Preventing A Life Frittered Away
“A life frittered away disgusts GOD; he loves those who run straight for the finish line” (Proverbs 15:9 MSG).
In our world today we have many children whose parents have split or separated that will drift into a life frittered away. To “fritter away your life” means to waste a life over a period of time on things that are not worthwhile. Is there anything you can do to help these children and give them a chance to get a fresh start toward that finish line?
Yes, there is! You can start thinking like God does about these children. God values children, all children. Many times in our churches we forget to value the child of divorce/cohabitation. We are busy with so many responsibilities that these children seem to get lost. It might be because this child only shows up occasionally in your church.
As children’s workers, it’s important to pray and consider ways you or someone in your church can help these children get a start toward that finish line. You may never know what happens to that child in his or her future life, but if you can just help them now, you will be giving them a chance to keep from frittering their lives away.
Sometimes that means understanding the single parent a little better. We forget that many single parents are struggling as much as their children. Following is an excerpt from an email I received. Hopefully this message will encourage you to reach out.
A year ago, I was filled with desperation and despair from a hopeless and abusive marriage. God sent many angels into my life. Recently I began teaching a class called “Boundaries.” I never dreamed I’d be doing something like this. God has been so good to my family.
My children have been in a DC4K (DivorceCare for Kids) program at a church in our area. My girls’ self-esteem has soared, and they are truly starting to work through everything that has happened in their lives. God bless you for making this available to my little ones.
It’s because of ideas like yours and those you have worked with who are obedient to the Lord that lives are changed. My kids and I are proof of that. God bless you!
The single mom that wrote this letter is indeed a wise mom. She relied on God to help her through a trying time. Not only did she take care of herself by submitting to God and allowing His people to help her, but she also remembered her children. She found help for her kids by seeking out a DC4K program in a local church. This mom is running straight to God and bringing her children alongside her. She found encouragement in her church, and because she did, her children also benefited.
You might not be able to run a DC4K program, or any program for that matter, especially geared toward these children. While that would be ideal, there are many other things you can do. The main thing is to do something!
If you are reading these articles on Hope 4 Hurting Kids, you have a good start. You are educating yourself. Think about forwarding these articles to others in your church. When you do that you will be bringing attention to the plight of these children.
Ask the prayer teams in your church to start praying about something specific your church can do to help these children. The assistance might come in the form of a helping ministry. One church I know does Backpack Buddies. A team of volunteers in the church coordinates with a local school to send home backpacks filled with food each Friday. On Monday the backpacks are returned to school empty. Volunteers pick up the backpacks from the school and the process starts over again. This program came about because one person became concerned and donated some funds to get the program started. The entire program is funded through donations.
Several years ago a gentleman shared with me about a time when he was just a kid in elementary school, and how each Christmas a church family adopted him and his little brothers. They would pick them up on the weekend before Christmas and take them to their home where there was a Christmas meal waiting for them and small presents under the tree for the three boys. Now in his sixties, he still has fond memories of this Christian family. He remembered eating at the table with a fancy tablecloth on it and lots of food. He said they were told they could eat as much as they wanted. This was a simple thing to do but what a powerful impact on a young boy.
One time I was doing a workshop at a church in Florida and out of the corner of my eye I noticed that an older gentleman began to weep. At the break he shared with me,
“I am seventy-five years of age. I have healed more in the past two hours than in the last seventy years. You see my parents divorced when I was just five years old. If a church would have just reached out to me then it could have saved me all these years of frustration and doubting. I am saved, and I love the Lord, but it took me a long time to come to know and believe in a God that wasn’t going to leave me like my father did.”
Put your thinking caps on and start thinking about what you can do to deter a child from frittering their life away.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 September 23, 2011.