“It is not your fault”: 11-year-old moves viewers on Salt&Light Family Night with message to children of divorce
Salt&Light // August 11, 2020, 6:13 pm
(Left to right) Alynna, Crystal, Adrian and Angelica Sia. Adrian and Crystal shared their journey from divorce to remarriage and its impact on Angelica at Salt&Light Family Night on Aug 4.
“I learnt the hard way that the grass isn’t greener on the other side. The grass is greener where you water it.”
This line from Adrian Sia, 46, turned out to be one that stuck in the minds of over 200 viewers who tuned in for the inaugural Salt&Light Family Night chat show over Zoom on August 4.
Sharing frankly on the hard-hitting topic of divorce, Adrian and his wife, Crystal Lim, 38, were guests on the show, together with their daughter, Angelica, 11.
Husband and wife David and Jay Chong, both in their 60s, who had shared their divorce and remarriage journey with Salt&Light in an article two years ago, also spoke, together with their son, Marc, now 39 and married with three young children of his own.
Both generations of the two families gave poignant insights into what life was like behind the closed doors of their homes, with young Angelica giving this message to children affected by divorce: “It is not your fault. It’s between two adults who quite frankly can’t stand each other and it’s not because of you. I just want you to know that.”
Stories that moved
His 2015 divorce after eight years of marriage was a result of “unfaithfulness, unhealthy lifestyle and activities, and years of neglect and not being involved as a father and as a husband”, confessed Adrian.
The following three years of “me time” after the divorce was not what he had pictured.
“It’s not their fault. It is between two adults who quite frankly can’t stand each other.”
“At that time, I really felt like nothing. I was broken,” he shared with Salt&Light viewers.
Crystal felt she was to blame for the breakup. “I was thinking I probably was a horrible wife and that’s why he did what he did.”
Adrian stepped in quickly to add: “Just to correct Crystal, she’s not a bad wife. She’s the most amazing woman, beautiful on the inside and outside.
“I blame myself completely for really neglecting this wonderful woman who has built our home, built our family so carefully. Such a gentle heart that I could actually break.”
The couple remarried last year.
Fellow guests, David and Jay Chong, both in their 60s, spoke on the impact their split had on their only child, Marc, who was then in his teens: “Being shuttled between mum and dad, he was confused, sad and angry. He couldn’t express himself openly. He withdrew into his own world trying to shut out the pain.”
“God uncovered a root of shame and low self-esteem that had dictated the way I have lived my life.”
Now 39 and married with three young children of his own, Marc talked about how, in preparing to appear on Salt&Light Family Night, he had deep conversations with his parents. It was through these that he realised some other effects their divorce had on him.
“In the past few days, God uncovered a root of shame and low self-esteem that dictated the way I lived my life and reacted to people,” he said.
Because of those issues, casual comments from his wife would be perceived as criticisms that “I haven’t done my job as the man in the house”.
Viewers were invited to ask the guests questions via Slido. A top concern was how to get a reluctant spouse to work together to salvage the marriage.
In reply, the Sias and Chongs talked about how they worked on transforming themselves first, allowing God to teach them critical lessons.
Said David: “One day in church, God overwhelmed me with His love. He showed me that, in spite of what I had done, His love mercy and grace abound. I was forgiven and loved. I knelt down and shed tears of repentance. He breathed new life into me. I came to my senses and came home to my Father.”
“I recall telling him when we divorced, ‘You can redeem yourself. Be the best father that your daughters can ever have.”
That impact of God’s forgiveness changed him and started the couple on their road to reconciliation.
The Sias shared a similar experience. It was Adrian’s determination to be better that caused Crystal to take him back.
“Adrian just started changing for himself, He didn’t change for me. He decided, ‘I want to be a better man, a better father.
“I recall telling him when we divorced, ‘You can redeem yourself. Be the best father that your daughters can ever have. Be the super dad.’ And he actually took it up.”
But Adrian did not struggle alone. He had a spiritual mentor in the form of cell group friend Daniel Ng. Daniel journeyed with Adrian for over two years, meeting him every week to listen to and pray with him.
Said Daniel: “Like the Chinese saying, ‘to give someone coal in winter’, I felt I couldn’t change the winter and bring the couple back to spring.
“But at least I could bring the coal and believe that God can use me to bring some comfort.”
Thanks for courageous sharing
Viewers thanked the Sias and Chongs for their “raw and genuine sharing”, and for their courage in sharing their vulnerability on “this taboo topic”.
Several were thankful to know that they were “not alone” in their struggles and pain.
One person said the key takeaway was that “God has to be in the centre of our marriage”.
Yet another felt that “change within myself is more important and being connected with God myself is so important”.
“These stories and testimonies are so precious and have been very encouraging.”
“Definitely one common thread is God’s power in the way He has transformed and restored marriages,” said a viewer. “God is in the business of changing us to be more like Him, making us holy, more than happy.”
Another person wrote: “We must be the best versions of ourselves. I’m reminded that we all fall short and must seek God first. Thanks for the reminder that God is the centre.”
One viewer had a similar journey of healing to the Chongs and Sias. She said: “God also restored my marriage and we just celebrated our 20th anniversary.”
Among the participants was an adult child of divorce as well. “These stories and testimonies are so precious and have been very encouraging and challenging and truly a blessing to the body of Christ.”
Summarising the sentiments of many was this viewer’s comment: “I learned that no matter how old I am and how long I have been married, self-centredness and pride will destroy me and my marriage. Also, the grass is greener where you water it.”
Join us for the next Salt&Light Family Night, August 18, 8.30-10pm, on Zoom. Pre-registration is required.
Help! My kid's exams are stressing me out
Zoom talk show Salt&Light Family Night takes on another topic close to the hearts of families – school and exam stress and its impact on parents and children.
How can we help our children cope?
How can we cope?
What’s the best way to deal with school and exams?
Hosts and family champions Carol Loi and Alex Tee will be joined by a panel of parents and professionals including:
- Former principal and Deputy Director of Guidance Branch in MOE HQ, Tan-Kek Lee Yong
- Former principal Richard Lim
Come and learn how families can manage academic and exam stress together.
Dates: August 18, 2020
Time: 8.30pm – 10pm
Register at: https://bit.ly/SLFamilyNight18Aug
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