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Fracturing and fracking of families

 
 

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Recently, a church leader expressed to me, “I know people used to think divorce was damaging to kids, but today, divorce is so accepted. Why is divorce an issue for 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 for 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 might 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 making the ground unstable.
  • Some people wonder if fracking might also cause earthquakes or at least be a contributing factor.
  • Sometimes 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, cohabitation, and separation weaken families and cause unstable relationships.

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

Back in 1969, when the no-fault divorce decree came into being, people had no idea how rampant divorce 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 adult children of divorce. Many adult children of divorce are feeling the earthquakes in their lives.

For reasons much like why the oil and natural gas industry 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 parents walks out the door.

If churches would welcome the children of divorce and their parents, 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 that requires helping the children heal. It means giving the children stable environments, such as a church family. It means churches stop the fracturing and fracking of families.

 

This article is updated and adapted from an article originally published on the Kids & Divorce blog on September 25, 2014.

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6 thoughts on “Fracturing and fracking of families

  1. tHAT IS AN EXCELLENT ANALOGY LINDA. I’VE SEEN THE EFFECTS OF DIVORCE ON KIDS — MY NIECES AND NEPHEW, AND AS WELL, CLIENTS’ FAMILIES, AND KIDS IN SUNDAY SCHOOL. I AM LOOKING TO BECOME INVOLVED IN DIVORCECARE4KIDS IN OUR CHURCH SO I CAN BE OF SOME HELP WITH SOME KIDS

    • Thanks Debbie. Yay for getting involved in DC4K. I just came from our DC4K session. I get so pumped every time I see these little ones move forward and heal through the power of the Lord.

  2. Thanks for your insightful articles. I’ve received comments from my Children’s Ministry Team members as I sometimes copy them on your articles. I also pass them on to Sunday School teachers, DC4K Safekeepers, and pastoral team members. Again, thank you!

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