divorce fighting and effects on children in the long run.

 

I’m currently in the student center at school working on my seminar for Monday and am thoroughly enjoying the time alone. There is virtually no one in this building except for the girl sitting at the desk, in case people need to be let in the door (like me, because I don’t have an ID that works.) working on my seminar. Its really nice not to have many people here. actually if I would have thought of it, I would have encouraged people to come back early and play tag or something in this building because its sweet that there is no one here.

Anyways, I’m going through my sources, re-reading, finding new ones and attempting to bring closure at my satisfaction for this presentation. I decided to re-read this one about children even though it’s not my seminars emphasis anymore. Last night I went to a thing called Generation Revival at North Heights Church and a group of kids studying at IHOP Universtity (International House of Prayer) who came to do worship with us brought up how they were really feeling like the Lord was calling us to be real about being fatherless. Whether that ment your dad isn’t alive, he was there physically but not spiritually or emotionally or even there mentally; some fathers are present but abusive, or drunkards or escape their responsibility of being a father figure. They prayed for restoration of our hearts, that we would come to see our father in heaven as all that we need. He is a perfect father, even if our earthly fathers continue to fail us. When reading this article I was reminded of my own relationships with my fathers in light of last night.

My father passed away about four months ago and last night was a good reminder for me that God doesn’t have grandchildren, he has children. He wants us to come to him in all things. Often I ran to my daddy for advice, both spiritually and in life instead of going to the Father first. My daddy, although very real often was a yes man in the sense that he constantly affirmed my beauty. I am beautiful in Christ but I would use my daddy’s affirmation to feel good instead of truth from my Father in heaven. So last night I was reminded that Christ is there even when I can’t run to my earthly father anymore. He is far more infinitely wise, comforting, affirming and can give more peace than my daddy here ever could.

Now, In reading this article about children and how much divorce effects them later in life, I started thinking about Greg (my step dad) and my biological daddy. I get upset when I see people fight and get angry with their parents over little dumb, selfish things because I think to myself.. I don’t have a Daddy anymore.. I don’t even have the opportunity to fight with him anymore. But last night God convicted me of not appreciating Greg very much. I built up this wall because of the pain that has developed over disagreements we have. I have become so selfish that I don’t leave room for grace with him and am taking advantage of him being here.There is no reason I should be getting upset at people in fights with their parents when I don’t resepct and honor my step dad like I should.

This article talked a lot about the fighting in relation to divorce. Many kids are okay with a divorce because they just want the fighting to stop and they think that the fighting will go away when parents split. Sometimes it does, but sometimes It just gets worse depending on what the fighting is about in the first place. Kids start to feel anxiety and frustration at the lack of peace in their home, they really just want their parents to grow up and start acting like parents. This hurt can create a feeling of not being good enough, they can’t solve the parents problems and this can leave scars that carry later into life. The wounds left from the pain of not having peace can include disillusionment, fear, insecurity, vulnerability, and other emotions. Here is a little clip, then I’ll further explain.

At its worst, children experiencing intense conflict have to take sides because they can’t manage the internal tension and anxiety they feel. For these children, there is a risk of serious psychological regression where they will see one parent as mostly bad and the other parent as mostly good. This psychological “splitting”, as it is called, is damaging to children because it reinforces a style in which they view the world in a “black and white” or “all or nothing” way rather than a more balanced view of good and bad in most people.

(Reducing Divorce Conflict, Stahl. 2001)

I never experienced this with my mom and dad because they are pretty civil. There were definite times of fighting but for the most part it’s been okay. I love both them the same, just in different ways. The problem more lied in place between my real dad and my step-dad. Because Greg has been a part of my life since I was 4, I’ve always called him dad; that’s never been weird for me. Greg has always been supportive of my real father, and there for me when I’ve been mad at my dad, He is encouraging to be loving and forgiving even when my daddy has made mistakes. But my real father has not been supportive of Greg all the time. He has told me how much he appreciates Greg and Mom for the way they have raised me and helped me through life but it rubs him the wrong way when I call Greg, ‘Dad’ in front of him. Honestly, this wasn’t a huge issue, I always just called him Greg in front of daddy but I definetely felt a disconnect in attempting to show appreciation or affection for him in front of my daddy. It was really weird at first to say ‘dad’ to Greg after my father passed away. I felt like I was forgetting about my Daddy in some way by replacing him. Its hard to find a balance now but I think most of all I am seeing the need to reconcile the broken wall between Greg and I. We disagree at things but  you are always going to disagree in some area with everyone. Its hard to be real about some things because I know we have passion and desire for different areas in our lives.

I am starting to see how your childhood really effects they way you are when you grow up because of habitual sin, patterns and traditions. The way relationships are formed are crucial to understanding how you see and relate to the world today.

 

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divorce

Let me just start by saying I think the Lord has really opened my eyes to forgiveness and his desire for his children to have the same heart he does.

He tells us that David is a man after his own heart even though in David’s lifetime he is a murderer and an adulterous. God gave not only his people as a whole a covenant but individuals as well. With David, God was still faithful to make him great dispite is inadequacy. It’s absolutely incredible to think about the possibilities God creates for us to make him look glorious even when we sin. I’m amazed how in everything its the same concept; its the fact that God chose David, not that David was a great king. David made some huge mistakes, committed some sins that effected a lot of people.

God created a covenant with David that is not based on David’s obedience but God’s faithfulness to his will. Obedience doesnt create our identities, obedience is an overflow from our identity in Christ. Its so crazy how much we forget about little things that the Lord intended for us.

Do you ever think about the fact that every relationship on this earth is supposed to model the relationship Christ has with his bride (or with the church)? The pastor at the church I attended this morning said that, and I was convicted at my own selfishness. I continually seek after relationships that satify me, not the Lord. I am friends with people who build me up, love me, make me look good, make me laugh, entertain me, give me stuff, encourage me, help me, cherish me, compliment me, and help me in one way or another. Now thease aren’t bad things, but when its soley what we seek after it becomes more than a selfish act.

This worls the same with marriage. Marriage was not designed for you to be loved, feel loved, pleasure, children, or having fun. Marriage was designed to sanctify you, help you see more of Jesus, grow closer to him and fulfill the calling the Lord has placed on your life. A healthy, God-honoring relationship that puts Christ at the center allows for all of those things mentioned above, but those are not what the Lord created it for. The marriage covenant is the greatest picture on earth God gave us to see how he loves the Church. People today in our culture treat marriage as a contract, easily able to break with side steps like a pre-nup that allows us to secure our own interests in this deal. Marriage vows that proclaim for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, mainly talk about selfless love, that requires nothing from the other partner. why are we constantly acting as if marriage is there to serve us? ITS NOT!! It’s there to serve Christ and to allows us to see more of our sin that we may recognize his holiness and bow at his feet in humble adoration; not seek self satisfaction.

I’m embarassed to say many of my relationships serve me more than they serve christ, but i’m a work in progress. Everyday I learn more about serving the God I love in new ways. This week I want to focus on ways to serve others. The pastor also talked about desiring Christ-like behavior in terms of being made new. A lot of the times in biblical days your name would change when you were made new like Saul to Paul. My name, (Samantha) means to listen, and since I’ve always been a talker, this week it is my focus to listen. I want to be who the Lord created me to be, there is power in words, in names and therefore I want to listen to that of what the Lord has called me and what others have to say.

Although I am not married, and probably far from it, I really want to listen to where the Lord wants me. I want to follow his command in that my relationships here on earth should model him. A lot of them don’t and I really want to seek to be a proverbs 31 woman. I want to respect my future husband by treating my guy friends with respect now. Part of that is listening to the Lord in his calling for us to be pure.

Most people think that being pure is just physically. Its not!! Being pure is physicall but also both mentally and emotionally. Although we as women can stray far from touch and the presence of guys we can build lots of things up in our head.

Preparing for marriage and faithfulness begins long before the vows take place, and the rings are exchanged. It starts with building a foundation of loving the Lord in all things, and above all things prior to the relationship. It’s not even surprising how high the divorce rate is these days, with any excuse, if one at all because the foundation relationships are built on is not the Lord. They are most commonly built on selfish, self-satisfying desires that only build up self and frequently let us down because they aren’t satisfying.

I’m excited to talk about marraige and divorce based on unfaithfulness because forgiveness has been laid on my heart. I don’t currently feel the need to search and search for resources to back up what I believe because Christ has said enough. I could talk on scripture alone for far beyond the required length of our presentation but look forward to seeing more of what I can find, and what the Lord will continue to reveal to me.