spoken to numerous people who run divorce care programs for adults and kids, exchanged correspondence with those involved with ministry to single parents, and begun a survey of people who have lived through their parents divorce. All of these efforts have been directed by one guiding question, what can we do to better equip children’s ministries, churches and congregation to be more loving and minister more effectively to children of divorce.