Help a Friend Through a Divorce.
Being a friend to a friend going through a divorce is crucial during this time in their life. There are some very practical things that a friend can do to help a friend through a divorce. Divorce can be one of the most difficult things a person can encounter. Many times well meaning friends do not know what to do when their loved one need help; instead of helping, they actually make things worse. Below are some practical guidelines to Help a Friend Going Through a Divorce:
Instant Printable PDF Download
How Do I Be a Friend To Someone Who is Going Through a Divorce or Their Spouse Has Walked Out? (More of these apply to the wife than to the husband because of the greater needs.)
1. The most important thing that you could do for a friend is NOT to promise anything that you will not fully keep to its fullest extent. Even with the greatest intentions, if you do not keep your promises, you will do greater damage and the effects may last for years. It is better if your friend knows that you will NOT be there for them. At least they can count on that.
2. Of course, being a good listener is the first priority of business. Don't have all the answers, but rather, always be praying and seeking the Lord's heart on how to pull them through. Give them hope, not in the marriage necessarily, but in God's ability to walk them through. Always fill their heart with the Word of God and encourage them to do the same.
3. They will need help with the children: encouraging them, sitting them and walking them through the pain of their hearts. Basically, being a friend, and not by inconvenience.
4. Financially: She will need ongoing money; otherwise she may end up out on the streets. Rally others in the church and friends to help. It must be ongoing (perhaps for years) because she and her kids are alive every day.
5. Help with working through the alimony and child support process and encourage her not to be cut short. Make a reasonable budget and go after that. Both spouses have got to live.
6. Find her good mediator (rather than a lawyer) if at all possible who will be efficient and fair. Then help her pay for them. Otherwise, she will not have the money and end up victimized.
7. Emotional support: They will need to call any hour of the day or night---and expect it at the most inconvenient hours. You will be their bright light in their dark hour. Do not offer anything if you will not do it.
8. Divorce support: They will need a good support team who will be there for them. A support team will be of most value so they will not be a heavy burden on a single person or family. It is easier to carry something heavy when a number of people are involved. You can get a hold of Naomi Ford at 1-800-489-7778 at www.DivorceCare.org or visit their website to find a church support group in your area.
9. Let them know it is not the end of their world or the marriage as of yet. They cannot focus on everything being over even though their emotions will want to. Do not go there with them. Always pray with them and seek God’s heart in everything. God wants to work things out within their heart. They must be brought to understand this and what are the driving issues involved in the breakup. Most likely, they are unresolved heart issues or just plain ignorance of the dynamics of a relationship. They must evaluate what the real issues are with your help or a counselor.
10. We have found that most marriages fail because of selfishness and ignorance. Teach them and get the materials on how to save their marriage.
Bless your friend who is going through a divorce by following these ten guidelines above and you will end up with a relationship greater than ever. If you don't follow these guidelines, we may all end up losing a brother or sister to the enemy. Stephen Gola
A complete list of help can be found on our Marriage And Divorce Sources Of Help page. Including other sources, you will find a number of very good links and phone numbers to clinics, ministries and christian counselors who can help. Some marriage divorce counseling is free of charge, while others are not.
There are many critical keys in this book regarding divorce, remarriage, submission, interracial marriage and relationships. Click on Divorce: God's Will? to order.