I hope you have read the new series part 1 that we started last month. We discussed the first of 25 Things Children of Divorce Want Their Parents to Know, We feel responsible for what happened. If you missed it or did not get to read it, please go back in my blogs on my website or take a look at my March newsletter and check it out. This is going to be an interesting and exciting new series.
This month we are going to discuss the 2nd Thing Children of Divorce Want Their Parents to Know –
To switch things up a bit this month I am going to take a different look at this statement. I think, for the most part, these feeling results mostly when parent’s badmouth or attack each other in front of their children. When this happens the parent who is being attacked often feels that because of the influence the other parent has on the children, they start to believe what they are saying is true and agree that because the marriage failed they are bad people and cannot be a good parent.
One easy way to slip into this bad habit is when one parent continuously questions the parenting of the other. Maybe they blame the divorce on something the other parent did or did not do. Maybe they have made some mistakes that are now being used as blackmail. Or maybe their self-esteem has been attacked so much that their self worth is very low. It is because of these personal attacks that make it easy for someone to question their value and makes them feel like a failure. Feelings like this cause a person to think they do not deserve or are not able to be a good parent.
If this is you, it is vitally important that you do not allow the things others say about you affect who you are as a person or as a parent. If you have made mistakes, like we all have, take them to Jesus and ask Him to forgive you. Once you leave them at the cross do not continue to carry that shame. Shame is one of the biggest deceivers Satan tries to use on us. Believe that your past failures and mistakes are not part of who you are. Know that you have been freely forgiven and you can live in victory over those sins of your past. God has great things in store for you and you have a very important role in your children’s lives. Don’t believe the lies of the devil.
Now this doesn’t mean that there may not be consequences for choices or mistakes you have made in the past, but once you are forgiven you can walk with your head held high, knowing that these choices do not define you as a person or a parent any longer. Walk through the journey of restoration knowing that your past has been erased as far as the east is from the west, never to be held against you again.
If you are the ex-spouse who finds himself or herself sucked into this subtle game of destruction, I employ you to stop and think before you respond, especially when your children are around. You personally hold the key to the emotional well being of your children. How you portray and react to their other parent is vital in the healing they can experience and will have everything to do with their future relationships. Please do whatever it takes to protect your children’s relationship with their other parent no matter how angry or hurt you may be. Their futures are on your shoulders.
And as far as your children are concerned, if you have a loving and nurturing relationship with your children, there is nothing anyone, even your former spouse can say that will make them think you are a bad parent. The loyalty between a parent and child is thick. Do not allow what others say to define your relationship with your children. God has given them a special kind of love for you, just as you have for them, and nothing anyone can say can change that. Live in that freedom knowing you are loved and forgiven.
Lastly, I want to leave you with some words of encouragement if you are feeling defeated. If you have done everything right and there comes a time when it seems that the bad mouthing and attacks have won, know that it is only temporary. In almost every case, if you remain faithful in your relationship with your children, they will come around and you will once again enjoy an even more fulfilling relationship. I have seen this happen all the time. Do not get overwhelmed and give up. Your children will see the truth and one day you will be vindicated. Until then, keep your head high, continue on your knees in prayer and watch for God to do the healing.
Together with you,