Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Divorce and faith

In Between Two Worlds, Elizabeth Marquardt talked about the effects of divorce on the faith of the kids involved. While children of divorce were less likely to embrace faith than their peers, those that did were more likely to wind up as evangelicals for a variety of reasons. This article in USA Today profiles several individuals who are taking their faith more seriously than their parents. Two of them are from divorced families.

Brooke Havarty, 21, says her parents struggled when she transferred from Arizona State to Liberty University in Virginia, founded by the late Rev. Jerry Falwell.

"I had a great childhood in a great family," she says. "We went to church on Sundays, but it was just what you did. I was never shown the value of the Bible, the role God had in my life. I saw the consistency and joy in the lives of faithful Christians, and I wanted that in my life."

Havarty, whose parents are divorced, adds that her dad "is an amazing father, but he doesn't want to give every area of his life to Christ the way I do. It's hard for him to understand why I'm so black and white about things."

...Nolan says she felt a deep connection to Catholicism as a teen when her family had just moved cross-country for the second time. She insisted her parents, nominal Catholics, send her for religious studies and drive her to Mass.

"At first I was a little obnoxious. There were a few conversations like, 'You need to calm down,' " she recalls. And when she chose Franciscan, known for its traditionalist fervor, "I know my dad was leery."

Her father, Tom Nolan, 53, of Atlanta, says the demands of a divorce, a move and travel in his sales job have left him "disconnected from church." Yet he supported her, as he does now that she's going to do social work in the Andes instead of going straight to graduate school.

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