I’m divorced, but I don’t have biological children, nor did I grow up the product of divorce. With those factors taken into account, I did have the privilege of helping rear a beautiful goddaughter, who is grown, but was living at home with my former husband and me during the time of the separation and divorce.
To make my unique situation even more unique, I also had the privilege to be like a “spiritual parent” to hundreds of parishioners at my former husband’s church, that had been like family, often using the example of the marriage that my ex-spouse and I presented as an inspiration for their own. So having a 20+ year old at home at the time of my divorce, and having hundreds of others I interacted with daily, one thing that struck home for me is the possibility of them living with fear of a repeat offense. When it comes to divorce, I don’t have much to offer regarding experiential insight into weekend visitations, child support, holidays or the likes with the exception of the child’s welfare, well-being and ability to see two mature parents show their love for him or her and respect for each other being all that matters. What I can speak on is the fact that fear can be real, but it does NOT have the final say.
Let me first start by being spiritual. God has not given us a spirit of fear. Just check 2 Timothy 1:7. Now, with that out of the way, let me be honest and say that I can only imagine some people living with the thought of having the same fate in marriage as those they’d possibly observed, admired or lived through which ended in divorce.
Before that thought lingers any longer let me make a declaration to the devil regarding children of divorce. Their future is not destroyed by another person’s divorce. (Take that, loser!)
What children of divorce can do to avoid fear and failed marriage is:
- Pray for healing. Don’t let fear or bitterness be an open door to an attack.
- Ask question of the parents on what lessons were learned. (That is in no way a green light to get in their “bees-wax”, but an invitation to talk candidly about what they gained even through their pain.)
- Learn from the past mistakes of others, but also monitor your own actions and intentions with your spouse.
- Seek divorce counseling designed for the child’s perspective.
- Seek pre-marital and marital counseling.
- Don’t take on another persons battles.
- Simply don’t entertain fear. If it comes, cast it out quickly with the Word of God.
- Accept that another person’s problems will never trump God’s plans.
- Realize that each person’s journey is custom-made by God.