Lesson 2: When the Family Breaks Down
One of the biggest struggles kids have is obeying their parents. It’s never easy, and sometimes it seems impossible. Sometimes, kids struggle so much with their parents that they wish they had a different set of parents altogether. In this lesson, the children will learn that God gave them the parents that He wanted them to have, the ones that were best suited to take care of them, train them, and help them become what God wants them to be. Children have to do their part to help their parents do their job. How? They do their part by choosing to honor, love, and obey their parents. It’s not easy, but it is always rewarding.
At Home Instructions
The Big Idea When things go wrong and I don't know what to do, God will always see me through.
Power Verse "Give your burdens to the Lord, and He will take care of you." - Psalm 55:22
Tell your children that they’re going to draw a timeline of their lives. Explain that the timeline will show some of the important things, both good and bad, that have happened up to this point in their lives. Help them draw a horizontal line and mark some dates and events such as their birthdays, special vacations, learning to read, getting a pet, memorable summer activities, etc. If they’ve experienced some type of illness or a death in the family, include that, too. Make sure that they place the divorce on their timeline.
Then have your children think of some of the good things that might happen to them in the future and add them to the timeline. Have them include things like turning 16, graduation, their first car, getting married, having children, etc. Talk about the following questions: • Are there more happy things or unhappy things on your timeline? • After the divorce, are there any happy things on your timeline? What are some of those, and what made them so special? •Do you expect that you’ll be mostly happy in the future or mostly unhappy? Why?
Point out to your children that they have experienced many different events in their lives, some of them good and some of them bad. Help them understand that with God’s help, they can make it through painful times and experience joy. Pray with your children, asking God to heal your pain and help you find joy in your lives.
Choose one boy and one girl who thinks they are obviously smart enough to put the puzzles back together. Dump the puzzle pieces on the floor (both puzzles mixed in together). When you say, “GO!”, both try to put their puzzles back together. First one complete wins!
Just like this puzzle, our hearts may be in pieces after something terrible happens like a divorce. But, God can put our hearts and lives back together again. Today, we are going to learn how.
Silly Willy: (doesn’t come up like normal, just walks up slow and sad)
Leader: Well, hey there, Silly Willy. You seem pretty down today.
Silly Willy: Yeah. I just found out my friend Jason’s parents are getting a divorce.
Leader: Really? Well, we’re talking today about how God can help us through any problem; even one as painful and big as divorce.
Silly Willy: Yeah, I know He can help us. But, Jason doesn’t know that.
Leader: Well, maybe you should talk to Jason about it. Help him know that God can help.
Silly Willy: Are you kidding? I don’t know what to say. My parents never got divorced, so what could I say to help him?
Leader: Well, it’s true you may not be able to relate to the pain he is going through, but you know a God who can. God can put our hearts back together, even when something painful goes wrong like the breaking up of our family.
Silly Willy: Yeah, but how do I tell that to Jason?
Leader: It’s easy. You just tell Jason that you are praying for him because you know God can heal his broken heart, no matter how impossible that may seem right now.
Silly Willy: That’s all?
Leader: Well, that’s all at first. But, then you continue to pray for Jason and let him know you are praying for him. Soon Jason might want to talk to you about it, and you can help him turn everything over to God. God can heal Jason’s pain.
Silly Willy: Really? I know God heals diseases. But, He heals broken hearts, too?
Leader: That’s right. All you have to do is turn it over to Him and trust Him to help you through it. Maybe you could go share that with Jason and see what happens?
Silly Willy: I am going to do that right now! See ya later!
Leader: See ya! You know, boys and girls. God can heal the hurt that comes from divorce. Even though you may not have ever gone through a divorce in your family, you might know someone who either has or will in the future. So, listen up today. We are going to talk about some important things to know in order to survive a divorce.
All of us probably know someone whose parents have gotten a divorce. It might be someone at school, in church, or even your own family. Raise your hand if someone you know has had their family torn apart by divorce? (almost all hands should go up) As you can see, today’s message is going to apply to just about everyone in this room. Because even if you never have to go through the pain of your parents divorcing (and we pray that you never do have to go through that), you probably know someone who will have to go through it. Today, we are going to learn some things we can share with those who have had to go through this awful thing called divorce.
The saddest thing that could happen through a divorce is that a child begins to think it was their fault their parents got a divorce. They begin to think, “If only I had done more, acted better, or not gotten in trouble so much...then Mom and Dad would have stayed together.” Boys and girls, hear me very clearly this morning...If your parents are divorced...it’s not your fault!.
Parents have to make the decision they feel are best. Even though they may not want to hurt the children by getting a divorce, sometimes they make that choice because they think it’s what is best.
But, there is NOTHING you could have done to keep it from happening. You didn’t decide for them to get a divorce. That was something they chose on their own because they thought it was the best decision. You didn’t choose what color of socks your Dad put on this morning, did you? Probably not.
You also didn’t choose the way your Mom fixed her hair this morning. Why is that? Because parents make decisions for themselves. It is NOT your fault that your parents chose divorce. Never let the devil lie to you and tell you that you could have done something to prevent it. You couldn’t. It was not your decision, and it is NOT your fault.
The Bible says that Jesus is moved when we hurt. He desires to help us, to comfort us in our pain. All we have to do is give it to Him. He knows that divorce hurts. Some of you lie in bed at night crying yourself to sleep. Don’t try to handle this pain on your own. It’s way too big for you to handle by yourself.
Bring the small kid up on the stage
Take this young man, for instance. Let’s say he represents you. (bring the bigger kid up on the stage) And this person represents the pain of divorce. Now, we could try to handle the problem of the pain of divorce on our own...but it’s not going to get us very far. (instruct the small child to pick up the large child and carry them across the room) It’s not working very well, is it? (this could end up being really funny as the small child attempts to carry the large child...it’s OK...let them laugh about it)
Now, what God wants us to do is call on Him, because there is no pain or problem in the world that is too big for God to handle. (bring up the Children’s Church worker) This person is going to represent God. You know what God wants to do? He wants to respond when we call on Him. If we will ask for His help, he will carry the pain for us. (instruct the worker to pick up the large child and carry them out of the room) And He will take the pain completely away! Let’s give God a hand!
You see? Don’t try to carry this pain on your own. It’s not yours to carry. It’s not your problem, it’s God’s problem. Just give it to Him and let Him carry it for you.
Just because your parents have gotten a divorce...that doesn’t mean your life is over. That doesn’t mean it’s the end of all your happiness. You get to choose whether you let this pain beat you or not. What God wants you to do is pick up the pieces, let Him put your heart back together again, and learn from the mistakes of others so that you can become all God wants you to be. I believe you can do it! God believes you can do it!
Once you let God take control of the situation, you will begin to see Him working miracles in your life. You can choose to give this pain to God and come out on top, ready to let God take control of your life and shape you into what He wants you to be.
Play soft music
Allow children to give their pain to God and let Him put their hearts back together again.
Remind them they don’t have to carry this burden themselves. This is not the end. This is the beginning of a new phase of God’s power and strength in their life.
- Did Silly Willy want to talk to his friend about God being able to help him? Answer: No, he was scared
- What was Silly Willy’s friend’s name? Answer: Jason
- Is it your fault if your parents get a divorce? Answer: No
- Does God want to carry our pain for us? Answer: Yes
- Can we make decisions for our parents? Answer: No, they make decisions for themselves
- Where was our Power Verse found today? Answer: Psalm 34:18
- What was today’s Big Idea? Answer: “When Things Go Wrong and I Don’t Know What To Do, God Will Always See Me Through!”
- The first lesson we learned today is divorce is not my ___________. Answer: Fault
- The second lesson we learned today is divorce is not my ___________. Answer: problem
- The third point we learned today is that divorce - “Is not the _______.” Answer: end