By Melanie Barton Disciple World Magazine November 2002

When a couple decides to divorce, they also decide who gets to keep the friends, the house, the kids, and the timeshare. But who gets to keep the church? In a society that sees nearly half of all marriages end in divorce, that’s a question the church today must answer.

Most of us were raised to believe divorce is a sin. So how do we minister to those in the process of divorcing? Just as important, how do we minister to both partners, without taking sides? Our clearest answer comes in the example of Jesus as healer-ministering to those who are broken, rather than ostracizing or shaming them. Here are some concrete steps toward helping those in the process of a divorce.

On August 28th while going through a divorce I was diagnosed with colon cancer and required surgery. While working to quickly close down my practice, I suffered a number Transient Ischemic Attacks (“mini strokes”) requiring carotid artery surgery a week after colon resection surgery. I was grateful I made preparations for such a crisis, but I also realized how unprepared I was.

As a young child my mom faced the loneliness of living apart from her divorced parents. She struggled growing up to achieve success in a world torn apart by World War II.