Thursday, April 4, 2002

Devastated by Divorce

by Blake Cromwell

As a pastor I have heard many marriage-ending clichés like, "You would be better off without him," or "You'd be better off getting a divorce than subjecting your kids to so much fighting." But the reality is that most serious sociological studies reveal that these clichés are incorrect. There costs of divorce are very high indeed.

Judith Wallerstein did thorough research on the impact of divorce upon men, women and their children. Her research showed that ten years after their divorce, half the women studied were diagnosed as being clinically depressed.

Divorced men also suffer serious negative consequences. It is true that 83 percent of divorced men remarry but 75% of them will divorce again. The harsh reality is that divorce many times leads to more divorce. Both men and women suffer great emotional payments for divorce.

Divorce is also financially destructive for both men and women. The norm for a woman is that her standard of living will go down 70 percent.

Wife number two who has married a divorced man with children must work to help cover the bills for their family plus the child support payments of her husbands’ first family. This extra financial obligation complicates the new marriage and brings enormous financial stress.

Annually, 1.5 million children are subjected to the upheaval of divorce. Shockingly, one third of these precious kids never see one of their parents again after the divorce takes place.

There is so much emotional stress on the parents that many times they are not able to tune into the pain their children are facing. It seems everyone becomes disconnected and is left to fend for themself.

One study revealed that nearly half of the children from divorced families become involved with alcohol and drugs.

In the Bible God declares, “I hate divorce.” Malachi 2:16. This statement doesn’t say God hates divorced people. No, He hates the results of divorce on everyone who pays the high price of low living. God loves all people and seeks to help them.

Churches have a bad reputation of rejecting those who are divorced or who are in the process of a divorce. As a pastor it saddens me that those who are going through such a difficult time often cannot find the support they need. In reality most of the churches in the Kings County are seeking to strengthen marriages and to help all who are going through the negative results of divorce.

At Koinonia Christian Fellowship one concerned couple started a Divorce Care support group for the purpose of helping hurting people find God’s help in the midst of their pain.

Of course, our main goal is to be a pillar of support to all the marriages in the Kings County, but when a divorce has taken place Koinonia Christian Fellowship and other churches in our community want those who are suffering to feel that our arms are open in love and healing.

The Pastors in the Kings County invite all to come in for counseling before you go down the path of divorce. Please, for your sake and the sake of your children, take the extra effort to try again to make it work.

Tuesday, April 2, 2002

Get Into the Huddle

by Blake Cromwell

Jack Kisling, a Denver Colorado columnist wrote the following;

Two prosperous middle-aged business partners, along with thousands of others like them, attend a big National Sales convention in Chicago.

It’s five hectic days of meetings, reports, seminars and panel discussions and by the end of the second day both of them are dazed, weary and eager for diversion. One suggests they go out on the town, have dinner, a few drinks and a little fun.

“We could catch a show,” he says. “Maybe one of the topless joints.” Then with a wink, he adds: “Maybe hit one of those pickup places you know. Check out the broads.”

His partner looked puzzled, “You’d try to pickup women?”

“Yeah something like that,”

“No thanks. And by the way, I’m starting action tomorrow to dissolve our partnership.”

The other’s jaw drops. “Huh? Are you out of your mind?”

“No” replies his partner, “I’m telling you I don’t want to be in business with you anymore.”

“I don’t get it. What are you talking about? Why?”

“Because it just occurred to me that a man who would cheat on his wife would cheat on his partner.”

There is a mentality that says loyalty to marriage vows and faithfulness to a business partner are not the same. But I think most of us would disagree. Faithfulness, or lack thereof, to one’s spouse reflects a person’s character just as much as faithfulness to one’s business partner. A person’s character effects everything they do and say.

How’s your character? Is it consistent in all areas of your life or do you make exceptions in “special cases”?

In my opinion the church is the best place to build character. It’s a place where we receive encouragement, instruction and help. Church is actually a lot like a football huddle in that sense. In football, the huddle is just one part of the game, but it is an essential part. Games are won and lost in that circle. Many have gone into the huddle tried and ready to throw in the towel. But within that circle words are spoken that inspire weary men to go out again and give it all they’ve got.

After the huddle it’s application time. The huddle just encourages the player to do what they know is right, after that, they’re on their own.

So it is within the huddle of the church. We receive encouragement, instruction and help; then we go back to our family and our jobs and apply what we know is right.

Too many in our community don’t do to well in the areas of honesty, faithfulness and even justice. They loose their values and principles under the pressures of temptation.

What our world needs is a holy huddle. This weekend at one of the churches in the Kings County there are pastors waiting with words of instruction and encouragement especially for you. So get out there and do what’s right!