Recently Elizabeth Marquardt, one of my favorite people when it comes to research about children of divorce, and the Institute of American Values (http://www.americanvalues.org) along with the Center for Marriage and Families (http://www.centerformarriageandfamilies.org) started an online symposium.
The first symposium in December of last year was based on the “State of our Unions 2012” report.
The next in the series is research on “Does the Shape of Families Shape Faith?” I’m excited about this project for a couple of reasons. First of all, I have thought for years that divorce influences and affects a child’s relationship with God. Secondly, they have asked me to comment on this new research. My responsibility is to address the research in the report and to offer any practical advice.
Many of you are adult children of divorce or you work with children of divorce in some capacity. I would love to have your input about this topic. Perhaps you have a personal story to tell. Maybe you have watched a child or a grandchild grow up in a divorced family and you’ve seen how they have used the divorce to help them in the faith journey.
Many adult children of divorce pull away from any organized religion. In my observations, I have noticed that some children of divorce are as crushed by the church’s response or dare I say, lack of response, as they are by the initial break up of their once intact family. This is especially true for teenage children. Some will pull away in anger from the church – but not necessarily from the Lord.
I wonder how many adult children of divorce feel they are religious but don’t attend any church. They pray, and they feel religious, but they are not being fed in a faith community. This is sad because they are missing out on fellowship in the family of God. Plus, if they are not regularly attending church what are they modeling for their own children? I’ve also wondered if this might not be one of the main reasons attendance in faith communities is continuing a downward spiral in our country.
I would welcome any comments you would like to offer. You can comment right here on DivorceMinistry4Kids in the comment section below.
One more thing, please pray for me as I craft my response. I believe this symposium will draw in people and organizations that the religious community doesn’t always attract in our typical day-to-day activities.
Linda Ranson Jacobs is one of the forefront leaders in the area of children and divorce. She developed and created the DivorceCare for Kids programs. DC4K is an international program for churches to use to help children of divorced parents find healing within the arms of a loving church family. As a speaker, author, trainer, program developer and child care center owner, Linda has assisted countless families by modeling and acting on the healing love she has found in Jesus Christ. Linda offers support, encouragement and suggestions to help those working with the child of divorce. She serves as DC4K Ambassador (http://www.dc4k.org) and can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Free articles and devotions for single parent families in your church can be found at Linda’s website Healthy Loving Partnerships for Our Kids (http://www.hlp4.com).