What is Lost in Divorce

Divorce is an extremely indecent thief. It does far more domestic damage than a burglar who breaks into a house to steal your material possessions. Finding your home has been burglarized produces great despondency, especially when the things stolen are very rare and precious. What divorce robs the home of is the rarest and most precious possession of all. (Read Psalm 127:3-5). Divorce steals things that rarely can ever be recovered.

The most valuable thing lost in a divorce has a devastating effect on sons and daughters in the home. The permanent removal of one parent from the home, or from the child’s life altogether is an unrecoverable to children. A brother or sister must go to live with the other parent in cases of split custody. The comfortable environment of the family home, which usually is sold, is taken from the children. Usually there is a reduced income, which means fewer clothes, toys, family outings, etc.

Moving away from familiar surroundings -- school, church, neighborhood, friends, after-school activities, etc. is more traumatic than parents realize. Also aunts, uncles, cousins, or grandparents from the other side of the family, may never be seen again. Gone also are the evening companionship and supervision of mother and father, who usually must go to work to supplement family income.

In addition to all this, consider the intangible losses to the children. Psychologists and family counselors find the following loses to children of a divorce. They are:

 1. Security.

 2. Self-esteem.

 3. A stable home environment.

 4. Respect and status in the eyes of others.

 5. Happiness and a sense of well-being.

 6. Trust in adults.

 7. Faith in God. (The most frequent question asked, “Why did God let this happen” plagues children who are too young to understand.)

 8. The ability to concentrate in school. (Any teacher of elementary age children will testify how many problems are generated in the life of a small child, the victim of a divorce.)

 9. A sense of being able to control one’s own life.

10. The identity that comes from seeing oneself as a part of a normal family.

11. Hopes and dreams of family times to come.

Author Debbie Barr wrote, “Beyond these things, a child may feel embarrassed about the divorce, rejected by the parents who left, lonely, guilty, fearful, and confused--all at once.” (Caught in the Crossfire, Zondervan Press, 1986, pages 28-29).

Jesus taught us to count the cost before we act (Luke 14:28). The cost involved in a divorce is far too high. Stop, think, pray, get solid counseling before letting the fallout of a divorce rob you and your family of the happiness and security of a good home. - DRS

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