Does Divorce Hurt Children In The Long Run? — Allen Parr

Divorce is one of those topics that scripture is clear on, yet many Christians decide to do something else. Like 2+2 equals 4, but some of us just prefer 5. 

79% of Black Americans identify as Christians, yet we've had a higher divorce rate than any other ethnic group since the 1970s.
Formerly enslaved couple still enslaved after emancipation

Our ancestors’ first legal battle after the Civil War was the fight for legit marriages. Given that during slavery, our spouses could be sold away or raped at will, you’d think Black Americans would be fiercely protective of our unions, but we’re not.  Our ancestors would be ashamed to know that their grandchildren have a higher percentage of divorce than any other ethnic group.

Even without obvious issues like physical abuse or cheating, our marriages have a pattern of being full of conflict. Some of us come from a lineage of married parents or grandparents, but we’re introducing divorce into our family line. This disregards how much we’re harming our children’s capacity to have a stable family in the future. 

We violate scripture and get divorced because we desperately want peace. We convince ourselves that our happiness is more important than our obedience. 

We reason that the kids will be better off living in two homes because at least they won’t be around so much conflict. Secular psychologists co-sign this and say that kids will bounce back from the emotional trauma of having their homes torn apart. 

First off all, that’s not true, according to a growing population of adults whose parents divorced when they were children

Even so, the child’s resilience does not change God’s standards. 

In this testimony, Pastor Allen Parr, opens up about how his parents’ divorce led to his own long-term struggle with brokenness. 

If your high-conflict marriage is heading for divorce hopefully you’ll recommit to recovering your marriage.  

Scriptures about divorce

Matthew 19:3-9

And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?” He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.”

Malachi 2:16

“For the man who does not love his wife but divorces her, says the Lord, the God of Israel, covers his garment with violence, says the Lord of hosts. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless.”

1 Corinthians 7:10-17

To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband (but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife.

To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace. For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?

17 Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches.

Allen Parr

Take Home Messages

  • If you are married or headed for marriage, commit to eliminating divorce as an option, except for sexual immorality, like Jesus said. 
  • Divorce can harm children well into adulthood. 
  • Staying committed to restoring your marriage, even if temporary separation is required, is the best option for you, your spouse, and your kids. That may mean repenting and counseling.

Complete Your Husband/Wife Report Cards

These report cards can help you and your spouse see where you’re glowing and where you need to grow, based on biblical standards.

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