When it comes to divorce, we know from research that evangelical couples are not that much different than couples who do not profess faith. footnote So we should not be surprised when kids in our ministries suffer this fracture in their family. The question then is not “what if” but rather “when” students find themselves in a dissolving family, what will we do? Here are a few thoughts…
- We must confront the situation head on. It’s easy to find ourselves beating around the bush when talking with students because we don’t want to break confidences or make students more uncomfortable. Yet, when it comes to the pain and questions they ARE facing in this situation it is important we take the lead and address the situation head on.
- We must be in it for the long haul. Meeting with a middle school student one time and asking them how they are doing is more likely to illicit at “fine” response than a genuine one. It takes time for students to open up to the level which allows them share their heart. We must be in the relationship for the long haul. The pain of divorce does not go away with a few short meetings.
- Don’t forget the parents. Maybe it’s because I’m the parent of teenagers and the couples divorcing in my group happen to be my friends, but this new perspective has lead me to be much more concerned for and attentive to the parents who are suffering through divorce. Find them a support group and journey with them as well as their kids.