LindaJacobsArticle

Fracturing and Fracking of Families

Family / Issues Kids Deal With / Outreach / Parenting / The Church //

Recently a church leader expressed to me, “I know people used to think that divorce was damaging to kids but today divorce is so accepted. Why is divorce an issue for the kids? I mean, aren’t about half their friends divorced? So it’s not like they feel all alone any longer.”

The leader is partially right– divorce is more widely accepted in our culture. It seems like every time one turns on the TV another famous couple is divorcing. Sometimes it even seems glamorous or expected of certain people.

Allow me to give you an analogy concerning divorce.

Hydraulic fracturing is a method the oil industry uses to extract oil and natural gas. Hydraulic fracturing or fracking as it’s called, has been in use for years. As you know, it’s controversial, and there are those who think that fracking does more harm than good:

  • Environmental experts worry because they wonder if all the fracking is causing the underground to be unstable.
  • Some people wonder if fracking might also be causing earthquakes or at least are a contributing factor.
  • Sometimes the fracking contaminates well water.
  • The industry continues to use fracking because they think it’s an answer to extracting oil and natural gas.

I’m not attempting to take sides on the fracking controversy. I think you can see the analogy I’m making.

Just like “fracking” can cause the earth to be unstable, divorce, co-habiting and separation weakens families and causes unstable relationships.

  • Divorce contaminates family heritage when kids are pulled away from half of their heritage.
  • Divorce can contaminate families for generations to come because many times divorce in a family can become cyclical.
  • When the parents divorce it weakens the relationships between extended family and the children.
  • Divorce experts now understand that children pay a price when parents divorce.

Back in 1969 when the no-fault divorce decree came into being, people had no idea how the rampant divorce rate would become.

  • People thought if the home was stressful and the parents weren’t happy the divorce would be better for the children. Now we know that divorce hurts children in untold ways.

We have now raised an entire generation in divorced homes.

  • You might say the ground is shaky at best for some of the adult children of divorce. Many adult children of divorce are now feeling the “earthquakes” in their lives.

Much like the reasons the oil industry and natural gas continues to use fracking, society continues to divorce.

  • Society thinks divorce is the answer to family discord, partner dissatisfaction and individual happiness.

Many children still feel like they are the only ones whose parents are divorcing.

  • Even though they know their friends parents are divorced, the comparison doesn’t resonate with them when one of their parent’s walks out the door.

If churches would welcome the child of divorce and their parent, some of the damage from divorce could be healed. I’ve seen it happen many times. Divorce doesn’t have to be cyclical in families. It can happen to only one generation but it takes helping the children heal. It means giving children stable environments such as a church family. It means churches stop the fracturing and fracking of families.

 

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About the Author

Linda has been a children’s ministry director, developed DC4K (DivorceCare for Kids, dc4k.org), operated a therapeutic child care, and has extensive experience at successfully accommodating challenging behaviors. She currently serves as the DC4K Ambassador and Professional blogger at http://blog.dc4k.org.