Below is another collection of Sermon Illustrations about Divorce and Children
These illustrations talks about marital relationships and its effects to children. May these illustrations help pastors, preachers and ministers to promote love and Biblical teachings about marriage.
If you are promoting godly marital relationship, please see the:
Where Is the Hope?
I recently saw a newspaper cartoon of a mother reading a bedtime story to her little, curly-haired daughter. The book was called Grim Reality Fairy Tales, and the text read, “and the prince kissed her and they fell in love, dated a while and moved in together, broke up, got back together, got married, got a baby, got separated, got back together again, broke up, got divorced, spent time alone rediscovering themselves, met someone new, fell in love and repeated the pattern habitually ever after.”
This worldview is sad, hopeless, and far from what God intended. More than ever, our children wonder what marriage is and what they might hope for in a relationship.
Steve Zeisler, What Did Moses Command?
Exuberant and Full of Joy
There’s something exuberant and unrestrained about children. They have an enthusiasm for life that we tend to lose as we grow older. They have a sense that anything is possible. As adults, we admire children’s childish enthusiasm. But it seems that we also tend to encourage the kids to outgrow it.
Syndicated columnist Ellen Goodman, a few years ago, wrote these wise words: “We raise our children with ethical time bombs, built-in disillusionment alarms. We allow our children their ideals until they are perhaps 13 or 15 or 18 or 22. But if they don’t let go of their ideals, we worry about whether they will be able to function in the real world. After all, the real world is some place else. We have to be tough and even a little cynical.” Goodman goes on to give examples of what she means: “Adults know that clean air is all very nice, but it must be balanced against jobs. Adults know that helping others is neat, but it may well take away their motivation to find a job. Adults know that peace is swell, but we can’t ever trust our enemies to ever stop preparing for war.” Goodman concludes that this so-called realism of adults may be the true “junk food” of our time. “We instill ideals in our children, resent it when our children challenge us for not living up to them, and then feel reassured when our kids give up their ideals like sleds or cartoons.” (Quoted in a sermon by David W. Schreuder in Master Sermon Series, Cathedral Publishers, pp. 467-468)
Can this be what Jesus had in mind when he asked His disciples not to lose the child-like spirit; when he warned them about hindering little children on their way into the kingdom?
Donald B. Strobe, Collected Words, www.eSermons.com
Michael Hargrove tells about a scene at an airport that literally changed his life. He was picking up a friend. He noticed a man coming toward him carrying two light bags. The man stopped right next to Hargrove to greet his family. The man motioned to his youngest son (maybe six years old) as he laid down his bags. They hugged and Hargrove heard the father say, “It’s so good to see you, son. I missed you so much!” “Me, too, Dad!” said the son. The oldest son (maybe nine or ten) was next. “You’re already quite the young man. I love you very much, Zach!” Then he turned to their little girl (perhaps one or one-and-a-half). He kissed her and held her close. He handed his daughter to his oldest son and declared, “I’ve saved the best for last!” and preceded to give his wife a long, passionate kiss. “I love you so much!” He said to his wife softly.
Hargrove interrupted this idyllic scene to ask, “Wow! How long have you two been married?”
“Been together fourteen years total, married twelve of those,” the man replied, as he gazed into his wife’s face.
“Well then, how long have you been away?”
The man turned around and said, “Two whole days!” Hargrove was stunned. “I hope my marriage is still that passionate after twelve years!”
The man stopped smiling and said, “Don’t hope, friend . . . decide!”
And that’s it, isn’t it? For most of us it comes down to a decision. “Till death us do part.” It doesn’t happen in every relationship, but that is still the ideal that Jesus gives us.
Michael Hargrove, quoted by King Duncan, Collected Sermons, www.Sermons.com
Teaching Takes Time
One of the biggest problems in a culture like ours is proper time management. This is not because we have any less time than others; it’s because the alternatives are so many. Because we have money; because we have ease of transportation; because the urban centers we live in have much to offer us in ways to make use of our time – any of us can find ourselves in a situation where we can’t possibly do everything that might be done. The opportunities become a blur; we find ourselves in a maze. Sorting out the minutes and hours becomes an awesome task. And in the process, people – those people around us who are dearest – escape our notice. Their needs go unmet, unserved. Many times those people are the little people – our children.
Some argue that our children do not need the quantity of our time if the time we give them is filled with quality. It’s true. There’s no need to give our children even fifteen minutes of our time, if all they experience through us is negativism or unrest or a spirit of impatience. But most good teaching takes sheer time. Our loving and caring spirit, our understanding and calmness, and our devotion to Jesus Christ in word and action, need to seep in to a child’s mind and soul. Such sharing rarely comes through a quick torrent of kisses or a fleeting, kindly word. It takes time and patience. Indeed the very spending of time with our children is part of our communicating to them that they are valued and loved.
Richard W. Patt, Partners in the Impossible, CSS Publishing Co., Inc.
The True Meaning of Marriage
In a Time Magazine article, Caitlin Flanagan observes that, while the divorce culture has become a fact of life over the past twenty-five years, the middle class has turned weddings into “overwrought exercises in consumer spending, as if by just plunking down enough cash for the flower girls’ dresses and tissue-lined envelopes for the RSVP cards, we can somehow improve our chance of going the distance.”
In our culture, marriage means less, but we spend more on our weddings. Go figure.
Flanagan concludes with these ominous words about the future of our country: “What we teach about the true meaning of marriage will determine a great deal about our fate.”
Scott Grant, The Way of the Lord in Marriage
Real Life Children
The experience of having children has made me far more sympathetic to the early Puritans who didn’t use words like “innate goodness” to describe human nature. They used words like “total depravity.” Total depravity! Jesus said we are supposed to be like children to receive the kingdom of God? I can only join with millions of other parents and conclude that our Lord didn’t know my kids when He made that statement.
When you walk into the bathroom and see an entire roll of brand new tissue paper lying in the toilet, it makes you wonder. When you see a whole pile of freshly washed and folded clothes lying all over the place like a tornado had hit, it makes you wonder. When you see your child sitting on the kitchen floor, trying to share her plate of food with the dog, it makes you wonder. And that’s just the one-year-old at work! Imagine the three- and the six-year-old when they put their talents together! Sometimes it makes you more than wonder; sometimes it makes you cry.
Look at a group of kindergarteners some day and ask yourself: what can these kids teach us about receiving the kingdom of God?
Erskine White, Together In Christ, CSS Publishing Company
Responses to Divorce
Jesus’ teaching about divorce provokes a variety of responses. Some people hear the text snarl at them like a wild animal. Others grow angry when they simply hear the words, and vow to cross their fingers the next time they encounter that piece of scripture. Still others wish their preacher would stand up and swing this text like a club; family life is spinning out of control, they claim, and the church should push us back to simpler, more Victorian times.
It is no wonder many ministers avoid this text. One year the lectionary appointed it for World Communion Sunday, of all days. A clergy friend said, “I have a congregation full of divorced people. How dare I invite them to the Lord’s table with a passage that sounds so fierce?” Another minister, a divorced woman, avoided the issue altogether. She ignored the first ten verses and moved directly ahead to discuss the blessing Jesus offered to little children.
So we have a problem today. Is there any way for all of us to hear something helpful in this text?
William G. Carter, No Box Seats in The Kingdom, CSS Publishing Company
Dr. Paul Popenoe, the famous marriage counselor, was talking to a young husband who had been openly critical of his wife. Dr. Popenoe was explaining how two become one in marriage. In a smart reply the husband said, “Yes, but which one?” The counselor said, “A little of each.” Then he went on to explain that in marriage you have to develop “we-psychology”…and to think of yourself in terms of a pair rather than as an individual. What happens when two become one in a real marriage? Some think that it reduces your individuality. Too often one party or the other seems to be saying: “Alright – we two shall become one…and I AM the one!” Obviously, such a marriage is headed for trouble. Ideally, when “two become one” it means that each one is doubled, but not duplicated. You still retain your individual identity, but you add to yourself the identity of the other, and the whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” (Mark 10:7)
A wise person once said: “A marriage consists of one master, one mistress, and two slaves; making, in total, one.” That may be strange arithmetic, but it is good theology.
Donald B. Strobe, Collected Words, www.eSermons.com
We Trust Them with the Children, Don’t We?
A new principal was checking over his school on the first day. Passing the stockroom, he was startled to see the door wide open and teachers going in and out, carrying off books and supplies. The school he came from had a check-out system that required the teachers to indicate what supplies they had obtained. Curious about the practice here he asked the school custodian, “Do you think it’s wise to keep the stockroom unlocked and to let the teachers take things without asking?” The custodian responded, “We trust them with the children, don’t we?”
Jesus wants us to trust in him and let the child within to be free. It is the only way to receive the kingdom of God. He wants us to give the child within the freedom to express itself, being creative, having fun and sharing emotions and feelings. He wants us to accept others who are different realizing that God makes us all and wants us to be genuine, authentic human beings. The end result is absolute joy and the opportunity to experience life in its fullest.
Keith Wagner, The Child Within
As Children Grow
It’s not only children who grow. Parents do, too. As much as we watch to see what our children do with their lives, they are watching us to see what we do with ours. I can’t tell my children to reach for the sun. All I can do is reach for it, myself.
After 17 years of marriage, a man dumped his wife for a younger woman.
The downtown luxury apartment was in his name and he wanted to remain there with his new love so he asked the wife to move out and then he would buy her another place.
The wife agreed to this, but asked that she be given 3 days on her own there, to pack up her things. While he was gone, the first day she lovingly put her personal belongings into boxes and crates and suitcases.
On the second day, she had the movers come and collect her things.
On the third day, she sat down for the last time at their candlelit dining table, soft music playing in the background, and feasted on a pound of shrimp and a bottle of Chardonnay.
When she had finished, she went into each room and deposited a few of the resulting shrimp shells into the hollow of the curtain rods. She then cleaned up the kitchen and left.
The husband came back, with his new girl, and all was bliss for the first few days. Then it started; slowly but surely. Clueless, the man could not explain why the place smelled so bad. They tried everything; cleaned & mopped and aired the place out. Vents were checked for dead rodents, carpets were steam cleaned, air fresheners were hung everywhere. Exterminators were brought in, the carpets were replaced, and on it went.
Finally, they could take it no more and decided to move.
The moving company arrived and did a very professional packing job, taking everything to their new home…including the curtain rods
Two Schools of Thought on Divorce
There were two schools of thought in Jesus’ day concerning divorce, one liberal and one conservative. Rabbi Shammai taught that divorce was only permissible on the grounds of some sexual impropriety. His was the stricter view. Rabbi Hillel, on the other hand, had a more liberal view and taught that a man could divorce his wife for any reason. If she burned his breakfast, put too much salt on his food, showed disrespect to him, spoke disrespectfully of her husband’s parents in his presence, spoke to a man on the street, or even let her hair down in public, he could divorce her. The view of Rabbi Hillel was the view that was popular in Jesus’ day. So divorce was common in Palestine, and in this respect the setting was not unlike our own.
Perhaps the most significant difference between their customs and ours lay in the status of the different genders. A man could divorce a woman on a whim, but a woman could not divorce a man for any cause. The Old Testament contains a highly patriarchal position that viewed a woman’s sexual immorality more as property damage against her husband (or her father) rather than as a moral issue. A double standard shines throughout the Old Testament, where it was not uncommon for the male rulers to have many wives and hundreds of concubines. If you look carefully at the question of the Pharisees, you will find no concern whatsoever about a woman’s rights in marriage or divorce. “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?”
Mickey Anders, Making Marriage Work