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Monday, October 08, 2007

Divorce and children

One thing I am learning as I share with couples who are walking through a divorce is the hardship is brings upon the children. How do they survive?

While divorce is never good for children, it may result in a less destructive environment and thus be a relief for them.

Each child is so different. Each reacts in different ways. Depending upon their age at the time of their parents divorce, they may express their feelings in a number of different ways.

They will need a great deal of love and support from both of their parents, from their extended family and from their church family.

The positive news is that though it maybe very difficult for them, children can grow up healthy in a divorced family.

Here are some suggestions:

1. Make the best of your situation. Find someone to talk to about the guilt you feel for involving your children in a divorce. Resist the temptation to dig up your guilt once Calvary has covered it. With God's help, focus your attention on your children's needs instead of your own. Help them get on with life.

2. Learn to co-parent with your former spouse

Remember that you both still love your children even though perhaps you no longer love each other.

Understand that your former spouse may be legally and morally unfit (by Christian standards) to parent your children.

Reorganize and accept that your children will be exposed to your former mate's lifestyle.

Resist the urge to continue your battles through your children by being difficult about visitation schedules.

3. How do you respond when your child prays that their parents get back together?

Explain that God allows us the freedom to make some decision that are not exactly what He would choose for us to do.

When we make those unwise choices, we must take a change on being hurt by the consequences of them.

God loves us during the time we are hurt by our own bad choices just like parents keep on loving children who are hurt by their bad choices.

When two people decide to get a divorce, or one person decides to get a divorce form the other person, God won't force them to get back together.

Just some thoughts that I hope will help. More to come.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

I will not I feel

When I wake up some days, I just don't want to do right.

How about you?

It's not that I want to do wrong it's just that, well, I just don't want to right.

I don't feel like praying. I don't feel like reading the Bible. I don't feel like attacking the items on my to-do list. I feel like doing, nothing.

Then I remember the words of Paul in Philippians 2:13, "For God is working in you, giving you the desire to obey him and the power to do what pleases him."

The NIV says it this way: "For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose."

The Living Translation says desire, the NIV says will. Maybe will is a better word--will implies a choice, desire implies a feeling. Either way, on those blah days, my first order of business is to lay my desires, my will (or, perhaps, my "won't) before God and ask him to transform it by his mighty power.

I've learned something about this process (and this is why I quoted both translations today). When you make the choice to surrender to him, he changes your desires. Even when all you have to offer him is a "won't" , he can change it into a "will". He gives you the desire to obey him, and the strength to do what pleases him.

Monday, October 01, 2007


Change can be exciting and challenging at the same time.

Some people suffer under change. It's difficult.

Other thrive on it.

Here's what I am learning. Change is seasonal.

I'm a big believer in seasons.

There are seasons of success.

There are seasons of failure.

The writer to the Ecclesiastes puts it this way in Ecclesiastes chapter 3:

" There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:

2 a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,

3 a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,

4 a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,

5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain,

6 a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,

7 a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,

8 a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.

9 What does the worker gain from his toil?

10 I have seen the burden God has laid on men.

11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

12 I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live.

13 That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil—this is the gift of God.

14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere him.

15 Whatever is has already been, and what will be has been before; and God will call the past to account."

City Slickers recounts the adventures of three friends having mid-life crises. They escape the city and head west for a two-week cattle run to discover what's important in life.

Before they leave, Mitch (played by Billy Crystal) shares what he does for a living at Dad's Day at his son's school. Instead of talking about his work as a salesman, Mitch bewilders the third graders with a monologue about how bleak their future is.

He says:

Value this time in your life, kids, because this is the time in your life when you still have your choices, and it goes by so quickly. When you're a teenager, you think you can do anything, and you do.

Your 20s are a blur.

Your 30s, you raise your family, you make a little money, and you think to yourself, What happened to my 30s?

Your 40s, you grow a little pot belly. You grow another chin. The music starts to get too loud, and one of your old girlfriends from high school becomes a grandmother.

Your 50s, you have a minor surgery. You'll call it a procedure, but it's a surgery.

Your 60s, you have a major surgery; the music is still loud, but it doesn't matter because you can't hear it anyway.

70s, you and the wife retire to Fort Lauderdale. You start eating dinner at 2:00, lunch around 10:00, breakfast the night before. And you spend most of your time wandering around malls looking for the ultimate in soft yogurt and muttering, "How come the kids don't call?"

By your 80s, you've had a major stroke, and you end up babbling to some Jamaican nurse who your wife can't stand but who you call mama.

Any questions?

Different seasons bring about different changes in our lives.