For so long I covered it up. I wanted to protect him.
I wanted to protect their hearts.
I couldn’t bear the thought of revealing the reality of the situation. Truth be told, I wanted to bury my head in the sand. I just couldn’t face any of it. I couldn’t tell them that I lied about the business trips and that he was really down the street. I couldn’t tell them how much it really hurt.
People would tell me that they were too young to know the truth and in some ways that remains true. But what changed it all for me and my kids was the pastor who was brave enough to say…the Bible commands that you tell the truth. Stop hiding sin. Stop making excuses. Stop telling them that they will be fine. Start pointing them to God.
I don’t know if it was his words or the song that motivated me the most. But I knew I had to fight for them. I knew that something had to be done.
The truth is, there is a part of me that has never really gotten over the pain in my own heart. A part of me that never really knew the truth. The part that grew up believing that I had to be fine. I had to make myself fine.
But I wasn’t fine.
The truth is … I was dying inside. I was wandering from embrace to embrace desperate to be loved.
The truth is…when someone leaves you, it hurts.
Yet somehow when a home is wrecked by divorce we throw out stupid lies like “everyone else is doing it” and “you wouldn’t want to live with unhappy parents” “you’ll still see him every other weekend”… “It will be fine.”
But it won’t be fine. The hurt presses deep into your soul and it never goes away on it’s own.
When a parent leaves, researchers show two responses: It’s my fault or Its God’s fault. Both will lead to a lifetime of baggage. Junk that will transfer into more broken relationships and more broken children.
In a child’s mind, either they weren’t enough or God can not be trusted. After all, if the Word says, I HATE divorce (Malachi 2:16) and a child is told that divorce will be fine, what does that say about God? Is His word always true or just those parts that work for us? Is it ok with Him if we just obey when we feel like it? These are the children that end up as teen pregnancy statistics and gang members. So broken. So confused. Believing lies because the real truth was never told.
I grew up believing both of these lies.
Silence is not always golden. The truth must be spoken. Chains must be broken.
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. John 8:32
Now there is a VERY FINE line that I want to make clear here. I do not believe that there is EVER a situation where we are supposed to trash a person’s character or encourage our children to harbor ill thoughts toward anyone. I think most people get that and this is why so many people my age are hurting. In the name of kindness, no one told me the truth. We just glossed over what really happened and never acknowledged the damage that the hurt had done. But if you don’t acknowledge that hurt, it will never heal.
I have to help them heal. When the questions come, I have to be ready. I pray that God will prepare me for what they need to hear.
I avoid questions that don’t need to be answered. Sometimes the answer to the question is completely irrelevant to their spiritual growth and will not bring healing to their hearts. These questions don’t get answered. I just tell them that I will carry that answer for them until I think they are ready to hear it. Details or specifics are the kinds of questions that get avoided.
When they ask a question, I open the bible and let them find the answer in print. This keeps them from being in a position of wondering who is right and who is wrong. I refuse to argue a point with them that goes against what their loved ones claim to be true. I just let the Word speak for itself. I have complete faith that God’s word in their hearts will carry them farther than anything I could say.
When they point out a sinful behavior, I compare it to their own lives. Honey, remember the other day when you refused to do the right thing after hurting your sister? We are all sinners and in desperate need of a savior. And God has specifically commanded us NOT to judge others. They do need to know right from wrong, but they do not need to go around telling others how they should behave.
We remember the most important commandment. Love the Lord your God and love others as you love yourself. (Luke 10:27) We aren’t called to love those who love us well. We aren’t called to love those who never break our hearts. We aren’t called to love when we feel like it. We are simply called to love. It’s an unconditional, never ending, all encompassing command. The answer is always…just love.
Divorce is hated by God. It bears great consequences for every single member of the family. This is a truth that I needed to know. A truth that all kids need to know. If I don’t tell my kids what the Bible says, they will never fully trust me and more importantly never fully trust God. Hearts need healing.
Have you found that truth heals? How have you struggled with truth?
“The Song” Just Another Birthday by Casting Crowns…