Monday, July 31, 2006

Touchy Subject

Divorce is tough on everyone involved. Some friends of mine are in the process right now. I have been through it myself, and would not wish it on anyone.

It is especially difficult on the children involved. Some people will tell you that it is harder on smaller children, but in many situations I have known, grown children of divorcing couples are affected deeply as well.

If you have read this far and are ready to set this column aside because you are not and don’t plan to be involved in a divorce, hold on! Keep reading; I promise this column will be relevant to you, too.

As adults, especially as parents, we all share a responsibility for the raising of our children. I happen to believe that this responsibility is not only to my own children, but that part of being an adult means sharing a general responsibility for the raising of all children.

In our society today, though, many adults are preoccupied with their own lives and desires and interests. Sometimes this is to the detriment of their children. Certainly parents need to do things to take care of themselves, but we have to learn to do this in ways that do not impinge on care of their children.

This obviously affects single parents more extremely than married parents. If two parents can work together to make sure the needs of the children are held in high regard, space and time can be found, negotiated or carved without such severe effects on the children.

This summer I have met youth from all over this part of the country. I have heard many stories from them, and seen in casual observation at these events and just out and about in the world that youth are hurting. The children and youth of our culture are in general paying a high price for the too prevalent selfish desires and appetites of the adults in their world.

Our children and youth deserve better. We owe it to them to do better.


At 6:59 PM, Blogger Richard H said...

Any particular ideas? How do we balance this with the modern American tendency of some to treat children like they're the center of the universe?

At 7:20 PM, Blogger Steve Heyduck said...

Treating kids like they are the center of the universe is also not taking responsibility for them.

At 12:04 PM, Blogger Rick said...

How about re-establishing personal priorities?

I've done without some "stuff" that I wanted to buy or wanted to do.

Instead, I put that time, energy and money into my kids. Heaven knows they never saw much of me anyway because I was always at the church or at "meeting" somewhere in the community.

So, I taught them drivers ed. I went to the band concerts. I went to the plays. I personally met and "grilled" (actual, threatened is the more appropriate word) each boyfriend before the first date. I made time for "kid stuff" on vacations and trips. I painted their bedrooms, took them to the doctor, and pridefully attended their graduation services.

What did it all get me? Just these things.

1) They call me on the phone to say "hi!"
2) They ask me for my opinion when they are struggling to make an important decision.
3) They call me on my birthday, or show up to surprise me.
4) They don't drink, do drugs, and (to my knowledge) have never been arrested by the police.

Yeah, I gave up on having and doing a lot of things. But I am blessed as a result. I am a rich man because I have relationships with both my girls.

Consequences are the result of what you choose to do or choose not to do. I am all for "positive" consequences!

Good blog, Steve!

Rick ><>

At 7:35 PM, Blogger Carol said...

Mine is just turned 13 and I love your advice. My cousin's 18 year old son just graduated in May and was killed in an accident last week. She and I have discussed how to keep the lines of communication open, since we both teach school and that tends to keep you busy. Not as much as a pastor, but enough to need to MAKE time to be with Patrick.

At 2:49 PM, Anonymous M L said...

One of the major problems I see today is that many parents just don't want to be bothered. In a restaurant the little children get up and run around all over the place; this way, the parents don't have to be bothered with them. Someone else can be responsible for them. Buy them toys, computers, all kinds of technological gadgets, to keep them occupied and serve as baby-sitters. The most important thing kids need is you time, not another diversion.

At 5:10 PM, Anonymous Mike Baughman said...

I think it might be worth a little reminder that divorce isn't necessarily a bad thing for kids. The decision to divorce isn't necessarily a selfish decision and is often in the best interest of the kids. The most obvious examples include situations of verbal, physical or sexual abuse by one partner of the marriage on another.
The church has, to the detriment of many women and their children, been a voice telling victims to stay with their abuser.
Divorce isn't something i'd wish on anyone. It's awful, but oftentimes divorce is the cross that one part of a marriage is called to bear for the sake of their children for the covenenat has already been broken by the abuser.


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