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Thank you for this very touching question and for the follow-up information you sent to me so I could more clearly answer your question.  In most cases of divorce, the ones who suffer the most are the children.  Even when the parents still can get along, the children suffer the loss of a household where there is a father and a mother.  The problems only get worse when one, or both, of the parents refuse to cooperate for the sake of the children.

Sometimes, in the case of child custody, the state clearly makes bad choices.  I can only imagine what a judge must go through trying to be fair and impartial, while looking out for the general welfare of the children.  If there is true abuse of the children by the father, then, by all means, get the police involved.  No child should have to grow up being abused or neglected.  My wife and I were foster parents for ten years and we have witnessed the effects of abuse and neglect.  It can permanently impact the abused child.  If you have evidence of abuse, do not hesitate to call the police and get this stopped.

However, if there is just a difference of opinion in how to properly raise and discipline the children, I imagine that little or nothing can be done about it.  While being too stern or uncooperative can be worrisome and frustrating, it may not be illegal.

What can you do for the sake of your children in a case like this?  You can become a prayer warrior for them.  James 5:16 tells us that, “…The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”  Even when the police, judges and lawyers don’t know what is best for the child, the Lord certainly does.  1 Peter 5:7 instructs us, “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”  Cast this burden upon the Lord, asking Him to work on the children’s behalf to keep them safe and in a wholesome environment.

You can also have a great influence on your ex-husband.  Pray for him; pray for his spiritual needs, and his need of wisdom in dealing with the children.  Pray that he would be more cooperative and then encourage him as he does begin to cooperate with you in the welfare of your children.  Pray for yourself.  Seek the Lord’s guidance in helping you deal with this situation in a godly manner.  Your Christian influence can be a great force when you are following the Word of God.  Let’s consider 1 Peter 3:1-2 which says, “Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.”  Although you two are no longer together, you can still live a godly live in front of him so that your influence will have a good and Christ honoring impact on him.

You do need to forgive your ex-husband for your own peace of mind.  In fact, you should go beyond forgiveness.  The Lord tells us in Matthew 5:44 to, “…Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.”  Will this be hard to do?  Without Christ in your life, it will be impossible to do.  For the sake of your husband’s eternal soul, you should love him with the love of God.  When he is doing bad things to hurt or upset you, you should respond by blessing him, doing good things for him, and praying for him.  This could very well open him to putting his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as his savior.  As a believer on the Lord, he will become a better person and a better father to the children.

I will continue in prayer for this situation and would love to hear updates from you.  I’ll leave you with the comforting verse from Psalms 118:6, “The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?”