I Finally Recovered From My Parents’ Divorce
My Almighty Father Found Me
By Oliver W. Price

The Disaster of Divorce

Rev. Joe C. HumrichousWhen a child’s parents divorce he faces awesome consequences. He needs both his father and mother. He belongs in their home under their loving care and authority. God commands children to honor and obey both parents. But what happens to the children when their parents are separated? The whole family suffers.

 

I know this from experience. One summer my mother sent me to my grandparents’ farm about fifty miles east of Memphis, Tennessee. When I returned in the fall I was told that my parents had divorced while I was gone. I cried myself to sleep that night and many nights afterward. My mother, my sister and my brother tried to console me, but nothing could relieve me of the terrible sense of loss. I loved my father. I was named after him, but now he was gone. I loved my mother and I will be forever grateful for her and all the sacrifices she made for me. Still nothing could replace the loss of my father. With a broken heart I loved him and longed for him. I visited with him two or three times and then I lost contact with him and never saw him again.

 

Before the divorce I had noticed that my mother was frequently weeping and my father was deeply troubled, angry and in despair. They were struggling to support our family in the midst of the great depression. I was too young to understand the severe stress and desperate problems they were facing.

 

A Rebel Without a Rudder

 

Living without my father deeply impacted my life. Looking back I realize that I became like a ship without a rudder. I became a rebel. In my early teens I used to sneak out of school during recess and go down the hill to a drug store with my closest friend. We bought cigarettes and felt like real men when we secretly smoked during recess.

 

I carried a newspaper route and wasted the money I collected from my customers. I spent it on a slot machine at the corner drug store. I thought I would win some extra money and pay for my newspapers, but it didn’t happen. So I was in trouble with my manager.

 

In senior high school I discovered that the algebra teacher was not looking at the papers we turned in. When she called the roll and asked if we had done our assignment, I lied “yes” and gave her a folded blank sheet at the door as I was leaving. Then one day she opened my blank sheet. She had discovered that I was lying.

 

I signed up for an elective Bible course offered in our public school because I thought Miss McAllister, our kind hearted Bible teacher, would not make us do our home work. I was wrong. She assigned us chapters to read and when she called the roll she asked if we had read them. I usually lied. So I was failing the Bible course. She sent me to the vice principal. He urged me to do my homework and warned me that I was failing. Miss McAllister mailed notices to my mother that I was failing.  My mother was at work when the mail came. I flushed those letters down the commode.

 

Convicted of Sin

 

Finally, one day Miss McAllister met my mother down town. Mother asked how I was doing. She replied, “He’s failing! Haven’t you been receiving the reports I have been sending you?”

 

That night my mother confronted me. I was ashamed, but I was not convicted of my sin. After I was separated from the authority of my father I became firmly established in being my own authority. I didn’t see anything wrong with the way I was living and lying. I thought I was a good Christian even though I had not attended church in six years.

 

I don’t know why I actually opened my Bible one day and read the assignment. It was Matthew chapter 6. When I reached verse 24 I was stunned as I read, “No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else be loyal to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” I had no idea what mammon was. However, that verse deeply troubled my guilty conscience. I had excused lying about doing my algebra assignments, but suddenly lying about reading the Holy Bible set my guilty conscience on fire. My heavenly Father convicted me of sin. I saw myself for the first time as a wicked sinner who desperately needed salvation.

 

A Merciful Father

 

I feared I would go to hell. I got down on my knees to pray for mercy. I called God my Father. I felt like a toddler who had for the first time recognized his daddy.

 

I prayed the words from two old hymns. “Just as I am without one plea but that Thy blood was shed for me, and that thou bidds’t me come to Thee, O Lamb of God I come.” Then I prayed, “What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.”

 

My Almighty Father had met me and saved me from my sinful life. He revealed Himself to me as my loving and forgiving Father. My rebellion was over. I later learned that my sister was meeting with a prayer group and they had been praying for me.

 

I went to church soon after my conversion. When the pastor preached I broke down in tears of repentance. I left there aware that I was a new young man. Life was different now. I lost contact with my old buddies. I immediately stopped going to raunchy movies. In a few months I quit smoking.

 

Godly Men

 

I needed some friendship and encouragement from mature godly men. The Lord led Brother Massey, a godly eighty-year-old deacon, to invite me to go with him and several other men to visit revival meetings going on that summer. These men were all old enough to be my father. I enjoyed their fellowship. So I spent one or two nights a week with them.

 

In the fall I went to Columbia Bible College in Columbia, South Carolina. There godly men taught me the Bible and good Christian conduct.

 

There were a lot of godly Christian girls at CBC, but I was not interested in finding a girl friend. Dating might lead to marriage and I had decided I would never marry because I feared marriage would lead to divorce.

 

 A Godly Woman

 

After three years in Bible College I moved to Ft. Worth, Texas to finish college at Texas Christian University. My first Sunday in Ft. Worth I went to Ft. Worth Bible Church. A girl my age named Betty Maxson spoke up during the sharing time and said I was an answer to her prayers. It sounded like love at first sight. She later said she meant I was an answer to her prayers for a youth leader.

 

Well, I did not know what she meant. Anyway, I was a committed bachelor preparing to be a missionary to wild Indians. Eventually I became the youth pastor and I learned to know Betty as a truly dedicated Christian. When she spoke during young people’s meetings I was impressed with her knowledge of the Bible. I learned of her devotion to the Lord. I saw her sacrifice to help her brother.

 

This was during World War II. Her younger brother, Jack, wanted to go to Moody Bible Institute before he went into the army. Betty postponed her plans to go to Wheaton College. She stayed home and worked so she could give him money for his expenses at Moody.

 

This was one of the things that attracted me to Betty. So I called one evening and asked if I could come to her home to study the Bible with her. I did not think I was starting courtship that would ever lead to marriage, but she knew I was. We shared our devotion to the Lord and our desire to serve Him. Eventually my fear that marriage might not last was over. Now we have been happily married for sixty-two years.

 

Friendships and Fellowship

 

While I lived in Ft. Worth I was blessed with close friendship with two men who helped me mature. One was the late W. E. Hawkins, who was pastor of Ft. Worth Bible Church. He was also founder and director of Radio Revival, a daily radio broadcast which eventually gave birth to Bible Prayer Fellowship. Brother Hawkins was like a father to me. He gave me lots of practical advice. He had me on my knees praying every time I went to his office. He taught me to memorize Scripture.

 

When he went home to be with the Lord I was called to lead the ministry he founded. It is now called Bible Prayer Fellowship.

 

The other man who helped me was the late Dr. John F. Walvoord, who was a Dallas Theological Seminary professor and later became its president, lived in Ft. Worth while I lived there. After graduation from TCU I became a student at DTS. Dr. Walvoord frequently gave me a ride to and from seminary. I learned much from his wisdom and Christian character. He was an active member of our Bible Prayer Fellowship board until his departure to be with Christ.

 

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