Being a parent is difficult; being a single parent is even more difficult! However, we are not only a parent, but we are also a full-fledged person who might want to be in a relationship. It is not impossible to find love again, but we must be wise.
Of all the hardships we can face, divorce is one of the most difficult, especially when we have children. Death is a big shock, but since it is a permanent change, we can move on to another chapter much faster than after a family break-up. Because we can never really turn the page, we must keep in touch with our “ex” for the education of children, for our week of childcare, etc. Not only that, but there are also character traits, even physical similarities of our partner in our children, so we can never forget our broken marriage. We cannot turn the page and start over as easily.
Divorce is never sudden. It is always after a long series of suffering that we come to this final decision. When one of our loved ones is sick, and we take care of them every day, we also suffer daily. When this loved one dies, we are sad, but relieved at the same time. However, in the case of a divorce, we suffer for several months, even years, and when we are forced to end the relationship if children are in the picture, our relief is not complete. We’re not even talking about snarling partners who have made it their goal to make their “ex” miserable by continuing to persecute them even after divorce.
No wonder God doesn’t like divorce. No good parent wants their children to go through such a terrible emotional breakdown. Jesus understands how we feel and He shares our sufferings. “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses…” (Hebrews 4:15a NKJV). Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross allows us to forgive others, to forgive ourselves, to be delivered from bitterness, and to be healed from our past relationships. We can receive new life in Christ, but we also have the great responsibility of taking care of our children.
The children suffered in the process too. They heard the arguments, the harsh words spoken between their parents. Yes, each parent has weaknesses, but children love both parents. And when our heart is bleeding, we sometimes seek comfort in the love of our children and this can lead to an unconscious desire to appropriate our children. “At least you love me… Do you love me more than you love your father?” And the children are thus torn between their desire to comfort you, and their love for their two parents. The father and mother are supposed to be an indestructible column on which the children stand to grow. When this column is shaken, children feel instability and fear. Another good reason for God to hate divorce.
We have to keep this all in mind when we are going through a divorce. After this fateful moment, we must take the time to receive our healing from Godto re-establish our solid relationship with Him. At the same time, we need to become a solid pillar for our children. God is the defender of widows, the father of the fatherless (Psalms 68:5 NKJV), He will know how to be our strength when we are alone and to be the pillar for our children. But let’s take the time to rebuild ourselves. After a divorce, the solution is certainly not to find another partner as quickly as possible! Your children don’t need a “new” father or a “new” mother. They need security, a new solid base. Even a year of celibacy seems too little to rebuild ourselves and rebuild the stability of our children. It is not uncommon for single parents to take several years to open their hearts to another partner, and that is fine.
When your relationship with God, with yourself and with your children is strong enough to think about starting a new relationship, do not make it a daily mission either. Your children remain your priority if they live with you. They were there long before this new person, make sure they are comfortable with the whole process. You have to show the example of a person who learns from their mistakes. You alone are the image of God for your children; they’ll understand how God loves them by comparing that to the love and care you give them. My children or my love life? As long as they are your responsibility, you will have to sacrifice yourself for the good of your children. It will not be impossible, but while you are developing your new love life, you should always take your time to check the state of your self-esteem, your relationship with God, and the psychological stability of your children.
If you are thinking of dating a divorced person, keep this in mind, be compassionate and patient. This person has as much value and is as precious as any other single person, but they have a past and a responsibility that requires you to be more delicate. Their painful experiences will be an asset to a future relationship. They will know what “not to do” now! But the price of this treasure requires a more thoughtful investment on your part.