There is something about the start of a new year that gets me excited. Maybe it is the thought that things can start over. Sometimes it is a new opportunity to right the wrongs done in the past year. It is chance to explore optimism for the future year.
When you are doing the Lord’s work it is an exciting to see what God has in store for the up and coming year. Every year I wonder where the Lord is going to take me; how He is going to stretch me; and who He is going to bring to me to minister to about the love of Jesus. Sometimes I wonder what hurting children He will place before me this next year. And to be truthful, sometimes I worry that I might miss those children. That is a huge concern for me!
What if a child is trying to reach out, but they have masked their worries so much that I don’t recognize they are reaching out? Kids of divorce are very good at saying one thing but meaning another. They are good at hiding their true feelings. I guess since they have to be careful living in two homes, keeping secrets from “the other parent,” that they learn to hide their problems so well that when it comes to asking for help, they might not know how. That is where children’s ministers and church leaders are going to have to be vigilant to read these children.
I realize most of you don’t have time on Sunday to try to “read” how every child is feeling. I also realize that many of you don’t know which child is living in a single parent home. You may not know that a child has listened to his parents fighting. Or that the cute little blond seemingly happy-go-lucky little girl is worried about her dad who moved out a few weeks ago.
January is the highest month for divorces to occur. Some researchers think it is the stress of the holidays. Others think that many people are just waiting to get through the holidays, keeping the peace so to speak, before they approach their spouse about a divorce. Others are dealing with financial issues and income tax status. Whatever the reason, the kids suffer.
This year make it a point to get to know which kids are the kids of divorce in your church. Each week pray about which child the Lord wants you to reach. Then send just one child of divorce a card, email or connect with them in some fashion. Perhaps you could send them a coloring sheet, a game, a craft page or something having to do with a special day. Tony Kummer’s website (Ministry-to-children.com) has something every week that can be downloaded, printed and mailed.
At the end of the year you will have connected with 52 children. It is a start! More than a start, it will impact 52 children who need to know that someone from the church and the Lord’s family is reaching out to them. Now that is something to get excited about!
“For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God who calls you into his kingdom and glory.” 1 Thessalonians 2:11
For more resources and information on divorce, family disruption and modern families please visit our Hope 4 Hurting Kids Divorce and Modern Family Help Center.
This article is updated and adapted from an article originally published on Divorce Ministry 4 Kids on December 28, 2012.