- Don’t forget the kids.
If your friend is a parent to young kids, they are also in the middle of the fire. Offer to watch them or have them join your family for a few adventures. Do this OFTEN. You might think you’re being annoying, but trust me, you’re not. You’re Jesus in action.
Remember, their parent or parents are living moment to moment in the beginning of going through a divorce and probably don’t have much to offer their kids right now. Offering to care for the kids is just as much a blessing to the kids as the parents, as it’s likely the kids’ emotional cups are running on empty.
If you want to take this one step further, ask your friend if you can text or message the children. This gives the kids one more safe person to check in with and helps to balance the load on the single parent. My kids loved this, and I appreciated knowing they had another adult investing in them.
As an added bonus, my friends were able to help me monitor my children’s emotional health through this process.
- Help your friend prioritize self-care and soul care.
Have you ever heard of “pregnancy brain”? Well, “divorce brain” is a thing, too.
We aren’t thinking clearly and can’t remember to do basic things like schedule a hair appointment before the split ends rage or take care of those calloused feet before the summer sandal season.
Offer to watch their kids or handle a school pick-up so they can take care of their personal needs. If they say no … persist. They’ll thank you for it later. Don’t let them pass up basic self-care.
For soul care, offer to memorize Scripture with your friend. Send them daily verses via text to encourage. These were life-giving to me as fuel to make it through the day.
In my first year of going through a divorce, my therapist shared a daily scripture calendar with me. It was amazingly providential as so often the daily verses seemed to align with exactly what I needed to hear that day. Verses of promise, safety, love, care, and protection. Oh, how the Father’s timing is always perfect.
And of course, pray. The sweet words of many friends, “Can I pray with you?” or “How can I best pray?” were heard so often at the end of a phone call, in a text, or before we parted ways. They meant it, and I felt it. There is nothing quite like the prayer of many saints covering you.
- Feed them.
In the first few months of going through a divorce, I made the same kid-friendly meal on repeat: tots, over-easy eggs, and burgers sans buns. (Sounds strange, but this was my kids’ favorite meal. We had chickens, so eggs abounded.) I could make this meal without thinking about it, and I did … too much.
To this day, my kids still can’t eat it. Sorry kids!
Spare your friend’s kids and set up a meal train. It doesn’t have to be daily, but a schedule of knowing the days you don’t have to worry about food is a lifesaver. Plus, your friend might actually eat if they don’t have to prepare it. #SelfCare. Yeah, we need all the help in that space.