“When I looked at him closely in the morning, behold, he was not the child that I had borne. But the other woman said, No, the living child is mine, and the dead child is yours. The first said, No, the dead child is yours, and the living child is mine.” I Kings 3:21-22 ESV
One day, one of my little Kindergarten girls had a plastic phone to her ears and was overheard by her teacher to say emphatically in a loud voice, “No! -You can’t have her this weekend! –You had her last weekend!” “No! You get her next weekend!”
I have witnessed this constant turmoil when one parent has custody and the other parent has visiting rights. It is a weekly war that never seems to end –and the child is caught in the middle.
King Solomon judged a case between two women over the custody of a living baby. The king said, “The one says, ‘This is my son that is alive, and your son is dead’; and the other says, ‘No; but your son is dead, and my son is the living one.’” And the king said, “Bring me a sword.” So a sword was brought before the king. And the king said, “Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one and half to the other.”
This scenario is played out every day in our domestic courts –parents fighting over the custody of the children and the courts demonstrating their ‘wisdom’ by dividing the babies; ignoring the fact that in so doing cause the children to die emotionally.
This brings to my mind another sad story from the Bible.
The king of Syria gathered all his host, and went up, and besieged Samaria. And there was a great famine in Samaria: and, behold, they besieged it, until an ass’s head was sold for fourscore pieces of silver … And as the king of Israel was passing by upon the wall, there cried a woman unto him, saying, Help, my lord, O king …
And the king said unto her, What aileth thee? And she answered, This woman said unto me, Give thy son, that we may eat him to day, and we will eat my son tomorrow. So we boiled my son, and did eat him: and I said unto her on the next day, Give thy son, that we may eat him …” 2 Kings. 6:24-29
What a gruesome situation – when Samaria was under siege they started to eat their own children. Why the children? When families are under stress – the children are consumed.
One day I was subpoenaed to appear in a custody case involving one of my fourth-grade children. I appeared at the courtroom and the mother’s lawyer asked me to step out in the hall. He questioned me and must have determined that my testimony would not be favorable –so he told me I could go back to school. I got as far as the door of the courthouse when the lawyer for the dad ran up and said I was to come back and testify for his side. All part of dividing our babies.
I know of a case where the courts terminated visiting rights of a parent over incomplete evidence – not allowing that parent to even talk to the children. The parent did not have the resources to fight the unjust charges – so has not spoken to his children for five years.
I well remember walking around the playground with David – for he was off by himself and seemed so sad. I asked him what was wrong, he just told me his Mom just left for California – and she was not coming back. I am still haunted by my inability to restore his mother.
Children are always the helpless victims when adults are fighting and the marriage is under stress. Our Christian homes today are not exempt from stress and I see our children in the church being hurt and destroyed. Marriages are besieged by sin and selfishness –yes in the church – causing bitterness, envy and strife. This is not God’s plan. Christian marriages are besieged today with the hectic pace of modern life causing us no time to communicate with the ones we love. Christian marriages are besieged by financial debt caused by our desire for the “Good American Lifestyle”.
Saints of God, don’t allow the lifestyle of this world lay siege to your home. Pray, ask for God’s help to see what is of real value in this life. If and when, you find yourself besieged – go to the Pastor while he can still help you solve the problems – before bitterness consumes you, and so keep your home together. Don’t wait until you have destroyed your marriage and ‘consumed’ your children.