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-- more -- -- divorce is a reality that about half of -- married couples may experience.
And the affects children can be devastating as they watch the two people they love most split apart.
But what about the effects of divorce are that the weight children view religion -- parents going through -- divorce impact that as well and in new studies suggest so.
It was -- mark -- is the editor of -- -- dot org and director of the center for.
Marriage and families at the Institute for American Values and she joins me now from Chicago welcome Elizabeth.
Thank you for having me.
What this is a wonderful thing and it's also it's an interesting study because it's really a double edged sword it's not one thing or the other.
It's that some children of divorce.
Their faith is really shaken while other children of divorced their faith is actually strengthen this is an increased -- -- conundrum why is this.
Yeah what we found we brought together scholars to look at the impact of divorce on the -- lives of children is that some children overall do become.
Less religious as a result of their parents' divorce.
But a minority of them do become more religious and so divorce can impact.
In complex ways the -- lives of the children.
But what we do see overall is that when the children grow up they are less likely to be attending a church to be members of -- church to be a leader in the congregation.
And so I think this is a -- wake up call -- congregations not only to pay attention to divorce and its effects on children because of the children themselves.
But also for the future of the churches and a minority of children whose -- is actually strengthened what causes and I'm.
A lot and tell stories of suffering that they came to a stronger faith through.
Lost through experiencing a loss of their father's presence in their daily lives and they came to see.
God as the father or parent who was not there for them.
Some of them do find congregations and churches to be kind of a home away from home very steady -- -- other parents -- love them very much of course but.
There's just so many more demands on divorced parents to be working and finding a new partner and children are traveling back and forth between -- so congregations.
Sometimes you succeed in becoming that safe place for children.
No one of the things that is clear the children of divorce they are sort of on the leading edge of people who say I'm spiritual not religious -- May -- still feel something.
But they don't want any part of organized religion what what is about the divorce that sort of good pals and ended this.
Into this category.
Yes week we call of.
They've grown children of divorce sort of the broken leading edge of this phenomenon of so many people now considering themselves spiritual but not religious.
Those from divorce him is that this is likely to say that they believe in god that they pray.
But they're less likely to be involved in a faith community and we.
We think there's a real opening there.
For these folks who have been through so much loss and suffering to be.
Potential leaders because the fact is -- just one way now that people.
Grow up without their own mom and dad we have had exploding rates of out of wedlock childbearing in this country we have a lot of children.
Who are not growing up with their married mom and dad and the churches.
For a lot of reasons marriage has been a really tough and divisive issue for a lot of years for anybody to address including the church's.
And a lot of people just kind of gone silence a lot of leaders have gone silent but we can't do that.
Yes that do it was a really ugly little -- him in a lot of churches out of Brooklyn to play another some graphics with a podium we have this up while you were speaking.
Religion doesn't seem to address the important issues in my life there -- 33 point 2% to finish strong somewhat agree.
And the strongly somewhat disagree 65 point 9%.
They don't know is 1%.
Interesting MMI -- the other -- -- I think I'm more religious now that my mother ever was.
They -- only somewhat -- twenty point 3% strongly somewhat disagree.
What is interesting to me on both of these graphics -- is the very very small percentage of people who simply don't know they have feelings one way or the other.
Yes yes you're right and it you know when we do these kinds of studies.
You kind of think all people don't wanna talk about god and moderates and kind of hear people don't want talk about religion is too sensitive.
But I'm sure you find this is a religion reporter and that this terrific show the produce.
People want to talk about the staff and including grown children of divorce but one of the things that they told us -- one of the studies is that.
When even those who are active at a church -- the time of their parents divorced two thirds say that no one.
From the clergy your congregation reached out to them at that time only won only one quarter say someone reached out to them at that time and so what that means is that even in a very.
Obvious time of loss in their lives at the time of their parents' divorce.
The clergy and lay leaders around them.
Apparently didn't know what to say so they said nothing well that can really leave the children struggling -- How can this fundamental fact of my life that I really struggling -- go ignored by a place that's supposed to be carrying about these very things.
You know we have a that's not coming up on Weinstock he says I have seen that kids who find jobs could -- circumstances but it requires a solid knowledge and foundation and usually an individual who reaches down for that to happen.
-- so it really is kind of an individual kind of.
Situation for the a lot of these kids.
It really is and it requires people who are well grounded invests.
There's a curriculum called divorce care for kids.
Which is one of the few curriculum out there that really helps to promote a better understanding -- where the children are coming from and how to bring the resources of the of the face.
Into congress and the conversation with these children's experiences is that -- some really good efforts on there.
That congregations if they want to do more than build upon.
So -- thank you very much Elizabeth what -- mark what I'm.
Thinking get more information up on what she's talking about at the M Stanley -- -- -- org or visit the -- and urgent and families at the Institute for American Values set right.
That's right that's right I guess thank you so much for joining us very entertaining history my -- -- I'll keep up on -- thank you very much.
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