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The Easter Bunny arrives right on cue!

 
 

 

Easter was only a week away. Everywhere you looked there were Easter displays. Many churches were planning an Easter egg hunt or Easter celebrations the next Saturday. Kids in my preschool and after-school program were hyped about Easter games, Easter baskets, Easter candy, and Easter, Easter, Easter.

In my program were three children who were not excited about all this Easter stuff. You see, their dad lived across the country and they hadn’t seen him for a very long time. Let’s face it: even a few weeks can be a long time when you are a little kid and you haven’t seen your other parent for a while.  

The kids loved their mom and dad but the parents were divorced so the kids lived two separate lives. One with mom who lived in Middle America and one with dad on the West Coast. Lifestyles between the two parents were very different. Both parents loved these kids very much.

One afternoon the two elementary age girls were very sad because they thought their dad wasn’t coming to see them that Easter. They said when they tried to call him the night before, he was away on a business trip. He wasn’t away on a business trip, he was on his way to see them. They sat there looking dejected and lost in thought when in walked an Easter Bunny. That Easter Bunny arrived right on cue!

The Easter Bunny called the girls’ names, and at first they looked puzzled, and then all of a sudden, they recognized their father’s voice. One of the girls had tears running down her face. The other girl was just jumping up and down. Someone brought in their little brother, and he ran into the arms of this big white bunny.

While we as adults really want kids to know the meaning of Easter, there are some little kids, like the three children with their Easter Bunny dad, that the story of Easter is lost on because it is hard to understand the concept of a God who would love them so much that He would suffer for them.

Think about this

 

  •      When children have a split family, will they ever understand the family of God, the church?
  •      Will these children of divorce be able to grasp the intimacy of a family that gets along, a church family where Christian brothers and sisters serve each other?
  •      Will the kids from divorcing families understand the compassion and empathy that Father God has for us?
  •      And what about an unconditional love the church family experiences from a Father God who gave His Son on a cross to save us from our sins?

Older kids who have accepted Christ as their personal Savior may still need explanations about divorce and God issues

Recently I got a call from a fourteen-year-old. He was confused about something. He said, “Sometimes a friend of my mom’s picks me up after school, and this guy and I have some good talks. But he said something the other day and it’s really bothering me, and I don’t know why it’s bothering me.”

He went on to explain that this dad, husband, and former military man had gotten out of the service, but he had really liked being in the military. When my teenage friend asked him why he got out if he enjoyed it so much, the man said, “Because my family needed me, and it was hard on my kids for me to be gone so much.”

During our conversation this teen realized he was upset because he felt his dad didn’t love him enough to stick around. He said he had forgiven his dad and he was no longer angry at his dad, but he had been upset and didn’t understand why. This kid has accepted Christ as his Savior, and he went through DC4K (DivorceCare for Kids) several times and then attended The Journey: Divorce through the Eyes of a Teen, by Krista Smith. But he continues to need explanations about various issues regarding divorce. This Easter will probably be one of the best Easters since the divorce, because this kid has healed and has compassion for a Christ who loved him enough to die for him.

My friend, unlike so many kids of divorce, understands:

  •      One Spirit in the church
  •      One hope
  •      One personal Savior—Jesus Christ
  •      One faith

How can kids of divorce understand the peace of Christ that can rule in your heart? How do they know to treat each other fairly, since the opposite has been modeled for them for years? They can know because of your love for Christ and because of Easter and how you present Easter and God’s love to them.

Please don’t let the meaning of Easter get lost on kids in your midst. Don’t allow them to think Easter is all about the Easter Bunny and Easter baskets. You may have to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in your conversations about Easter with kids whose parents have divorced.  

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1a).

 


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