At the crux of Hope 4 Hurting Kids is to explain why divorce should matter to churches and to call churches to serve to minister to children suffering from the effects of the divorce of their parents and/or living in single parent families. At times, that means encouraging churches to start programs like Divorce Care 4 Kids or The Big “D” which are “support group” type programs targeted at children of divorce to help them deal with the impacts of the divorce and point them towards God as the ultimate source of healing. However, just starting a new program isn’t enough. Truly ministering to these children and students requires that those in our churches who work week in and week out with our kids must also be prepared and equipped to deal with the fallout from divorce.
As people who minister to children and students, we cannot afford to turn a blind eye to children of divorce and children from single parent families. Recent government studies show that only 60.3% of children live with their married biological or adoptive parents. That means that 40% of all children either live with cohabiting biological parents (3%), in single parent homes (27%), step families (6%), or without either biological parent (4%). There is some variation by race, but lest you think this issue does not affect your community or church, here is the breakdown by race of children living with other than their married biological parents:
All of that means that, on average, 2 of every 5 kids who come through your church doors every Sunday morning have either experienced the divorce of their parents or grown up in single-parent homes.