A House Divided

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  • “My grandma says divorce is a sin. Does that mean my
    parents aren’t Christians anymore?”
  • “Why doesn’t my mommy want to be here with all of us
    anymore?”
  • “I think my parents hate each other.”
  • “I can’t go to the Mother Daughter Tea this year. That’s my
    weekend with my dad.”
  • “I don’t think I can stand one more father
    figure!”

There is no typical picture of a child in the midst of family
crisis. Divorce can strike in homes that’ve seemed relatively
peaceful, or it can be the end to months and years of gut-wrenching
conflict. There’s no average age for a child of divorcing parents,
no typical new family configuration, no predictable amount of time
to adjust to the change. Nor is there a certain set of behaviors
that clue us in to the fact that things aren’t stable in the home
environment. Often the first clue we have that something is amiss
is a comment like those on the previous page in the context of
normal conversation.

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One million children each year will experience a new divorce. So
how can we help kids whose lives are being radically altered by
divorce? How can we help them come to grips with a new kind of
family life? How can we offer continuous support while their worlds
sway around them for weeks, months, or years? How can we protect
kids in single-parent homes from becoming part of the horrendous
statistical data that links family status to all sorts of social
ills?

“One thing that we as a church can do,” says Gary Sprague of
Kids Hope in Woodland Park, Colorado, “is to validate to these
children that their families are still valued. For the parent, one
is a whole number, and the single-parent family is still a complete
family.”

The mission of Gary’s organization is to bring hope and healing
to kids in single-parent or blended families. He does that by
bringing high-impact weekend seminars to local churches.

 

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