Moses’ sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him. Then Pharaoh’s daughter went down to the Nile to bathe and her attendants were walking along the riverbank. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her slave girl to get it. She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. “This is one of the Hebrew babies,” She said. Then Moses’ sister asked Pharaoh’s daughter “Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?” “Yes, go,” she answered. And the girl went and got the baby’s mother. —Exodus 2:4-8

Isn’t it ironic that God allowed Moses to be entrusted to the custody of his enemy? Moses’ family had the presence of mind not only to remove their baby from imminent danger, but to watch and wait and take further action for his welfare. Then they trusted God for the rest.

How difficult it is during a personal crisis to think calmly, clearly, and to place focus on those who are most at risk. Our children of divorce are at risk. Parents can come to the rescue simply by being perceptive.

  • Stop. During the aftermath of divorce, it takes a very deliberate effort to stop focusing on self and start focusing on the children. Wallerstein states:

One of many myths of our culture is that divorce automatically rescues children from an unhappy marriage…However, when one looks at the thousands of children that my colleagues and I have interviewed at our center since 1980, most of whom were from moderately unhappy marriages that ended in divorce, one message is clear: the children do not say they are happier. Rather, they say flatly, “The day my parents divorced is the day my childhood ended.

Stop that gigantic snowball of myths and self-protective emotions and take notice of the realities created by divorce.

  • Look. Children (including teenagers) do not possess adult skills to understand their emotions.
  • Listen. Then listen to the response, uncritically, unemotionally, and courageously. Children, like all of us, cannot help the feelings they have. Knowing what goes on in a child’s mind is over half the battle.