“The one saith, This is my son that liveth, and thy son is the dead: and the other saith, Nay; but thy son is the dead, and my son is the living. And the king said, Bring me a sword. And they brought a sword before the king. And the king said, Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one, and half to the other.” I Kings 3:23,25
The biggest issue to be decided by the divorce courts, is not how to divide the assets—but rather how to divide the children. Who will get custody of the children? Who, and how to allot visiting rights? Who, and how much should be paid in ‘child support’?
In doing research on the internet on the subject, “Child custody”, I came upon many articles advising parents on preserving their parental rights to their children—but none on the rights of the child to have a home with two parents. The children are pawns in the process. They have very little to say in how they will be divided and allotted.
Divorce destroys families; divorce destroys marriages. Divorce destroys lives because divorce destroys love. The greatest casualty of all is that divorce divides and destroys children. One source I read claims that more than 70% of our children will spend time in a single parent home.
In an article, Stephen Loughhead, Ph.D. wrote, “The process of divorce can leave family members feeling angry, hurt, confused, and discouraged… We know that children of divorce are more vulnerable to depression, behavioral problems, and problems in their own relationships. As parents they are more likely to experience financial stress, depression, and problems in their future relationships, including a higher rate of divorce for second marriages. Many families experience painful months and years of turmoil following a divorce”.
I noticed Danny, a fourth grade boy, walking around the playground not talking or playing with anyone. After the fourth day, I joined him and asked him how he was doing. He said, “OK” in a soft voice. I kept walking and talking with him — finally he shared with me that he was missing his mother.
His mother who lived and worked in San Francisco had visited him for a short time during the Spring Break but now had gone home—leaving him with dad—and the feeling of being abandoned. He could not understand how or why she was doing this.
Danny refused to play with other children and would go and sit on the wall by himself. I would go and talk with him but it was always the same. “I am missing mother.” I talked to the counselor about him and she told me she had been seeing him all year long. She shared a list of words that he had written on how he felt.
Here is his list:
The word he used over and over was “ignored”.
As I travel by air I usually see two or three children on the plane traveling alone, with no adult. They are placed in the care of the airline with a label—to be delivered to a person at he other end. This person is usually the non-custodial parent who still has visiting rights during vacations. I once sat next to a young teenage girl who lived with her mother in Cape Town, South Africa, going to visit her father in Atlanta.
On June 9, 2010, Delta airlines mixed up two children and sent them to the wrong city. Delta apologized for the mix-up—but the greatest tragedy is that these children were divided and traveling alone in the first place.
I realize that there are legitimate reasons for the break-up of a marriage–but incompatibility is not one of them. The issue of compatibility must be settled before marriage. When a couple unites in marriage and brings a child into this world they have a responsibility to stay together and provide a safe ‘nest’ for that child.
Many ‘Christian marriages’ end in ‘divorce’—this is an oxymoron. Couples who claim to love Jesus Christ and claim to have loved each other in the past, surely, with the help of Jesus can work out their problems and reclaim their love. Divorce may end the marriage but the damaged family continues.
The judges of our land are saying, “Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one, and half to the other”. But, I believe God would say, “Every child deserves a mother and a father united in love”.
Parents: Stop dividing your children!
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