Monday, January 10, 2011

The Sins of the Father

I don't often write about my divorce on my blog. It's not something that consumes much of my thoughts anymore, it's been over 7 years and in that time, God has made incredible beauty from ashes. Unfortunately though, my children will always be affected by my divorce.

Last Wednesday, my ex-husband (Ethan's biological dad) and his wife had a baby - Ethan's sister, Hope Elizabeth. I am happy for them and for Ethan, though sad for myself. Sad that Felicity isn't here too. Sad that Hope is now Ethan's only living sister.

We're delving into a whole new world, a world of siblings who will most likely only see each other once or twice a year (as is the pattern that has been established over the years since Ethan's dad lives 700 miles away). It's a world that brings confusion for Elijah - "why does Ethan have a new sister?" and someday for Caleb too. We've never used the terms "stepmom" and "stepdad." Paul is Ethan's daddy since he's been a part of Ethan's daily life since he was three. And we've never referred to Elijah, Felicity, and Caleb as Ethan's half-siblings (nor will we with Hope). But as the boys are getting older, they are asking more questions and answering them is more and more difficult.

We answer these questions truthfully, but they still don't totally understand. I want them to feel safe; that even though Ethan's dad divorced me, Paul and I will never get a divorce. The sins of the father (and mother) really do fall upon the children and the children's children. I don't want Ethan to feel like he had anything to do with our divorce.

All in all, I want them to grow up and make wise, godly choices. To live happy, fruitful lives. To honor God. But it's hard not to worry that our poor choices have already had a negative effect on their young lives and that it's only the beginning.

Paul and I pray daily over the boys. I know God is listening and I know He will protect them. It's just so obvious why God hates divorce. I wish more people understood that.


Carolina said...

Thanks for your genuine post today. I can understand the effects of divorce on children as my parents are divorced and so are my husband's parents- so for Christmas we usually run around the households and it is very exhausting.

I know God will give you the grace to handle each question that comes up- just take it one day at a time!
your children are blessed to have a steady and godly home with you and your husband.

melissa said...

Wow, Rachel, this really spoke to me. We have a very similar situation and it's been weird/difficult/confusing to know how to deal with all the cr@p that comes from living outside of God's ideal for the family. We also don't refer to our younger 3 kids as Grace's stepsiblings, but it is strange for them to see Sissy going to her dad's house (Richard is "Papa") every other weekend. Thankfully he doesn't have other children, nor does it look likely that he ever will. I can't imagine how difficult that added element must be. But yes, that exposure to the consequences of OUR sin and bad decisions is almost overwhelmingly difficult. God's grace is the only thing we can rely on to make beauty from ashes, and to redeem every weakness. Thank you for your post. Almost no one else in my life can relate to our situation so it's good to hear your point of view. I wouldn't mind if you wrote more on it! =]