As a(n adult) Child of Divorce…

I find that articles I read about divorce in the church never seem to touch on my qualms or questions.  And I have a hard time articulating, even to myself, why that is so.  Maybe I need to read ‘the whole thing’ (for example, if the article is an excerpt from a pastor’s book).  Or perhaps the writers are concerned with other issues related to or inherent in divorce (there’s been a slew of articles on ‘How to handle adultery’).  There is a lot about trying to find the balance in straight truth from the Bible on the ‘wrongness’ of divorce and healing, grace, compassion, working toward reconciliation, grief, etc.  Most of these discussions focus on the couples involved, and the local churches of which they are members.  While I haven’t read all that has been written (even very recently) on the subject, there’s not much mention of or from the children also affected by their parents’ (or parent’s) adultery, separation, and/or divorce.  Very few also go into enough depth to ask the question, “What if, in the case of non-mutual divorce (one spouse abandoned the other), the filer claims that, even without having biblical cause for divorce, “God is okay with it” or “God wants me to be happy” or “He’s given me peace about it.”  The church has to deal with that, and has to help both the abandoned spouse and the children process this.  What are the implications of such claims?  Is it worth examining the post-divorce lifestyle of the filer/leaver?  How are the children supposed to honor parents who claim to be Christians, but act so worldly, sometimes even emotionally steamrolling their own children in the process?  In my case, my parent who left did not only claim God was ‘okay’ with it; she treated my father cruelly and with contempt (in front of my underage sister at the time); she told me (as an adult) that she doesn’t have to explain herself (because I didn’t understand adult relationships), while admitting she believed that Jesus’ command to love our enemies (which I assume includes spouses who are being divorced) didn’t apply to her, or at least, not in this case (!); in all this time, she has abandoned the fellowship of believers altogether, with seemingly no intention to return; lastly, even in the midst of a health crisis, all Christian vocabulary has evaporated from her common parlance (during an uncommon season of life).  It is absolutely strange, and neither my sister nor I know what to think, and after five years, don’t know how to relate to this woman.  I was an adult when she left; my sister is an adult now.  My father encourages us to be compassionate towards her, and in our more fleshly moments, to at least have pity.  But it is difficult to know how to honor a parent as the Commandment states, who set such a bad example, and who probably should have been excommunicated (but at the time probably didn’t care whether she was).  I know that the Bible doesn’t make exceptions; having bad parents is not an excuse not to honor them.  I want to know how to properly balance honor and honesty.  And finally, will there ever be closure if there is never an explanation? 

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