Think divorce doesn’t hurts kids? Think again.


Don’t think divorce hurts kids? Think again.

Of all the ways a divorce negatively impacts a child’s life, the impact on their religious life may be the most detrimental of all. Church attendance and participation in church activities can be particularly cumbersome and tricky.

Research shows most single parents drop out of church shortly after the divorce. While a child may want to continue going to church it becomes difficult. Trying to find a ride and depending on people you don’t know to give you a lift feels awkward so many children eventually drop out of church all together.

Other children, like Sam in our video clip, attend two churches. All of the traveling back and forth between homes and then between churches causes kids to be confused, sad and angry.

  • They don’t feel like they fit in with the regular group.
  • They feel left out of the regular church activities when they have to miss or attend the other church.
  • They want to make friends but aren’t there on a regular enough basis.
  • It’s hard to remember when to stand, sit or kneel at which church.
  • It’s confusing when it comes to understanding what each church believes.
  • Many worry about such things as, “What if I forget and clap when we sing like I do at the other church? Will people make fun of me?”

Many children like Sam never feel comfortable enough to truly belong to either congregation. They are like little nomads wandering around the countryside trying to figure out to which village they can integrate.

Some children turn to God when the divorce happens. God becomes the father who they come to rely on, depend upon and trust. Other children turn to the church and church family to replace the loneliness and family connectedness they have lost.

How is divorce impacting the children and  youth that you know?


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2 thoughts on “Think divorce doesn’t hurts kids? Think again.

  1. I think this is true no matter what age in the child’s life the separation happens. Alaura was 17 months old. Now she is almost 11 years old and I see fluctuation in her interests with church. Our family tries to stay involved and keep her included with church activities. Her father doesn’t attend church. However, he is flexible in allowing her to attend church activities during his visitation time. That helps keep her involved and not feel so disconnected.

    • Thanks Kristina for sharing a personal story about your daughter. I pray it open people’s eyes about kids of divorce even when they are in a two-parent home with a step dad.

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