MARK THIS DOWN IN YOUR BOOK AS TRUTH--
IF you have children together, there is really no such thing as divorce. You are FOREVER linked by your offspring.
As I mulled over this post, I remembered another truth,
It is okay for me to talk about my kin, but don't you dare!
What is the common thread in these two statements?
My standing advice to any divorced parent is to NEVER speak negatively about the other parent. Your children are 50% the other parent ~ the one you are downing ~ and they will own your words because of that fact. So when you let a negative zinger fly about their other parent, it does wound, but not who you wanted to lash out at--instead your sweet child is pierced through their heart. As Momma so wisely taught me as a child, "If you do not have something nice to say, then say nothing at all."
The same statement applies when you begin talking about our kin, we are from the same gene pool, and therefore will own what you are saying. Though we may deny "being like them", we know there is always the possibility we have inherited the same traits AND they are our family! The slight difference is we do a better job of keeping those traits under cover- hidden from the world. It is perfectly fine for me to laugh about my and those who are mine crazies, but don't you dare.
Divorce is a difficult road to walk (Perhaps this is why God hates it). A virtual hen house of walking on eggs. In all truth, marriage is tough, but divorce can be tougher. Figuring out how to negotiate the divided family is a maze of stumbling in the dark of the new. Though you still have the common love of your children and grands and a shared past-sometimes for decades, establishing a new normal is perhaps even more difficult than figuring out the first year of marriage.
Holidays, birthdays, weddings, funerals, graduations, and on and on all have to be reconfigured. Dividing time is hard for everyone. It adds another layer of stress to sometimes already stressful situations. Some seem to have negotiated all of this with ease celebrating together for all occasions. Sometimes it is not so easy, especially when another family becomes involved as well. It is difficult for the first generation of children of divorce who want it all to look as it once did, but even more confusing for the next generation who do not understand the why's of grandparents living apart.
The most important thing I have learned is I am modeling grace and forgiveness for my offspring. There is a choice of harboring anger, resentment, and bitterness or being the example of forgiveness, peace, and love for both parties in a divorce. There is no choice as a Believer, but to forgive and let go of the past and accept the present. Your children will thank you, your grands then have the freedom to be loved by both of you without feeling they are betraying you, and life is easier when you commit to be the example God intends you to be.
All of us had rather be one big happy family, but at times there is a fracture-a split and the family is divided. But there is still kinship--a hybrid family is formed. It reminds me of splitting an atom. There is still all the parts of the atom, but now there are two separate atoms instead of one. The two atoms can co-exist side by side, but each atom is now functioning independent of the other. We live in a complex world, filled with simple truths. May we cling to the truth that God is the nucleus of it all as we negotiate the different.