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When I was a child, I used to speak as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.” 1 Corinthians 13:10-11

In other words, “when I grew up, I began to speak as an adult, think as an adult, and reason as an adult.” Divorcees frequently resort to childish ways of dealing with each other. So the first tip for being the adult is to learn to communicate with the other parent in an adult manner.

Do Away with Childish Speaking

Healthy communication takes time and practice to achieve. A good book on healthy communication is a must! But here are some tips:

  • Begin conversations by affirming “We’re here for the sake of the kids.”
  • Make your goal to understand, rather than to persuade.
  • Choose your issues carefully. Is it really about the child, or about your need for vengeance?
  • Ask sincere questions: “What do you think we should do?” “How do you feel about this?”
  • Give your full attention to the other person. Don’t plan your response, interrupt, blame or accuse the other person.
  • Communicate like an adult both verbally and nonverbally, even if the other person doesn’t (80 percent of communication takes place non-verbally!)
  • If communicating with the former spouse is particularly difficult consider mediation.
  • Pray before the meeting, and pray afterward

Do away with childish thinking and reasoning

  • Take every thought captive (2 Cor. 10:5). Feelings of stress or anxiety might indivate some runaway-thoughts that need to be reined in.
  • Express emotional thoughts to God before expressing them to someone else.
  • Confess your thoughts to a trusted and objective friend.
  • When negative thoughts consume you, redirect. Choose to think on things that are pure, true, beautiful, and righteous (Philippians 4:8)

Children need equal effort from both parents in providing authoritative, mature guidance for their lives. Support each other in speaking, thinking, and co-parenting like adults.

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Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise. Jeremiah 17:14

Confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. James 5:16

According to researchers, divorce recovery can take between two and five years, but might never take place if the person does not exert effort to recover. If you will be healed, consider taking some of the following steps:

  • Read, read, read. Learn about the effects of divorce on adults and children and how to overcome the hurts of the past
  • Write. Journal your own ups and downs.
  • Don’t dwell on the past; plan for the future.
  • When in the dumps over your own unmet emotional needs, meet someone else’s emotional need.
  • Learn to forgive. Seek support through counseling or a group such as Divorce Recovery.
  • Pray. Honestly confess your ugliest feelings to God (He can handle it!). Seek His comfort, and His perspective.

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