Q: Our marriage was always a bit rocky, but now it has ended in divorce. The problem is that our two children (both in their late teens) are taking opposite sides: our son blames me, while our daughter blames her. Is there any way to get them both on the same page? It’s very upsetting. — T.J.
A: Divorce wasn’t part of God’s original plan for marriage, but sadly it’s still a reality. It shouldn’t, however, be treated casually or as a quick escape from our problems but should be avoided if at all possible. The Bible says, “So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful” (Malachi 2:15).
This doesn’t mean divorce an the unforgivable sin (which it isn’t), nor does it mean God can’t bring healing to those who have been hurt by divorce (for he can). But it does mean that divorce almost always brings with it a host of negative emotions and practical problems that are not easily erased.
Unfortunately, what you and your ex-wife are facing is common when children are involved, and in my experience it won’t necessarily be quickly resolved. (Incidentally, I wish our churches could do more to help young people realize the responsibilities that go with marriage, and avoid the problems and pitfalls that often lead to divorce.)
What can you do? First, accept the situation. In other words, don’t constantly bring up the past with your children or argue with them; it seldom changes anything. Second, believe in the healing power of God’s love. Pray for both your children — and pray for yourself as well, that Christ’s love will rule in all your hearts. Third, contact — that is, do all you can to keep in touch with both your children and let them know you love them, regardless of their present attitudes.
Write to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201 or go to BillyGraham.org.