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Divorce runs counter to what God wants for marriage and causes hardship. But it can be even harder when a marriage has ended and someone unexpectedly becomes a single parent. A Christian counselor shares the stories of three people who are relying on the Lord's promises for guidance, wisdom, and strength as they face challenges in their new roles as single parents.
When "Tom" began counseling, he was already over the shock of his wife abandoning their 10-year marriage and their two grade-school-age daughters.
"I had no idea, though, how I was going to parent two young daughters on my own," Tom recalls.
He was thankful for the support of family and friends but needed to talk through the challenges of single parenting. Accepting the responsibilities and challenges of single parenting and making his kids his top priority was something that Tom credited to his faith. Tom spoke of the sacrifice that Jesus had made for him by his death on the cross and how that moved him to sacrifice his time, money, and energy for the sake of his children.
Tom knew that his daughters were even more confused than he was as to why their mom would leave so suddenly. Tom initially used his counseling sessions to increase his skills at being an effective listener, so his daughters could talk openly about their confusion and hurt. Tom did not want their hurt to turn into revenge or hatred, so he worked on being truthful and accurate when answering his daughters' many questions, yet he avoided being critical of their mother.
Tom spoke of other practical strategies and goals that he was working on, growing more confident of the positive impact they would have on his daughters. He described how taking one daughter along to the grocery store provided individual time to "just talk." Both he and the kids now look forward to critiquing certain TV shows, "providing another opportunity to just talk." Tom involved the kids in deciding what things had to be done every day in the house and what could wait until the weekend.
"My weekly planner became like my best friend," said Tom as he described how he established new routines for making time for his kids and other important things.
"Betsy" had hoped for sole legal and physical custody of her children, as she was now committed to protecting them from the years of verbal abuse that she endured from her ex-husband. As far as she knew, her ex-husband was still using drugs and alcohol, but the court mandated that the kids leave with their dad for unsupervised, day-long visits every other Saturday.
A teenager shares how divorce affected his family, and how he relied on God to help him through.
Is divorce a forgivable sin according to the Bible?
Answer: Divorce does involve or give evidence of sin, real sin, on the part of one or both of the marriage partners seeking the divorce. God's revealed will and desire is that marriages be lifelong. But the sin or sins normally connected with a divorce are certainly forgivable.
Do you have a special need, concern, temptation, or heartache? Or do you know someone who does? Our prayer team is ready to pray on your behalf.
When we stumble and fall and smash apart our lives, God is still there. His forgiveness flows over us and over sins of our past, sins of our present, and sins even of our futures.
Looking for more stories and resources that relate to your life situation? WELS has developed materials for some of life's biggest challenges and changes including going to college, death of a loved one, financial problems, divorce, parenting, fear, aging, and more.