This last week I had a meeting with one of my favorite moms. Her love for her daughter, for me, and for Jesus is palpable. And for a verity of reasons, due to long histories, and for things that I really have no idea about, this mom is in the middle of a divorce. While the ethics of divorce are complex and worthy of lengthy discussions full of truth and grace, this blog post is not about the ethics of divorce.
As the youth worker, no one is coming to me for marital advice, or trying to navigate a difficult situation, asking for prayers, or discernment for whether or not it is time to pull the plug on a marriage. No, I am the youth worker, my job, my calling, is to be the child’s advocate, care for them, make space for them, and help them navigate this new landscape. I actually believe it is not the job of the youth worker to even take sides and spiritualize the landscape. Our students are only our students for a few more years, but they will always be the daughters and sons of their parents, whether or not they are divorced. To use our position of power and influence and pick sides will be disastrous for the long term health and reconciliation between all parties, and for all parties and the church.
With that being said, this conversation did help me realize that because all parents don’t expect to be divorced, don’t expect to have divided holidays, and now don’t know how to navigate the holidays, specifically Christmas in-light of their new divorced situation. Here are a couple of helpful tips to navigate this new family rhythm: