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Over the last few weeks, I’ve had several serious discussions with my 7-year-old. One of her friends is going through a divorce with her parents. The parent we are closer to is the one who does not want the divorce. The situation has brought up a lot of questions. Especially, what is divorce, and why do people get one? The first question was easy, but the second gave me some trouble. How does one explain such a complex issue to a 7-year-old? Plus, how could I avoid sounding judgmental, or making it seem as though divorce was a good thing?

I sent up a quick prayer and plunged in. I stressed that God’s plan for marriage is until death separates the couple, and doing things God’s way is the best way to live. But I also explained that sometimes life doesn’t go the way people plan and sometimes bad things happen to nice people. The important part is to trust God through the process and to pray for people who are hurting.

After my daughter danced into the house, I took a breath and thought about all the people we know who are hurting. It seems as though everyone I talk to these days knows someone or is someone affected by divorce. Marriage has become a battleground. Encourage those in the situation to seek counseling and fight for their marriage. Take steps to keep your own marriage strong. And pray for each other.

One way we have tried to set an example for our daughter at this time is to pray for our friend going through the divorce. We pray for reconciliation, for both the husband’s and wife’s heart to be drawn to God, and that God will take care of both parties. We also have made an effort to check on our friend and minister to that friend by being there and providing a listening ear.