I grew up with great parents. Both of which worked extremely hard for my brother and I. When I was 6 years old, they got divorced. At that time there was a lot of drama, (between custody battles, moving around a lot, joint families, instability, financial strains, you name it) none of which I understood at the time. Both of my parents met someone else, my dad actually was re-married shortly after the divorce. My brother and I wound up having 3 step-sisters as a result of that marriage. My dad was married once prior to my mom and then a few years after his 2nd divorce he eventually divorced for the 3rd time. My mom was the sole provider for my brother and I and she did an excellent job. As I reflect on my childhood and some of the battles that we faced growing up as children in a divorced family who had parents living in different cities, I can’t help but use these very personal examples to explain the importance of why in the L.I.F.E model, “family” is such a crucial topic to grow in, understand and learn about in order to live a life of excellence. 

I am not married. Let’s make that very clear. I am not trying to tell someone reading this that I can teach someone about marriage. All I can do is take my personal experiences in growing up watching marriages fail to stimulate your ideas about marriage to look deeper into growing in this category of the 8 F’s. We are living in a culture where the family is no longer a priority. I used to teach in a couple different high schools and I can’t count the number of students I taught who were living in single parent homes; many of which would tell me they have little to no relationship with their parents. I don’t believe that was because they were going through the ‘teenage years.’ In fact, I know that divorce can sever the bond between a child and one or both of his/her parents. This can lead to an entire arena of different issues within the family unit. I believe relationships and marriages are failing because 1) lack of commitment, 2) lack of faith or biblical truths, 3) societal/media influence. In my eyes, (and definitely in God’s eyes) marriage is sacred. It is a lifelong commitment and a oneness that two people become when they fall in love. The bible says: “For a woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives…” Romans 7:2. It is not a here today, gone tomorrow fad. It is not a feeling temporarily and when the feeling goes away, you file for divorce. It’s a commitment, “to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part.” 

I don’t want anyone to get the impression that I am bashing every person who has ever gotten a divorce. If I did that I would be insulting my entire family, so that is not why I am writing about this topic. But ask yourself this question, why is it we as a society are failing in marriage. When 50% of almost every marriage ends in divorce, there is a problem. Due to my lack of experience in marriage, don’t take my advice, If you are at all interested in learning more about this topic, I would highly recommend reading some of the books that the Team training system offers: The Five Love Languages, Love and Respect, The Power of a Woman’s Words, His Needs, Her Needs, Building Your Mate’s Self Esteem and many others. There are also resources such as the “Marriage” CD pack and “Relationships” CD pack. On 11/1/11 there will be an entire subscription dedicated specifically to family and relationships. The Team and LIFE offer so many opportunities to grow in this area of your life. In fact, digging deeper into this category alone can change a person’s life.

If you come from a divorced family, you have a choice to break the cycle or to continue the cycle. Most people out there are just continuing the cycle, not because they want to, but because of lack of knowledge and self esteem in the family/relationships area of LIFE. For a long time I feared relationships, marriage and commitment. Anytime a relationship seemed to be going well, I ran away like it was the plague. I feared breaking someone’s heart, failure in marriage and abuse. I would imagine if I had these fears, many others out there do also. If this is the case, we need to educate couples and individuals through Orrin Woodward’s LIFE model so the folks out there know they have a chance at breaking the cycle and knowing it will sustain through commitment and personal growth. I have seen so many incredible examples of beautiful relationships within the TEAM organization that all my fears have ceased to exist. And regardless of my past and societies views, I have made a commitment in my life that I will be married only once and it will be to the person God has in His image for me. He has not revealed that person to me yet but until then, I will never stop learning about this subject. I want to be able to reference this material and grow personally but most importantly, recommend it to others. And if we do that, we as a community can go out there and break the cycle of divorce in this country.

Blessings, Kristen