“Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.” — Wesley in The Princess Bride
“I think men who have a pierced ear are better prepared for marriage – they've experienced pain and bought jewelry.” — Rita Rudner
At the risk of sounding callous and insensitive, let me state something obvious: marriage is painful. It's part of the design, as God created this permanent covenant relationship to strip away our flesh and make us more like Jesus. If we bail on marriage to get away from this pain, however, we actually cause more of it.
Lie 6: The kids will be better if we divorce.
Several studies have proven the devastating effects divorce has on children showing that children of all ages deal with negative impact on their emotions, behavior patterns, compliance with rules, and self-image, to name a few.* And that’s just short-term. The truth is the kids will be worse off if you divorce.
Instead of seeing a couple give up on each other, it is far better that children see parents who:
- Focus on Christ – Christ is the only one who can mold the heart fruitfully. Kids need to see authorities be faithful to Christ and see how He is conforming them to Himself.
- Seek outside help – It’s often hard for people to look for help from others. Kids need to know that it’s okay not to know all the answers. They need to see parents seeking out and confiding in others who can help bring answers.
- Crucify their flesh – Our fleshly desires for personal satisfaction come at the expense of people around us. Kids need to see adults look to others with compassion, even if it’s inconvenient and painful.
- Break old patterns – Things don’t have to be the same. Kids need a role model that removes their bad habits and focuses on Jesus and the things He has planned for their lives.
- Forgive forever – Often our hearts and love are compromised by grudges towards our spouse. Kids need to see parents who forgive and forget, who are willing to work on past hurts, even to the point of forgiving despite lack of regret on the other person’s part.
- Trust in Christ – It’s easy to try meeting our own spiritual needs with “stuff” or “better circumstances.” Kids need to learn that Christ is the only one who always provides and always supports us.
Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up….
…A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. —Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Our kids need to live in a loving, nurturing home with both parents working through the hardship of marriage together. Surrendered to Christ, they exemplify for their kids that marriage is hard (just like life), but so, so very worth the commitment now and in the long run.
God, for the good of my kids and everyone around me, I place myself in Your hands now. I hold my children dear in my heart. Reveal to me how I can be a better spiritual leader to them by walking in Your Spirit today. Amen.
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