Be humble in the presence of God’s mighty power, and he will honor you when the time comes. God cares for you, so turn all your worries over to him. (CEV) 1 Peter 5:6-7
We all have experienced times in our lives when we have encountered a problem that seemed too great to overcome. Maybe it was a job loss, a serious accident, or here in this discussion, the dissolution of a marriage. When a family goes through divorce, it is not uncommon for children to want to try to fix things or believe that the divorce is their fault. Children tend to have limited ability to see beyond their own perspectives and assume personal blame when major disruptions occur. They also tend to believe in “magical thinking” such as, “maybe if I get better grades or maybe if I am a better kid my family would stay together.”
So how can we comfort our children and equip them with the courage and wisdom to cast their worries on the Lord?
Find Comfort in Assurance:
Assuring children that the divorce is not their fault and not the result of anything that they have said or done is a key place to begin in helping them cope and challenge false beliefs. Explain to them that divorce is a problem involving adults, and that nothing they could say or do could have prevented it.
Most importantly remind them of how much they are loved; that no matter what is happening, that love will never change. Sin, fighting and hurt will be challenges that we will face both together and alone, but with God’s help, we will prayerfully seek his wisdom and grace.
Find Wisdom in Truth:
Teach your children of the indisputable truths of God’s power and love:
Remind children of God’s faithfulness both within your family’s life and throughout Scripture. Help them identify times when they have trusted in the Lord or have overcome trials through God’s grace. Read stories from Scripture that focus on God’s promises. Seeing the work of God’s hand in their life and in the Bible can make it easier for them to trust in God’s faithfulness as we help them navigate the changes of divorce. Sharing with our children about God’s faithfulness as shown through his Word and throughout our lives can give them the strength they need for today and the courage to press on to tomorrow.
Want to dig deeper? Check out Family Fire's article "What Parents Can Offer on a Very Bad Day"