Beliefnet
How Great Thou Part

A few weeks ago one of my boys and I went out to dinner.

“Mom,” he said. “I understand divorce but dad made a promise to you all of those years ago.”

I looked across the table with a lump in my throat. Not for the reason you think. And not because of the confusion divorce has caused in his mind but instead for the love which is still present in his heart – despite it.

I couldn’t have been more proud of my son.

pexels-photo-277477He was speaking in terms of the values he was raised with. That we honor our responsibilities and the commitments we make. That we treat people with kindness and respect. That we are honest and accountable and more. So much more when you live a life of passionate purpose fueled by God.

My son was speaking of the implied promises we make to one another when we marry. 

The vows.

And more importantly, how meaningful those vows are.

After all, when my son did something wrong, he knew he had to go and face the consequences and do the right thing. So how confusing is it to a child when a parent doesn’t follow the same rules they preached? When a parent tries to get away with bad behavior and out of a situation without doing the honorable thing?

I’ve worried a lot over the past few years. 

Worried that my children will be confused by these troubling times and they have been. How could they not? It’s been unpredictable, chaotic, and disillusioning to see what should have been a divorce turn into a battle of destruction. They have held in their feelings and acted out at times. I have shouted and begged and pleaded for them to talk to me. In quiet and loud voices.

They have taken different paths because of this divorce and made choices which at times hurt themselves and in turn, hurt me. Because no mother wants to see her child struggle especially because of the choices SHE made. So I tried desperately to fix things but I couldn’t make my husband divorce me and I couldn’t control the fact that money was the biggest reason he wasn’t and in turn meant I couldn’t.

I have cried and cried because I did this to them. I chose their father. I stayed too long. I didn’t make a financial plan because I didn’t think I needed to. I foolishly believed I would have several years to rebuild.

And at times, I will admit I have told them I am disappointed in their behavior. That as a child of divorce myself I didn’t act out this way but the truth is my father didn’t do these things to my mother and us. And I was a girl. My boys are watching their primary male role model.

And the divorce was through their teenage and college years, an already confusing time.

I have always been proud of my boys but as we near this finish line in divorce I am proud of the survivors they have proven to be.

Even as I write this, that lump is finding its way back up my throat.

While tears threaten to ruin my mascara.

It’s a lump I can live with and mascara I will happily reapply…

I don’t have to worry about my sons.

They may have endured more than any child should have to but…

Though bruised and bumped their hearts remain intact and their foundation strong. 

They will be men who keep their promises or make right those that are broken.

 

(Photo courtesy of Pexels)

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