I am totally aware that this post is going to be wildly unpopular. However, I’m not opposed to being wildly unpopular when I think hearts are stake. If you are a divorced parent and these things aren’t your family you can throw it in the garbage. If they are your family, even a little bit, please be brave enough to do something about it.
Divorced parents, I know you were hurt. I know you want to be loved. I know you have lonely nights. I know you yearn for companionship. But please, stop dating. Please stop dating while your kids are home.
My dad worked first shift. My mom worked second. I had the best life for a kid. Mom all day. Dad all night.
Then something happened. My mom and I moved out. I didn’t really understand why. I just knew that we were getting a new house and I still got to go to my old house where my dad was.
I didn’t love it. I didn’t hate it.
I didn’t hate it until something worse than divorce happened. Dating happened. My parents started seeing other people. Then I hated it.
On behalf of the children from broken homes, I want you to think about something.
Your kids were hurt.
When our parents get divorced we just don’t have the grown-up ability to recognize what is true and factual. We can’t express what is going on in our heads. We just know it hurts.
It hurts because we are one whole made of two people. When those two parts are divided, so are we. Our identity is divided. Our loyalty is divided. Our home, stability and security is divided. And that hurts.
That hurt is legit.
Research shows that the trauma of divorce has longer lasting effects on the development of children than the death of a parent.
That’s serious stuff. It is serious because it isn’t God’s plan for raising children. God created one way and every time that way is tampered with there is going to be hurt.
From the beginning marriage and intact families were the plan.
So God created humans in his own image. He created them to be like himself. He created them male and female. God blessed them and said to them, “Have many children.” Gen 1:27-28 ERV
Didn’t the Lord make you one with your wife? In body and spirit you are his.And what does he want? Godly children from your union. So guard your heart; remain loyal to the wife of your youth. Mal. 2:15
Your kids want love.
You know all those reasons you think you are entitled to dating? Your kid has that list too except they are for you. Your kid wants you. Your kid wants to be loved by you. Your kid doesn’t want to share your affection with a stranger.
Your kids are lonely.
Thirty-four years ago I remember the first night that my mom spent the night with her boyfriend. We went to his apartment to do laundry. We didn’t leave. She made me a bed on the floor of a spare bedroom where I was supposed to sleep. I don’t know if I ever fell asleep that night. I laid their lonely and confused and scared. I didn’t want to there. I didn’t want to be alone.
Your kids yearn for you.
One of my favorite memories growing up was my Dad taking me to watch Indians games at the old Municipal Stadium in Cleveland. We would walk the dark halls of that old place until we finally would break out onto the field. The green field brought tears to my eyes. I liked baseball. I liked the Indians. But I loved being with my Dad.
I remember the first time his girlfriend came. The truth is games were never the same for me. I just wanted my dad.
Your kid doesn’t want part of you. Your kid doesn’t want you distracted. You kid doesn’t want you with drama. Your kid doesn’t want you and your plus one. Your kid wants you. Undivided. Your kid wants you.
Now that you are divorced your parenting job just became astronomically more difficult. You are parenting hurt, lonely children who need you. They need your stability. They need you to anchor them. They need you to point them to back to their Creator and heavenly father.
So please, divorced parents, please stop dating.
Parents, don’t provoke your children in a way that ends up discouraging them. Col. 3:21