“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.
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.