Friday, August 21, 2015

Exposing DivorceCare: Session Nine: KidCare

Eph 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

This is part nine of a series of posts exposing the popular divorce recovery ministry of DivorceCare.
DivorceCare claims to be a Christ-centered support ministry established for people who have experienced or who about to experience divorce. They claim that their goal is to help find help for the hurts of divorce, discover hope for the future, and experience God’s blessing. The founder of DivorceCare, Steve Grissom, is a product of divorce and remarriage. He started DivorceCare based on his experience of divorce and the experience of healing from this divorce to remarry. He claims it was God’s calling to start this ministry.

Scripture points to marriage as a one-flesh covenant between one man and one woman for life. So often see excuses from remarried couples concerning children of remarriages. Their overall argument is that God would not want to separate what He has joined together, as if a remarriage is a covenant marriage. When explaining that scripture calls these remarriages adultery unions, you immediately get questions, first about the “burden” remaining in singleness and then questions concerning children. You get questions like this: 

  • You mean that God would want me to divorce from my remarriage?
  • You mean that I have to remain single the rest of my life?
  • You mean that God would want our children to have their parents living apart from each other?

In the book of Ezra, the prophet Ezra called for Israel to repent of the taking of foreign wives.
Ezra 9:1-3 Now when these things were done, the princes came to me, saying, The people of Israel, and the priests, and the Levites, have not separated themselves from the people of the lands, doing according to their abominations, even of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites.For they have taken of their daughters for themselves, and for their sons: so that the holy seed have mingled themselves with the people of those lands: yea, the hand of the princes and rulers hath been chief in this trespass. And when I heard this thing, I rent my garment and my mantle, and plucked off the hair of my head and of my beard, and sat down astonied.

So the people of Israel repented of this sin.

Ezra 10:And Shechaniah the son of Jehiel, one of the sons of Elam, answered and said unto Ezra, We have trespassed against our God, and have taken strange wives of the people of the land: yet now there is hope in Israel concerning this thing. Now therefore let us make a covenant with our God to put away all the wives, and such as are born of them, according to the counsel of my lord, and of those that tremble at the commandment of our God; and let it be done according to the law.

Many of these unlawful marriages involved children. 

Ezra 10:44 All these had taken strange wives: and some of them had wives by whom they had children.

Israel was commanded by God not to take foreign wives, and the result was repentance by putting away these wives and the children of these unlawful marriages. This was the law of marriage in the time of Ezra. The law of marriage today is found in Matthew and Mark’s account. This law of marriage is as it was from the beginning. This law leaves no room for divorce and remarriage among covenant marriages, and any “remarriage” after divorce is adultery, and not a marriage. 

Matthew 19:4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

Mark 10:6 But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife;And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

So when someone says, “You mean that God would want me to divorce from my remarriage?”

The answer is that a “remarriage” can never be a marriage. If it is not a marriage, it is adultery to remain in this unholy union.

So when someone says, “You mean that I have to remain single the rest of my life?’

You exited adultery remarriage and remaining single or restoring your covenant marriage is the only options God gives you.  There is no confusion in this. There is considerable confusion when exception clauses and Pauline privileges are erroneously taught in the church. A Review on "A Sermon on Divorce andRemarriage.", Divorce in the case of abandonment?…1 Cor 7:15 , Divorce is notsanctioned by the church

So when someone says, “You mean that God would want our children to have their parents living apart from each other?

Did you take into account that your “remarriage” was not a marriage in the first place? What is the difference between divorcing from a covenant marriage and divorcing from a “remarriage”?

In this KidCare (KC) session, DivorceCare (DC) offers what they believe to be sound advice for dealing with children of divorce. I thought it was necessary to make a correlation with DC and KC. The word “care” is significant in their titles. If DC cared about children, they would do whatever is in their power to defend the covenant of marriage and not make the child believe that divorce is ever an option. 

People will say that they have a “right” to divorce. Often they will stress that this is the best for the children. However, you will not find any biblical evidence that divorce is an option for the sake of the children. A child has no say in the matter. In fact, many spouses do not a have a say in the matter concerning divorce. The unilateral divorce laws have made it very easy for one spouse to divorce, AND take full custody of the children.  

I liken divorce and remarriage to an abortion because both are based on human desire and not a life in Christ. A woman has sexual intercourse with a man knowing full well that sexual intercourse produces life. However, her ambitions, lifestyle, or whatever you want to call it (I will call it idols), forbids her to have a child. She believes that it is her body and that she can do what she seems right in her eyes. She aborts the baby in favor of her idols. The child has no say in the matter. The child is sacrificed for the sake of the mother’s idols. 

Divorce is no different than abortion. A man or woman has come to the conclusion that marriage is not God’s institution. Thus, he or she believes that God is unable to do His part in whatever the situation to those who remain obedient to the covenant. This man or woman has turned over marriage to the institution of man, and now believe that divorce is the best option. What is the desire?

The desire is to have a marriage that seems right in their own eyes. They want a spouse who fits their idea, and not God’s. They have turned marriage into an idol. The children of such divorce and remarriage has no say in the matter. Maybe they have expressed the idea that mommy and daddy should stop arguing and love each other. Maybe they can express their love to each parent, but the fact is that mommy and daddy will not reconcile, cannot reconcile…The children are sacrificed for the sake of idols. They will get over it…or will they?

The fact is many children do not “get over it” and many children of divorce go on to get married and divorce themselves. Again, DC does a great job of showing the viewer the "pains" that children experience in divorce, they yet again come up short on the solution. DC fails to show the viewer that the devastating cost of divorce on children does not stop there. Often there are consequences of remarriages, child care, and blended families. 

DC offers this ninth session to parents of divorce, and they offer a complete ministry to children of divorce. Their KidCare (KC) program often coincides with the DC program. They begin with a paragraph that is not only contradictory, it is based on the idea that a divorce ends a marriage. 

“WE ARE FIERCELY PROTECTIVE OF OUR KIDS and want what’s best for them.” ~ DC workbook page 81

The best for children is a stable marriage where both parents strive to live in a life of Christ. Their sole purpose is to raise their children to become responsible God-fearing adults. This includes telling them the truth about their eternal condition in Christ. A child needs a Savior, and this is best represented in parents who remain in covenant under the headship of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Divorce is never an example of the Gospel and it is one of the worse things that can happen to a child. DC make it vitally clear that children of divorce get “lost in the shuffle”. They offer an extended list of what the children think and how the mistakes parents make when experiencing the process of divorce. DC make it perfectly clear by their own admission that divorce is a horrible experience for both the parents and the children. Yet, they fail to deliver a concise and suitable solution. 

DC’s believes that helping your child includes spending time with and listen to your kids. The fact is most children want their parents to reconcile. Unfortunately, some family court cases do not allow one, or in extreme cases, both parents to have custody of their children. I understand that there are severe cases where a child needs to be protected such as in the case of abuse, but this does not take away the fact that a child loves their parent. It just takes in to consideration that repentance of sin needs to take place so that there is reconciliation.

DC makes it necessary for the viewer and the participant to believe that a divorce ends a marriage. This is fatal to the children. If we understand that a divorce cannot end a marriage, what would that information be to a child of marriage? Better yet, what would be the response of the parents?
The solution is very simple. Divorce is the result of one or both spouses failing to repent, forgive, and reconcile. A spouse in marriage has sinned. This spouse must repent of sin. If the spouse will not repent, both spouse MUST remain unmarried until there is reconciliation or death. When and if the spouse repents, the other spouse is to forgive so that there is reconciliation. This is what a child needs to see in marriage. This is what the church needs to establish in marriage. This process is the foundation of the Gospel.

Continually patching the walls of house with a crumbling foundation is not going to solve the problem. Recognizing the problem is first considering that the foundation is the problem. Once you correct the problem of the foundation, the stability of the structure will remain strong. DC and KC are ministries that do not recognize, and ignore, the foundation of the problem as they deal with the surface of the problem.

The foundation of marriage is a lifetime commitment where grace and truth are represented in two who become one flesh. Yes, there will be problems, yet the solution is the Lord Jesus Christ. Children need to experience the love of Christ in parents committed to glorifying God, and not to individuals bowing before idols. Marriage by definition is both spouse giving up their rights, their very lives, for the glory of Christ. 

In conclusion, DC needs to reevaluate their foundation. They have embraced a foundation that is crumbling and is exacerbated by the rise of sexual perversity and idolatry of same-sex marriage. However, I believe it is clear that God is not idle in all this. The foundation is crumbling so much so that many are seeing the clear hypocrisy of those who cry against same-sex marriage when they have entered their second and third marriages. The time is now to repent of adultery remarriage and embrace the spirit of Ezra…for the sake of a nation, the sake of the family, and for the sake of the children. 
In Christ’s love,


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