How to teach children of divorce about love and marriage, pt. 2


Love and marriage

Using Scripture, the plumb line for relationships.

After modeling and demonstrating what love is, (part 1) church leadership can help children, teens, and even adult children of divorce understand what a marriage relationship plumb line looks like. Ephesians 5:21–33 is a starting point.

Use that passage to help them see that:

  • God wants husbands to love their wives by serving them. (Eph. 5:25, 33)
  • God wants husbands to be willing to make huge sacrifices to benefit their wives.                    (Eph. 5:25)
  • Husbands are to lead their wives spiritually. (Eph. 5:23)
  • Husbands are to care for their wives the same way they care for their own bodies. (Eph. 5:28)
  • God wants wives to follow their husbands’ lead. (Eph. 5:22)
  • Wives are to listen to their husbands the same way that the church is to obey Christ. (Eph. 5:23)
  • Wives are to respect their husbands. (Eph. 5:33)

Because children of divorce come from broken homes, they may have many questions about these marriage principles. They’ve probably seen the exact opposite modeled before them for years. So these principles probably seem unrealistic. This is why telling them these things isn’t enough. In addition to the Spirit of God teaching them what is right, and their memorizing verses from Ephesians 5:22–33, we need to show children what good marriages look like. If we don’t, some will grow up believing that nobody can do marriage the way the Bible prescribes.

Here are a few ways you can let children see husbands and wives who are trying to build their marriages in accordance with the marriage plumb line.

Celebrate healthy, long-term marriages

Celebrating long-term marriages is one way to demonstrate what a Christian marriage should look like. It shows children of divorce how the church family can honor these marriages. Announcing a couple’s up and coming anniversary is one way to honor and celebrate their marriage.

Connect children with godly couples

Pair up a child of divorce with an older couple who has been happily married. Perhaps the couple could be substitute grandparents—cheerleaders or Grandbuddies who can model and demonstrate what a loving relationship should look like.

Make sure your own marriage is healthy

Continually test your own marriage to make sure it is solid. You can demonstrate God’s love for these children, but if your own marriage falls apart, you will have done more damage than the original divorce of their own parents.

Assuming your marriage is healthy, invite kids to spend time with you and your spouse. Let them see you when your guard is down—when you’re doing the dirty work of marriage: discussing finances, making dinner, cleaning the house, etc. This will give them a realistic picture of what a godly marriage looks like.

Put Christian marriages on display

You can influence children of divorce. You can show them God’s design for marriage, His plumb line. Just like God uses the idea of a plumb line to rebuild His own people, we can use the same concept to rebuild children’s opinion of what a marriage should look like. We can carefully show them what the Bible says about divorce. We can explain that God still loves their parents but He hates divorce. We can tell them we all sin and God forgives us of our sins through His Son, Jesus Christ.

As you reach out to the child of divorce, whether it is a young child, a teenager, or an adult child of divorce, make sure you have a true standard, God’s Word, as your guide. Lean on the Holy Spirit to craft your conversations, and pray without ceasing for the child’s healing and understanding.

What is your church doing to give children of divorce a marriage plumb line?


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