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imageSince the 1970s, millions of children have been caught in the middle of the divorce wars. After the then Governor Ronald Reagan signed the No Fault Divorce decree divorce in 1969 divorce has been rampant. Most recently the divorce rate has slowed down but that might be because the co-habitation rate is up.

Adult children of divorce, you know those kids whose parents divorced back in the 70s and 80s, will tell you they don’t trust marriage so they choose to cohabitate. The problem with cohabitation is the children still suffer because most cohabitation situations eventually break up. And to the child it is still the death of the once intact relationship of their parents. Makes no difference to a child if it is called divorce or break up – it still hurts.

pdf to share leftIt is no wonder in Malachi 2:16 that God says He hates divorce. The heavenly Father knew what divorce would do to people. Continue Reading…

Elizabeth MarquardtFrom the 2010 Word & World Lecture Series at Luther Seminary, in this presentation Elizabeth Marquardt addresses The Inner Lives of Children of Divorce.  This whole lecture is worth the time to listen to, but make sure you don’t miss the last half which is a Q&A session with the audience.  Ms. Marquardt is an important voice, I would argue the most important voice, today on the topic of the impact of divorce on children’s faith.

Last week, we began a new series called “A New Way of Looking at the Spiritual Impact of Divorce on Children.”  In that series, we started looking at a new report from Melinda Lundquist Denton of Clemson University titled, “Family Structure, Family Disruption, and Profiles of Adolescent Religiosity.”  Last week, we talked about how divorce impacts a child’s spiritual development.  Monday we looked at a new typology for thinking about children of divorce when it comes to their faith.  Today, we conclude the series by looking at the results of the study and what it means for churches and children of divorce.

The Basis of the Study

prayerThis study was based on data collected as part of the National Study of Youth and Religion – a telephone survey of 3,290 teenagers which began in 2002-2003. During Wave 1 (2002-2003), 3,290 teenagers aged 13 to 17 were asked a variety of questions. Those teens were resurveyed in 2005 (Wave 2) when they were between the ages of 16 and 21 and again in 2007/2008 (Wave 3) when they were between the ages of 18 and 24. The results for kids included in all three waves (2,185) formed the basis of this analysis.

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imageEDITOR’S NOTE: When I started our survey of divorce at one of the things that surprised me the most was how often I heard children express that one of their major losses during the divorce of their parents was a loss of pets. In this article, Rosalind Sedacca explores six ways that pets can be helpful to children and families going through a divorce.

Can a pet be helpful to your children during a divorce and the transition after? Without a doubt! If your family has one or more pets, let your children have access to them as much as they desire. There is a great emotional benefit to your children, and they are fortunate that the pets they love can still be in their lives.

If you don’t already have a pet, I recommend getting one – but only if you are in a position to be responsible to that innocent animal during this time of additional stress in your life. If a family pet is out of the question, please consider giving your children time to play with the pets of friends and family. Take them to petting zoos. Allow them contact with other life forms that can give them joy at a time when they are likely experiencing stress and insecurity.

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