As I was on my morning walk I noticed two birds chirping very loudly. One bird was on the right side of the street. The other bird was on the left side of the street.
It seemed to me that they were conversing with each other. The one on the right would chirp almost as if it were yelling. Then the bird on the left side of the street would chirp. Back and forth went the banter. Sometimes they wouldn’t let the other bird finish before they started chirping.
As I got closer, I think the bird on the right in its best bird language said, “See that lady walking toward us? She belongs to me this weekend.” As I got closer, the bird on the left quit chirping. I’m sure that if I spoke birdese I would have interpreted his silence as something bad. Plus I think the bird was scowling at me.
So, here I am walking down the middle of the street listening to these two birds chirping over me, and it reminded me of the child of divorce who is trying to walk in the middle between two parents that love him and want his attention. These kids of divorce fight the fight every single day.
If they are with their mother, many worry about their dad:
- Is Daddy missing me?
- Is he eating his veggies?
- I wonder if dad remembered to feed the dog?
- I wonder what dad is doing this weekend without me being there?
- And if there is a significant other in the dad’s life and that other has kids the questions will pertain to those “her kids.” “Are they touching my stuff? They better leave my things alone and my dad too.”
If they are with their dad the worries go something like:
- I hope mom is not afraid without me being there to protect her.
- I wonder if mom remembered to put out the trash.
- I hope that trash dumpster wasn’t too heavy for her to move by herself.
- I wonder if mom is lonely without me.
- I worry that mom doesn’t eat when I’m not there to help her get dinner ready.
- I know mom doesn’t like to eat alone.
Unlike me as I can continue walking away from the chirping birds, kids of divorce can’t walk away from the two different homes. They can’t walk away from the sometimes two different lifestyles.
Listening to chirping birds is usually a relaxing and enjoyable experience for me. Like the child of divorce when they live with parents that get along it can be a relaxing and enjoyable experience. When the parents are divorcing – not so much.
What you can do
- Take time to love on a child of divorce today in your church.
- Let them know they matter.
- Tell them you are glad they are part of your church family.
- Fill in the gaps of a loving family for them.
- Teach them what God’s word says about divorce and remind them God loves the sinner and we all sin in some way.
- Help them feel accepted and better yet help them feel their single parent is accepted in your church.
Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Matthew 6:26
Linda Ranson Jacobs is one of the forefront leaders in the area of children and divorce. She developed and created the DivorceCare for Kids programs. DC4K is an international program for churches to use to help children of divorced parents find healing within the arms of a loving church family. As a speaker, author, trainer, program developer and child care center owner, Linda has assisted countless families by modeling and acting on the healing love she has found in Jesus Christ. Linda offers support, encouragement and suggestions to help those working with the child of divorce. She serves as DC4K Ambassador (http://www.dc4k.org) and can be reached via email at email@example.com. You can find additional articles from Linda on her blog at http://blog.dc4k.org/.
Free articles and devotions for single parent families in your church can be found at Linda’s website Healthy Loving Partnerships for Our Kids (http://www.hlp4.com).