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Susan Grover

Divorce is never easy, especially when children are involved. Use this lesson to reinforce to kids that God is with them during this troubling time and it is not their fault.

1. Shadow Play-Have kids form a line. Then turn off the lights and turn on music. Open the classroom door or walk by a window in the classroom so kids' shadows show up. If you need to, shine a light on kids to make shadows. Have kids each find their shadow. Then have them move their arms up and down, jump, sit, and stand.

Ask: "Can you see your shadow all the time? Why or why not? Do you always have a shadow? Why or why not?"

Say: "Our shadow is always with us-even though we can't see it all the time."

Read aloud Joshua 1:7-9.

Ask: "Are you ever afraid? What tough times have you gone through in your family? What do these verses say about God being with us during tough times? Does it always seem like God is with you? Why or why not?"

Say: "Sometimes our families go through tough times. Our parents may even decide that they can't live together any longer and they may get a divorce. When parents divorce, we need to remember that God will never leave us. God is always with us just like our shadows are always with us. Even in tough times like a divorce, God sticks by us."

2. Healing Hearts-Give each child a cut-out heart from red construction paper. Have kids each tear their heart in half.

Ask: "How do kids feel when their parents divorce? If your parents are divorced, how do you feel? Whose fault is it when parents divorce?" (Encourage kids to share their feelings. Affirm them by accepting what they say and letting them know it's okay to feel mad, sad, or hurt.)

Say: "Some kids think their parents' divorce is their fault. This is a horrible feeling. And it's not true! When parents divorce, it's because they've decided they can't live together any longer. It's not the children's fault."

Read aloud Matthew 19:1-6 in an easy-to-understand translation.

Say: "God knows it's sad when moms and dads leave each other in divorce. When parents can't live together anymore, our hearts feel like these hearts-all torn up and broken. We need a Band-Aid to help our hearts heal. Jesus is like a Band-Aid that can make our hearts feel better."

Give children each a Band-Aid to put their heart back together. Using markers, have kids each draw a cross in the center of their Band-Aid.

3. Healing Prayers-Say: "When we feel mad, sad, or hurt we can pray to God. When we pray about our hurts, Jesus can make our hearts feel better."

Have children sit in a circle on the floor. Ask children to share any hurts they've had because of divorce-either their own or someone else's parents' divorce. Pray for each child's hurts and thank God for never leaving us-no matter what.

4. Snack- Food for Thought:You'll need: A small bakery wedding cake.

Directions: Serve the children wedding cake.

Say: "When two people marry, God wants them to be married for life. But sometimes, a husband and wife decide they don't want to be married anymore. This can cause a lot of pain for children. Let's ask God to help children whose parents have divorced."

Close in prayer, thanking God for children's families and asking God to help children of divorce.

Susan Grover is a children's minister in California.

Copyright© Group Publishing, Inc. / Children's Ministry Magazine

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