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Divorce and the Effects it has on Families

Abstract

The traditional respect for marriage as an important institution is slowly changing. The current generation seems to have a different view of marriages from the traditional generation. The increasing negative perception about marriages has led to higher cases of divorce. The bible does not provide grounds for divorce, save for immorality. From the bible, it is evident that divorce interferes with the redemptive plan of God for the whole world. The Bible stresses that divorce should only can only be allowed on the grounds of immorality. Divorce tends to affect the children, the parents, and the larger society. On the same note, divorce also makes the children to lose economic security. Divorce cases also make the children lose emotional security and psychological maturation. Children from divorced parents also tend to lose faith in religion. The divorced parents are also likely to experience reduced emotional health that may affect them for several years.  Apart from the families, the society is also known to carry the load of divorce. Divorce hinders the society by interfering with the families and weakening their belief system concerning the marriage institution. Finally, divorce also leads to weakened moral culture within the society.

 

Introduction

The family demographics have been changing with time and so are their philosophical underpinnings. The current generation seems to have a different view of marriages from the traditional generation (Cohen, 2014). Unlike the traditional generation, the current generation believes that marriage is an old fashioned institution that has no meaning to their lives. In addition, this generation believes that cohabiting and open relationships provides them with better living than marriages. According to Wolfers (2006), the increasing negative perception about marriages has led to higher cases of divorce. The children are always affected when the parents’ divorce. In 1970s, more than 80% of the children were staying with their parents. Currently, less than 60% of the children are staying with their married parents in the United States. About 70% of the divorce cases occur when children are below the age of 14 years (Cohen, 2014). Therefore, it is evident that young children who are very vulnerable are affected by the cases of divorce. However, research has established that children are only able to maintain their good life if their parents maintain their marriages. This research paper explains the divorce and the effects it has on the families.

What the bible says about divorce and marriage

According to Wolfers (2006), the current generation tends to perceive divorces as the ultimate solution to a troubled marriage. On the other hand, the bible has a different opinion of marriage and family. According to the bible, marriage should be a covenant between the couples and their God. In the bible, it is evident that God does not like divorce (Malachi 2:16). When the two people get married, they are agreeing to a sacred obligation that is witnessed by God. They agree to abide with each other, be it in poverty, poor health, or in sorrows. Therefore, the bible does not provide grounds for divorce based on simple disagreements.

The bible provides an account for God’s plan for marriages and the reason why divorce should not be tolerated. From the bible, it is evident that divorce interferes with the redemptive plan of God for the whole world. In the book of Mathews, Jesus answers the question concerning divorce by asserting that man and woman were purposely created to live as one flesh. Therefore, the bible recommends that a man and a woman should leave their parents and be joined together in one flesh. When God joins a man and woman as one flesh, nobody has the moral authority to separate them.

When God created man, he created them to mirror his own image. In order to create man in his own image, God created a man and a woman (Genesis 1:26). In the bible, it is also evident that God created a man and a woman to complement each other and provide companionship. In the book of Genesis, God provides a plan for man and woman to mutually complete each other by asserting that it is not good for a man to be alone.

The bible also views marriage as an institution that is meant to multiply Godly legacy. God placed the institution of marriage to act as a place where the man and the woman can nurture their children as they grow into adults. Therefore, the marriage was to provide an institution where the children learn character, values integrity and good morals as they grow up (Steele, Single, & Kravdal, 2009). The bible tells the parents to teach their sons diligently in their houses and when they walk by the roadside (Deuteronomy 6:6). Some biblical scholars have argued that marriage is more important to Christians as it affects God’s reputation on earth. Therefore, divorce issues paint God in a bad light. Despite the biblical criticism for divorce, it also sets the exception clause (Matthew 19:7-8). In this chapter, the Bible stresses that divorce should only can only be allowed on the grounds of immorality. Therefore, it is clear from the bible that God never instigated the concept of divorce.

Divorce Effects on Children

When the married couples divorce, children have little time with their parents. Children who have a good time with their parents are likely to learn necessary skills that would help them later in life. Therefore, children of divorced parents have not enough time to acquire essential skills from their parents (Light & Ahn, 2010). For few lucky cases, they children may only spend time with one parent. However, children tend to benefit fully if they are brought up with all their parents. Even for single parents, it is very difficult for them to spend reasonable time with their kids as they are the sole breadwinner. Under such situation, a single mother will be forced to move out and work income to sustain the family needs. Under such situation, the children will have no or limited time to be with their parents.

Divorce also makes the children to lose economic security (Furtado, Marcena, & Sevilla, 2013). When a divorce takes place, single parents do not have increased income as their earnings come from side alone. When they are together, their income is likely to be high due to their double contribution to the family income. The court cases and child support suits often take much time before they bear fruit. Moreover, only fifty percent of the divorced mothers have child support agreements and half of the mothers who have granted support to their children are likely to receive no payments (Jalovaara, 2003). Due to loss of income, there is a higher likelihood that parents will have spent most of their time making ends meet. On the other side, custodian fathers are likely to experience financial loss, even though they are likely to recover from financial issues much quickly. Despite their recovery, they are less likely to make reasonable remittances to support the well-being of their children (Light & Ahn, 2010). Again, children living with single mothers are more likely to live in poverty as compared to children living with both parents. Statistics also evidence that unmarried women are higher likely to remain in poverty as compared to married women. Under such circumstances, children will have a lesser child support. Therefore, the economic security for the children is greatly interfered with when divorces happen.

Divorce cases also make the children lose emotional security. Whenever parents are divorced, a child is much likely to lose his emotional security as there will be a weakened relationship existing between him and the mother. A study carried out in the past asserted that only half of children living with their divorced mothers had the opportunity of seeing their father once in a year. This implies that there are a good number of children who lacks the opportunity to see one of their parents (Furtado, Marcena, & Sevilla, 2013). Again, such children will tend to have a weakened relationship with their grandparents as they rarely see or even spend reasonable time with them. These children always lose their family tradition as there is no one to neither guide them nor show them what is expected of them by the community in which they are living in. Such a situation is likely to take place as the custodian parents have lesser time to spent with these children. The change in residence that comes from divorce issues might contribute to loss of precious friends that these children had and their daily routine will definitely be altered in a negative way. It takes them so more time to make friends and adapt to their new environment and this interferes with their emotional security.

Divorce is also likely to interfere with the psychological maturation of the concerned children (Furtado, Marcena, & Sevilla, 2013). Divorce cases will contribute to the child having either decreased or increased psychological maturation. Few cases are seen in college where such children tend to exercise violence mostly during conflict resolution as they are angered within themselves based on the situation that they are currently experiencing. Moreover, girls who their fathers left home before they were five years old are much likely to get pregnant at adolescent as compared to girls who come from intact families. On the other side, boys from divorced families are likely to have sexual intercourse at early stages of their lives. This also increases their chances of contacting sexually transmitted diseases and other health concerns. Consequently, once they are in a romantic relationship, girls from divorced families are highly likely to have lesser trust and satisfaction. Due to such reasons, such children will not view marriage as a lifelong commitment not a permanent affair.

Children from divorced families also tend to lose their faith in religion. Generally, most religions do not support divorce. Therefore, children from divorced families tend to lose their religious faith as there is no committed parent who is ready and willing to show them the right way. Therefore, they grow up knowing that religion adds less or no value to their lives. On the other hand, the children living with both their parents are likely to have faith in religion due to proper guidance from their parents.

Divorce also affects the children levels and attachment to education. It is the duty of the parents to ensure that their children get the best in school. Mostly, children in divorced homes have less language stimulation as well as lower grades in their class performance. A study conducted in industrialized countries proved that children from divorced families had lower grade in both sciences and math’s while those living with both parents had higher grades in sciences and math’s subject.

Divorce also tends to interfere with the physical health of the children. It is evident that children living with both their parents are much likely to be abused or even neglected as compared to children from single families. On the other hand, children living with both parents are likely to be safe since one parent is likely to protect them from the harshness of the other parent. Therefore, it takes two parents to bring up children with good physical health.

Effects of Divorce on Parents

Divorce also affects the parents as it affects the children. When people are married, they are more likely to have good physical health. However, research has it that divorced people experience physical health challenges. Despite there being cases of diabetes to married people, such cases are much less compared to diabetes cases of unmarried male or female. Research shows that married man diagnosed with prostate cancer is likely to live longer as compared to unmarried man who has the similar condition. It is possible that the other partner is likely to care for the sick partner during marriage. However, divorce makes them vulnerable to such diseases since there is no partner to care for them. In terms of the time they live, married men live longer compared to a man who never married or divorced. Additionally, married men have lower rate of dying from cardiovascular disease than compared to unmarried men. Therefore, divorce tends to increase the chances of health complications for both parties.

Divorce also has a negative emotional and psychological effect on the parents. It takes as long as 5 years for the parents to deal with the reality of divorce. In some cases, the psychological trauma is so great that one of the couples may think of committing suicide. It takes lots of counseling sessions and guidance for a person to fully recover from the shocks of divorce.

Effects of Divorce on the Society

Apart from the families, the society is also known to carry the load of divorce. First, divorce hinders the society by interfering with the families and weakening their belief system concerning the marriage institution. According to sociologists, families are known to provide unifying factors of in the society (Blswich & Balswich, 2007). Therefore, divorce tends to interfere with the society fabrics and brings about divisions within the society. The divorce society members are mentally and physically disturbed.

Families are known to be economic powerhouses in the world. However, divorce tends to destroy these economic powerhouses, leading to surging levels of poverty. Children who are not brought up in a proper family set up tend to be less productive in their later life. Research has established that societies that flourish tend to rear their children in a proper family set up with less divorce cases (Jane, 2014). The intact family set up helps the children to develop a strong moral character that also helps them to develop a strong economic character. Such children are less likely to be involved in crimes, alcohol, and drug abuse. On the other hand, the society with lots of divorce cases is likely to breed children with immoral behavior. Their children are likely to develop criminal behavior and unwanted social habits. Divorce cases are also known to contribute to the lagging academic achievement in the society. When couples divorce, the children are likely to be displaced, leading to disturbed academic achievement. Therefore, increasing levels of divorce in the society diminishes the child’s future competence.

Divorce also leads to weakened moral culture within the society. The societies with increased divorce cases are likely to experience early sexual experimentation for their kids. Religious institutions are also likely to be affected by extreme cases of divorce (Clarke-Stewart & Brentano, 2007). Most religions do not support divorce since it adversely affects their marriage institutions. For the religious persons, divorce affects their frequency of worship and attendance of the church. The society that experiences increased crime rate also experiences high emotional rates. The idea of divorce has a negative influence on the children and they grow with the knowledge that their parents have separated.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the society is quickly changing and there are increasing cases of divorce. The current generation believes that marriage is an old fashioned institution that has no meaning to their lives. Therefore, the current generation tends to believe that divorce provides them with a solution to most of their family problems. In addition, this generation believes that cohabiting and open relationships provides them with better living than marriages. According to the bible, marriage should be a covenant between the couples and their God. However, divorce seems to have a negative impact to the families on the families. Divorce tends to have negative long-term effects on the families. The children from the divorced parents seem to have a permanent psychological and emotional damage when their parents get divorced.

 

Related: Parental Roles in Family Communication

References

Balswick, J.O & Balswick, J.K. (2007). The Family: A Christian Perspective on the Contemporary Home. Baker Academic; 3 edition

Clarke-Stewart, A & Brentano, C. (2007). Divorce: Causes and Consequences. An Interdisciplinary Journal. 45 (2) 341-344

Cohen, P. N. (2014). Recession and divorce in the united states, 2008-2011. Population Research and Policy Review, 33(5), 615-628. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11113-014-9323-z

Furtado, D., Marcén, M., & Sevilla, A. (2013). Does culture affect divorce? evidence from european immigrants in the united states. Demography, 50(3), 1013-38. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13524-012-0180-2

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Jane, A. (2014). The impact of family structure on the health of children: Effects of divorce. Linacre Quarterly; Vol. 81 Issue 4, p378

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Steele, F., Sigle-Rushton, W., & Kravdal, Ø. (2009). CONSEQUENCES OF FAMILY DISRUPTION ON CHILDREN’S EDUCATIONAL OUTCOMES IN NORWAY*. Demography (Pre-2011), 46(3), 553-74.

Teachman, J. D. (2002). Stability across cohorts in divorce risk factors. Demography (Pre-2011), 39(2), 331-51.

Wolfers, J. (2006). Did unilateral divorce laws raise divorce rates? A reconciliation and new results. The American Economic Review, 96(5), 1802-1820. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1257/aer.96.5.1802

 

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