Hearts Divided by Divorce

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds”

Psalm 147:3

Each time a marriage ends, husbands and wives are forced to tackle the complicated task of separating into two what God joined into one. Houses, cars, bank accounts, furniture–everything gained during the course of life together must somehow be divided between the two parties. The sad reality is that physical belongings aren’t the only objects divided during the divorce process; the hearts of children are also torn in two as mom and dad head off in separate directions. Although society’s distaste for divorce has steadily decreased over recent decades, the pain experienced by children of divorce has yet to lessen. In his song “Two Houses,” Matthew West articulates the heart-broken cry from the child of a broken home and points to the hope of a home that will never be divided.

Here’s the story behind the song…  

Ladies, as much as it is within our power, let’s commit to creating homes filled with love, strength, and stability for the glory of God and the good of our children.

The Story of Your Life is available on iTunes for $9.99.

Two Houses

Well, Mom found her a new place to live
And Dad found him a new girlfriend
Looks like everybody’s moving on
And it’s, “Hey, look on the bright side kid,
Now you’ve got two Christmases
And it’s every other weekend from now on”
Yeah, but all I want is the way it was

When love would always last forever
And families stayed together
Back to the day before two houses
When they held my hands when I was little
Before I got caught in the middle
Somewhere in between two houses
‘Cause these two houses sure don’t feel like home

Wide-eyed wonder grows up fast
Trust is shot and nothing lasts
And I’m thinking maybe it was all my fault
And will I ever get back to
The innocence that I once knew
Before that Summer turned into Fall
When I close my eyes, I go back in time

I heard about a love that never leaves
So I’m asking you to show me
I’m talking to You down here on my knees
Feels like You’ve always known me

When love would always last forever
And families stayed together
Back to the day before two houses
You were holding my hand when I was little
You were there when I was in the middle
Somewhere in between two houses
These two houses
These two houses

But tonight my heart has finally found a home

Written by Matthew West
Photo: Kiomi

9 thoughts on “Hearts Divided by Divorce

  1. Divorce hurts not only the children who live at home, but also the ones who are moved out and on their own, or married, or even married with their own children.

    This was heart breaking, and so personal to me. Thank you for sharing this song.

    Sarah

    • I agree, Sarah. It seems like people don’t talk as much about how children are affected by divorce as I used to hear. Often, I hear comments about how resilient children are and how quickly they adjust. While it may be true that little ones (or grown children) appear to adapt quickly or easily at times, I think that few people recognize the pain that continues on in their hearts for years. What I hope Matthew West’s song will accomplish, other than voicing the thoughts that children of divorce often keep locked inside, is to remind Christians, whether single or married, of the importance of honoring the covenant of marriage.

  2. I think part of the reason the resilience or quick adjustment of children of divorced parents is talked about more than the pain is because people don’t want to feel guilty about putting their children through that ordeal. They say, or are told, that although it may be confusing or hurtful at the time the children will adjust and “be fine” after a short time. We find all sorts of ways to make our sin “okay”, while ignoring the very serious consequences of that sin.

    As the grown daughter of divorced parents with a husband and baby of my own I know that one of my strong desires is that my marriage is an example of what a marriage covenant should be for my younger siblings as well as my son as he grows and any other future children that we have. I was already out of the house when the divorce happened but the whole thing has still been confusing and painful for me and my other siblings some of who were also moved out, and some of who are still at home.

    Sarah

    • I’m sorry to hear that you had to go through the hardship of seeing your parents divorce, Sarah. Perhaps the Lord will give you the opportunity to use what you’ve gone through to minister to others experiencing a similar pain. It’s wonderful to hear of your commitment to be a godly wife and to do your best to model before others the love of Christ within your marriage. The world needs to see that kind of love!

  3. Have you read “The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce:
    A 25 Year Landmark Study”
    by Judith S. Wallerstein, Julia M. Lewis, and Sandra Blakeslee

    This is one of the most painfully perceptive studies on the affects of divorce on children. Adult children of divorce (ACOD) should also read: “Breaking the Cycle of Divorce: How Your Marriage Can Succeed Even if Your Parents’ Didn’t” John Trent (Author), Larry K. Weeden (Author)

    I have recommended structured separations as alternatives to divorce and as plans for saving marriasges: See: Troubled marriages in the Church–how to respond
    http://thinkpoint.wordpress.com/2008/02/13/troubled-marriages-fill-the-church-how-to-respond/

    • I have not read that book, but it sounds very interesting. Thank you for recommending it; I’ll check it out. I read your article on structured separations. It sounds as though you only do this in cases where marriages are already in a desperate situation. Have you seen couples successfully reunited after such times?

      • Yes. But I must admit that it is hard. They begin to like who they are apart from the toxicity of being together. This is why about 15 years ago, I began to go full throttle in the preventative direction. I’ve taught a class for singles on the marriage decision for those years in our college town. We’ve had hundreds of singles go through this class (6 evenings/weeks) bringing married couples in to talk with them etc…. We’ve also put a BIG emphasis on premarital preparation. Result: performed a little over 100 weddings, only two separated. We must be preventative! Check out this: http://www.engleonline.com/AdDesk/Htmlfiles/Readers/article.epc?id=25672

      • I would think that staying apart would become a strong temptation. Absence in such cases is unlikely to make the heart grow fonder. In cases of physical abuse or other threatening situations, separation is a definite must. I’m sure it’s difficult to discern the best course of action when leading people through such tense marital issues. In general though, I think couples too quickly separate to escape their problems when what they really need to do is stay and force themselves to work through their problems using the resources God has provided. Our culture’s emphasis on immediate pain relief and quick fixes has infected the church’s thinking, and many marriages have been destroyed as a result. We could better prepare many couples by using the book of 1 Peter in all premarital counseling classes!

      • Sorry, Steve. I didn’t realize this morning that I was only seeing the first two lines of your comment on the page where I was reading!

        Great to hear about the work that you’ve done in preparing couples before they enter marriage. We need a lot more of that in the church. I like what you said in the article about it being a good thing if couples sometimes break up before finishing your class! Far better that they do so while dating than to move forward and then reap the consequences of making a poor decision. Praise the Lord for the many marriages that you’ve seen preserved during your ministry! =)

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