“I hate Divorce,” says the Lord God of Israel


God hates divorce

For some church leaders and children’s workers it may be hard to truly understand what happens with a child of divorce inside the child’s head, within the heart, and under the skin

Plainly stated, children lose their family. They lose a mom and dad living together as a unit. While this may seem like it is a simple statement, it has monumental outcomes when it comes to living the life of a child.


  • It is where you are supposed to feel safe, carefree, and loved.
  • It is where you learn to navigate life.
  • It is where you learn to negotiate differences.
  • It is where you learn what you believe and you are able to experiment with values and learn family traditions.
  • It is where you learn what you believe and you are able to experiment with values and learn family traditions.
  • It is part of who you are when you grow up and become an adult.

Children go from living in one world, which is hard enough when you are little kid, to living in two completely different worlds with different rules, values, and many times beliefs.

At times these worlds collide and then continue to change rapidly. It is hard to figure out schedules and logistics. Many times children don’t even know who is picking them up from school or where they are going to spend the night, let alone understand what mom or dad believe about God.

Everything may become uncertain to the child. Questions such as,
• Who do I believe?
• What do I believe?
• Who am I?
• Where do I belong?
• Will I ever have another family?
• Why doesn’t my parent love me enough to come back home?
• Is there really a God, because I’ve asked Him to bring my parents back together?

Just trying to figure out life can be very confusing for the child of divorce. Elizabeth Marquardt puts it very succinctly in her book “Between Two Worlds,” where she writes,

“After a divorce it’s no longer the parent’s job to run together the sharp edges of their two different worlds. Instead the rough edges of their different worlds run together in only one place: the inner life of the child. They feel and act like little adults.”

How unfair to the children, to their inner life, to have to try and navigate their world; to have to smooth rough edges of their lives. There are many adults who can’t even do this and yet divorcing parents force this upon their children.

What happens to a child’s religious life after divorce
A study from Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion has found that many children who have been raised in a religious home will fall away from religion when their Christian parents divorce: “Children who had two religious parents who get divorced are twice as likely to become estranged from their church as adults compared to people whose parents didn’t get divorced.”

They go on to say that this phenomenon could be because parents who divorced aren’t as religious as others. No one knows for sure what causes adult children of divorce to pull away from God and from the church. What I do know is that as children’s leaders it is up to us to come alongside these children. It is our responsibility to minister to them and minister to them deeply.

You might be the only “Jesus” some of these kids get to know
You may very well be the one that brings them to a saving grace and knowledge of Christ. Perhaps God will use you to smooth the rough edges of their lives. He might allow you to be the one that shows them how Christian parents parent and love their children through Him.

Become the child of divorce’s friend. Become the one he or she can run to, hug, and feel safe and comfortable being around. Help the child to smooth his or her rough edges. We can walk alongside the single parent and the child.

When one considers all the ramifications of losing one’s family unit, it is no wonder that God states very clearly and in no uncertain terms, “I hate divorce” Malachi 2:16 (NIV)



This article is updated and adapted from an article originally published on the Kids & Divorce blog on November 5, 2014.

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2 thoughts on ““I hate Divorce,” says the Lord God of Israel

  1. as a single mother of two beautiful children, I read over and over again the damages of divorce. Though I was the one who actually filed for divorce, it was only after almost two years of begging and pleading and trying. Now, I refuse to get into another relationship in fear of further damage to my children by bringing in yet another world into theirs. What I would like to see, is some help for those like me in teaching my children and helping them to deal with what is going on. And help for me to stay strong in not becoming an adulterer and remarrying. It gets tough being both mom and dad. And lonely. I need some encouragement.

    • Lisa, thank you for sharing. I was a single parent also. My kids are now grown with families of their own. You can do this and be successful. If you haven’t been through DivorceCare, I encourage you to go through that helpful program. ( Another great program to help single parents is Single & Parenting. ( You can connect with other single parents and find friends and people in like circumstances. I’ve run Single & Parenting at my own church and then those single movements moved into our Sunday morning single parent class. For both programs you can use the search engine on the website and do a search for churches in your area that run these helpful groups.

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