When it comes to surviving divorce, Christian ministries can and do provide help and hope for people.
Surviving Divorce Through Christian Ministries
Divorce affects Christians, just as it does people of all religious faiths. Immediately following the breakup, it's normal to feel angry and/or hurt. It may be difficult to find hope for the future. The practical matters associated with divorce (legal and financial decisions, custody, and visitation) are other issues that need to be addressed.
Christian ministries can and should help those people who are struggling with issues surrounding divorce. Here are some ways the church community can help:
A Christian divorce support group can help church members who are going through a divorce by providing a safe place where they can share their thoughts and feelings. Group members can share practical tips for dealing with any number of situations that may arise.
By sharing one' s pain with someone who is going through a similar situation, the individual's own pain can be lessened. Friends and family members want to help, but may not say things that are helpful. These comments may range from, "You need to forgive your spouse and move on" to "So-and-so was never right for you; you are better off without him or her." Neither statement may be helpful to the one who is hurting.
Some people would feel more comfortable talking to someone individually about their feelings and concerns. A priest, pastor, or minister can provide counseling to parishioners. It' s normal for one's self-esteem to suffer following a divorce, and counseling sessions may help to repair the damage.
An Opportunity to Have a Continuing Relationship with God
When other things in your world are falling apart, it's good to know that your relationship with God is constant. Attend church services if you have been going all along, or start going if you have been away for a while.
Spend some time in daily prayer. Prayer is helpful because it makes us have to put into words what is bothering us. Being able to articulate the problem is the first step toward trying to solve it. Another advantage to having frequent prayer sessions is the idea that we are not alone; God is always listening and able to provide help.
Being able to take your anger, fear, and concerns to God in prayer can be wonderfully therapeutic. If a person can get to the point where they can say, "I will leave all this in Your hands," and mean it, they may be able to get on with their everyday lives and have hope for a brighter future.
The Chance to Help Others
One of the things that a church does is provide assistance to members of the parish and the community at large. Someone who has been hurt by the breakdown of their marriage may find it helpful to become involved in some church programs to help others. It's very difficult to focus on one's own problems when busy serving others. Being able to serve will also give a much-needed boost to the separated or divorced person's self-esteem.
A Place Where You Belong
We are part of our individual families, but being a member of a church congregation allows us to have relationships with a much larger group of people. These connections are important during both good and bad times. We don't feel nearly as alone if we have a network of people to interact with.
As you can see, surviving divorce is possible. Christian ministries can help in a number of different ways.