Night Light For Couples

 

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Divorce and Kids

“And a husband must not divorce his wife.” 1 Corinthians 7:11

The daughter in Sunday’s the “Dear Daddy” story described the trauma of her father’s deserting their family as like being in a car wreck. That is the impact divorce typically has on children. It is devastating! For more than twenty‐five years, California psychologist Judith Wallerstein has tracked hundreds of children of divorce from childhood to adulthood. She’s found that the distress young children experience after a divorce remains with them throughout their lives, making it more difficult for them to cope with challenges. “Unlike the adult experience,” Wallerstein says, “the child’s suffering does not reach its peak at the breakup and then level off. The effect of the parents’ divorce is played and replayed throughout the first three decades of the children’s lives.” Harvard University psychiatrist Armand Nicholi says that the pain of divorce is worse for children five years later than at the time the family disintegrates. He also links interruption of parent‐child relationships with an escalation in psychiatric problems for children.

The next time the idea of divorce enters your thoughts, consider the consequences of such an act on the most vulnerable members of your family. Research shows that time doesn’t heal those wounds.

Just between us…

  • Do you agree with the statements of these mental health professionals?
  • If your parents divorced, what was your experience during and after the breakup?
  • What would happen to our kids (or future children) if wedivorced?

Father, we thank You for the tender lives You’ve placed in our care. We resolve never to harm them through the violence of divorce. Strengthen and bless this commitment in our thoughts and actions each day. Amen.

  • From Night Light For Couples, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
    Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Material on divorce from “Children of Divorce Heal Slowly, Study Finds; Scholar’s Latest Evidence in Influential Series” by Barbara Vobejda (Washington Post, 3 June 1997), and presentation given by Dr. Armand Nicholi at the White House Conference on the State of the American Family, 3 May 1983. Available in the Congressional Record, Extension of Remarks, 3 May 1983.

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Night Light For Parents

Wonders to Remember

Many, O Lord, my God, are the wonders you have done. Psalm 40:5

Abby surveyed her house and shuddered. Toys were strewn across the floor; dishes were stacked high in the sink and on the kitchen counter; piles of laundry were everywhere. She sighed and asked herself, Why exactly did I decide to be a mother?

Suddenly her three-year-old, Kyle, dashed in from the backyard and grabbed her hand. “Mama, come see! Come see!” Obediently, Abby stumbled after her excited son. They reached a brick walkway, where Kyle proudly pointed to a green and yellow caterpillar. Together, mother and son squatted down for a closer look. Abby marveled at the caterpillar’s fine black stripes and wiggly antennae. She turned to let the sun’s rays bathe her shoulders in warmth and spotted the delicate strands of an intricate spiderweb still under construction in her camellia bush. She pointed out the web to her son. “Wow,” he whispered. Side by side they watched the spider complete the beautiful design. Thank You, God, Abby breathed. Now I remember why.

It’s easy to let the burden of parenthood steal our appreciation for God’s amazing creation. Yet Scripture says that “He has caused his wonders to be remembered” (Psalm 111:4). We will remember—and discover a more spiritual perspective on the mundane side of life—if we only take the time to look. Sometimes our kids will be the ones to lead us there.

Before you say good night…

How often do you and your family stop to admire God’s creation?

How does it change your perspective—and that of your kids—when you do?

Awesome God, we can barely comprehend the splendors You have created for our enjoyment. Thank You for incredible blessings and for the ability to appreciate them. Let our family always remember Your amazing wonders. Amen.

  • From Night Light For Parents, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
    Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.

 

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