Devotionals by Dr. James Dobson

Divorce and  Kids

“And a husband must not divorce his wife.”    
  1 Corinthians 7:11

The daughter  in Sunday’s “Dear Daddy” story  described the trauma of her father’s deserting their family as like being in a car wreck. That is the impact divorce typically has on children. It is devastating! For more than twenty‐five years, California psychologist Judith Wallerstein has tracked hundreds of children of divorce from childhood to adulthood. She’s found that the distress young children experience after a divorce remains with them throughout their lives, making it more difficult for them to cope with challenges. “Unlike the adult experience,” Wallerstein says, “the child’s suffering does not reach its peak at the breakup and then level off. The effect of the parents’ divorce is played and replayed throughout the first three decades of the children’s lives.” Harvard University psychiatrist Armand Nicholi says that the pain of divorce is worse for children five years later than at the time the family disintegrates. He also links interruption of parent‐child relationships with an escalation in psychiatric problems for children.

The next time the idea of divorce enters your thoughts, consider the consequences of such an act on the most vulnerable members of your family. Research shows that time doesn’t heal those wounds.

Just between us . . .

• Do you agree with the statements of these mental health professionals?
• If your parents divorced, what was your experience during and after  the breakup?
• What would happen to our kids (or future children) if wedivorced?

Father, we thank You for the tender lives You’ve placed in our care. We resolve never to harm them through the violence of divorce. Strengthen and bless this commitment in our thoughts and actions each day. Amen.

• Material on divorce from “Children of Divorce Heal Slowly, Study Finds; Scholar’s Latest Evidence in Influential Series” by Barbara Vobejda (Washington Post, 3 June 1997), and presentation given by Dr. Armand Nicholi at the White House Conference on the State of the American Family, 3 May 1983. Available in the Congressional Record, Extension of Remarks, 3 May 1983.

Listen to today's broadcast of Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk at  OnePlace.com.   For more from Dr. Dobson, visit the resource center at  drjamesdobson.org.

This devotional is taken from Night Light for Couples. Copyright  © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.  Used with permission.

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Packed with the same wisdom Dr. Dobson has provided audiences for more than 30 years, Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk is designed to help families and influence the culture — all flowing out of a heart for spiritual transformation thru trust in Christ for every life. It's the voice you trust...for the family you love!

About Dr. James Dobson

About the Hosts:
Dr. James Dobson:

James Dobson is the host of Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk. He is also the founder of Focus on the Family, where he served for more than 30 years.

A licensed psychologist and marriage, family, and child counselor, he was an associate clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of Southern California for 14 years. He invested 17 years on the attending staff of Children's Hospital Los Angeles in the Division of Child Development and Medical Genetics.

Earning a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California, he's authored more than 30 books, including his most recent bestseller, Bringing Up Girls. Dr. Dobson has also been heavily involved in governmental activities related to the family. He was elected in 2008 to the National Radio Hall of Fame.

Dr. Dobson is married to Shirley, the father of two grown children, Danae and Ryan, and the grandfather of Lincoln and Luci.

 

Dr. Meg Meeker:
Dr. Meg is a pediatrician, who has practiced pediatric and adolescent medicine for 25 years. She is the author of six books including the best-selling Strong Fathers/Strong Daughters: Ten Secrets Every Father Should Know, and its companions Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters: The 30 Day Challenge and Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters, 8 part DVD Small Group Study and WorkbookBoys Should Be BoysYour Kids At Risk, and The 10 Habits of Happy Mothers: Reclaiming Our Passion, Purpose and Sanity. She is a popular speaker on pediatric health issues and child-parent relationships. Dr. Meeker has the heart of a mother and the wisdom of a pediatrician. 
Meg is an Assistant Clinical Professor at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine and currently teaches medical students and physicians in residency training. She has been married to her husband, Walter for 31 years. They have shared a medical practice for 20 years. They have three daughters ages 29, 27 and 25 and a son who is 21. She lives in northern Michigan.

 

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