By Linda S. Mintle, Ph.D.

Heres a way to fight back from those new findings about divorce. You have a powerful weapon.

Two new books (The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce by Wallerstein, Lewis and Blakeslee and The Case for Marriage by Waite and Gallagher) that present the long-term effects of divorce on children have created quite a media stir. While many Christians are happy to see the ills of divorce confirmed through research, not everyone in the body of Christ is rejoicing.

In fact, those Christians who are divorced feel weighted down by the news. Recently, I facilitated a Christian divorce support group and mentioned the books and their findings. I was taken aback by the intense reaction from group members. Here are some of the comments:

I dont want to hear the research findings. Its like hammering another nail in the coffin.

How many times do we have to be told divorce hurts children? The Church already does a great job reminding us of that. Divorced Christians are the 21st century version of the Scarlet D.

I didnt want divorce. I fought it with everything in me. Doesnt anyone ever think of that! I know God hates it. I hate it too. I know divorce has negative consequences. I live with them everyday.

The group was clear. Stop telling us how bad divorce is and give us strategies to deal with the consequences. They were tired of being judged or seen as failed people.

So here is how to use those findings. List out the possible consequences of divorce. Then take each one and pray over that part of your childrens life. For example, one of the findings is that children of divorce have difficulty with love and commitment later in life. Pray that God will break that curse over your child. Strengthen your relationship with God so that your children see a healthy model of love and commitment to Him. Expose your children to other people who exhibit healthy models of love and commitment. Trust God to do as He promisedmake something good out of a negative situation.

Children dont have to repeat negative family patterns if you identify them early and begin to make changes now. Here is a simple prayer you can use.

Lord, I break dysfunction (be specific here) over my children now.The enemy is under my feet and Im telling him to take his hands off my children. Bring people to us who will show the love of Christ. Help me to correct whatever necessary to move in divine wholeness. Be a father to the fatherless as you have promised.

God can prevent any person from becoming a negative statistic. But know what you are up against in order to fight back with prayer and intercession. God can take brokenness and restore people. Thats His business. Dont be judged by the divorce findings. Use them to know how to pray for your children.