Effects of Divorce on Kids Involvement in Church

churchOne of the regular emails I receive is HomeWord’s Culture Brief. It is designed to help parents and ministry leaders stay current with youth culture.

In the January 18, 2013 edition they referenced an article from the Chicago-Tribune that highlights research that indicates that kids raised in happy, intact marriages are twice as likely to worship later in life than children whose parents divorce amicably.

I think this speaks to different groups – both the church and to parents. The church continues to struggle to address the issue of students that grow up in the church that don’t return once they hit adulthood.

It speaks to parents as yet another negative effect of divorce. I thought it was interesting that the article used the word “amicable” to describe certain divorces. In my experience, I don’t know if you can really put the words “amicable” and “divorce” together, unless it is simply to make the adults in the dissolving relationship feel better about what is taking place.

I certainly don’t have more answers than anyone else; just found this to be an interesting insight into the impact divorce has on the kids involved. While God is certainly able to work in the lives of divorced parents and kids from divorced homes, I think this research sounds another warning bell for today’s families.

Here is that portion of the article featured in the HomeWord email:

Seeking to highlight a phenomenon that has become so common that it’s often overlooked by clergy, a new analysis of data about children of divorce reveals that kids raised in happy, intact marriages are twice as likely to worship later in life than children whose parents divorce amicably. Researchers say they hope the unprecedented project will awaken pastors to a common oversight contributing to the decline in mainline Christian denominations and religious affiliation in general. “Children of divorce are on the leading edge of the well-documented spiritual-but-not-religious movement,” said Elizabeth Marquardt, the project’s lead author. “These are potential leaders. As we grapple with more and more people growing up without a married mom and dad, the church can make more sense of that.

They’ve Flown the Nest

This has been a unique summer for us, especially as we are in the month of July.

Joe has been at college for two years and traveled to various CIY Conferences last summer.  This year he is traveling to various church camps.  He has already been to Illinois, Georgia and currently is in Indiana.  The picture to the left shows him with his team at The Varsity in Atlanta.

Syd is currently in Las Vegas playing in a tournament with her Angels teammates.  She will return in time to go play in Tennessee and will then conclude the AAU summer circuit with a tourney in Washington DC.  Prior to leaving for Vegas, the Angels worked at the OGBR camp.  You can see the group in the picture below.

Gone are the days of trying to figure out what to do during the lazy days of summer.  They are keeping busy for sure!

Family Matters

This month in our Sunday morning classes for Junior High & High School students, we are talking about relationships.  This week in our high school group we are focusing on our relationship with our families. We hear phrases like “traditional family,” “non-traditional family” and “blended family” used quite a bit and it makes the difficult task of functioning together as a healthy family that much more difficult.

As we focus specifically this week on the child’s role in the family, I read some pretty good advice for students.  No family is perfect, so we need to figure out to honor God in our not-so-perfect families.  Thought these three suggestions were pretty good.

Learn from their wisdom

For the most parts, parents know best. And God commands us to honor them and listen to their wisdom. No matter how out of touch you feel your parents are, they still have a special wisdom that is looking out for your best. We can learn from their wisdom by obeying it.

Learn from their mistakes

There are a lot of broken families in our world. And learning from others requires us to be mature enough to see the areas where they made unwise decisions. We can learn from our mistakes and the mistakes of those around us.

Learn from a mentor

Finding a mentor who is a positive older man/woman and someone who you look up to, and allowing him/her to speak into your life is one of the best ways to learn about family. Allow him/her to help you see God’s design for our families.

Catchin’ Up

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything, so feel like I should catch up a little bit. After the Hershey trip, I came home to finally move. We waited two years for Cheryl’s house to sell and it did. We found a great house in the Clinton-Massie school district and it is situated nicely for our drives to Wilmington and Waynesville.

On top of that, I officially have a renter for my house. We originally planned to sell mine, but the market was not cooperating. God must have had other ideas because He brought a young lady to rent my house. We signed the contract today!

Joe has been busy with his travels for CCU. He has been to three weeks of CIY Summer Conference, a week at the NACC and is currently helping out with Solid Rock. Next week he goes to camp and then finishes the summer at another CIY.

Syd has played a lot of basketball and done well. She had a great week at the OGBR camp last week and then on Saturday, a very nice article was printed in our Wilmington News Journal. Pretty cool!

Hope your summer is going well.

Nineteen

A year ago at this time I had a blog post entitled Eighteen, the day my son turned 18. Today he is 19. Kind of interesting to go back and read where we were at that time. He was a senior in high school, just made a college visit and was looking forward to the “next chapter.” Now, he has started the second semester of his freshmen year and has made the transition to the college life. He won’t be home on his birthday as he is gone with the school choir on a short retreat. Interesting how things change.

As I visited his Facebook page this morning, he already had a number of birthday wishes and I’m sure that number will continue to grow through the day.  I am grateful for the many people in his life that have had influence on him and for those who will continue to play that role.  Just like the rest of us, he is a work in progress and I look forward to seeing what things God has in store for him.

Happy 19th Birthday Joe!