Repairing broken lives

The 10-year-old son of a friend came home last week and told his mother about the young boy sitting in the next desk. “He was so sad,” he said.

The reason? The young boy’s parents had just broken up. They would each share him equally.

It’s a common story these days. Marriage breakups are common – just as common among Christians as among non-Christians. Broken marriages hit children at least as hard as their parents.

So, is it better to tough out a bad marriage? Hard to say. My wife reminded me today of the parents of a neighbour who remained married despite not saying a word to each other for decades.

Christians, though, have an option. They can change with the help of God. They just have to want to.

That’s the key – wanting to change. I admit to being defensive when my shortcomings are pointed out. Sometimes, it takes a lot of effort by my wife to move me along.

Not changing, though, can be as devastating to children in Christian marriages as it is to those in non-Christian unions.

In his book Shame off you, author and pastor Alan Wright tells of the day when his parents called a family meeting to announce they were separating. He was 9 years old.

“My world changed forever,” he writes. “Shame took up residence under our roof.”

Like other children, he is sure he asked whether he was responsible. He goes on to say: “With no father to wrestle, we will not learn to wrestle against the adversities of life, but will seek to avoid them by way of finding comfort.”

“In this increasingly fatherless nation, our orphan hearts will be healed of their shame only as we grow into the assurance of our adoption as children of Father God.”

Francis Chan, noted author and pastor, said some time ago that Christian husbands and wives must find their full satisfaction in God. Seeking a perfect husband or wife is a mug’s game. Everyone loses when we try to force our spouses to fulfill our vision of the perfect husband or wife.

For husbands and wives – and for their children – the ultimate hope is in Jesus Christ.

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