Thursday, August 31, 2006

Shared Parenting Law Debated In North Dakota

In the state of North Dakota, there is debate over a bill that makes shared parenting the default parenting situation post-divorce. Learn about the North Dakota Shared Parenting Initiative here. Here is a Fox News story on the topic.

What do you think about shared parenting as the default parenting arrangement post divorce?

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Divorcemobile? reports on Ford Motor Company's latest commercial for their Ford Freestyle. Ford appears to be directly marketing to divorced parents.

I would like to hear from divorced parents if this ad is affirming, offensive, non-factor or whatever.

Redemption After Divorce

There has always been a stigma about divorced people within church walls. There is a certain logic to that stigma as divorce is not God's dream come true for intimate relationships. Many Christians have believed divorce to be the death knell for people - a straight ticket to Hell.

However, there is a certain illogic to the stigma as well. To believe that God damns people for a failed relationship is to avoid the redemptive flow of God's relationship with people. I don't think that there is anyone out there who would say that divorce is something to strive for. Even divorce "advocates" would say that a good marriage is better than a "good divorce."

What believers in God need to do is to be tough on divorce and gentle with divorced people. People experiencing a divorce have been through enough already. What they don't need is an assault from the people who are supposed to be on their side.

God's approach to divorced people is redemption. On some rare occasions, divorced people remarry the people they divorced and the second time around goes pretty well. That is a very special kind of redemption, but not the only kind.

Other divorced people find someone else to marry and it goes well. They have learned a great deal from the past and apply those lessons in the new relationship. They have greater patience and tolerance for what might have ticked them off in their first marriage.

Still others find redemption in the single life. Though these people may long for a relationship, but they find that their time is best utilized in service to others. They invest in their friendships or ministries and realize that they have found their place outside of marriage.

God works through a larger redemptive movement rather than in the holding a failed relationship against a person eternally. Of course God never wanted the divorce and yes, God hates divorce. But God does not hate divorced people. Big difference. God never hoped for a divorce. But when divorce happens, God is interested in what He can do in your life now in the given situation. Holding that sin against you does not promote His mission on this planet. Jesus died for that sin if it was even a sin at all, so we all need to get over it.

Yes, we still need to support struggling marriages and not throw in the towel too sin. Hear me, I am against divorce and you should be too. However, there are times when it is necessary and then there are times when it has happened when it was unnecessary, but too much water under the bridge. Where are we going is more important than where we have been.

God works through divorce if that is what He is given to work with.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

A Stepfamily Wedding Poem

Below is a poem for stepfamilies-to-be. I found it at Wedding Guide UK.
A Father’s Fiancée
by Michael Praetorius

A father’s fiancée is
An intended mother.
More than two are joined
This day in joy.
Though two may blossom
By the winged bay’s fountain,
Other flowers are watered
By that love.

Sunday, August 20, 2006


Resilience is the ability for a person or group to bounce back from adversity, setbacks, or failures. It is the quality of a person or organization to interpet positiviely facts that might at first glance appear to be hopelessly negative.

For people in stepfamilies, there are often ample opportunities to interpret negative facts positively. For example, all stepfamilies are born of some kind of loss. Death, divorce, abandonment, or for some other reason, stepfamilies are born of loss. For couples and children to grieve their loss, navigate new relationships, and "blend," it all makes for a challenging situation.

Successful stepfamilies learn to interpret the facts and make opportunities from these facts. For example, one stepfamily would fight every Christmas about how to decorate the Christmas tree. It began to make a dread fall over the family as the holiday season approached each year. Finally, one year they decided to decorate half of the tree according to one family's tradition and the other half according to the other family's tradition. That's resilience. They found a way to accept that the facts are the facts, but also to interpret those facts in a way that fits their new situation.

I would love to hear other stories of stepfamily resilience.