When my parents divorced when I was 32—already married for nearly a decade and with two children of my own—I remember thinking, Great. Now, I'm a statistic. My marriage is doomed.

I'm pretty sure any child of the 1970s or 1980s will understand my concern. After all, we grew up hearing about the tragedy of divorce and how all these children's lives would now be tainted. Children of divorce, we were told, were more likely to experience just about every societal horror: from underage drinking to promiscuity to murder sprees, it seemed. But the one statistic I worried about most (after all, I was already of legal drinking age and not exactly tempted by promiscuity or murderous rampages) was the one we heard the most: that children of divorce were more likely to end up divorced themselves.

Of course, eight years after my parents divorce, my husband and I are still quite married. And while those statistics probably were never meant for adult children of divorce, they have become increasingly dubious to me—especially as I've looked around and noticed just how many of my friends from "broken" homes have managed to pull off marriage and family life—for better or for worse.

In fact, in her latest book, MOMumental: Adventures in the Messy Art of Raising a Family, Jennifer Grant, whose father left her family when she was 10, takes those statistics right to task, showing readers that no matter what "type" of family we come from, all of us can create wonderful, healthy and loving—if often "messy"— marriages and families.

So, what do you think about those marriage fears o' mine?

It's fascinating (and sad) that you, at 32, felt "tainted" by your parents' divorce.

That underscores the way our very muscles absorb and take on the messages we hear over and over again, perhaps especially when we are children.

It's critical that we speak with care to children about any real loss, wound, disability, or grief that is a part of their lives. We want to acknowledge the pain of these things and support kids in appropriate ways, but we should never pathologize them or stamp them as abnormal or destined to fail on the basis of the difficult life experiences they encounter.

I know I had to fight the messages I had always heard about people like me who were from "broken homes" even to get engaged as a college student and take the risk of getting married as a 21-year-old.

But how do people who've heard this message—that they're abnormal or destined to fail—for so long counteract this?

My best answer (based on, oh, 30 some years of experience) is: It's not easy, but we must learn to let go of them and replace these negative messages with positive ones, ones that are true. We can't make our injuries or wounded-ness our identity. The messages we tell ourselves and that we put on "repeat" in our heads affect us. If those messages are, "I can't make marriage work" or "I'm broken," it's likely we'll live up to them.

Abiding in God's love and holding to the promises that God has made to us can be a wonderful escape hatch from feeling cursed or trapped by those old, negative recordings.

Acknowledging, naming, and lamenting our wounds is key as well. Whether that's in prayer, to friends, or in the safe space of a therapist's office, doing so frees us of the burden of carrying these longings, disappointments, negative messages on our own.

Is there a good way you've learned to replace those messages as you've raised your own family?

I've found memorizing and repeating Bible verses is essential. I love: "I will restore health to you and heal you of your wounds" (Jer. 30:17), and "The Lord heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds" (Ps. 147:3).

No one would say that letting go is easy, but to live in freedom, we must be on the journey of doing so.

Is there any way being a child of divorce helped shape your current family?

Even in her hardest times and in her struggles as a single mom, my mother's strength, optimism, and faith affected me in profound ways. One of my favorite memories is coming down in the mornings as a child and always finding her sitting on the couch journaling and reading her Bible. It was clear to me that the source of her strength was God. I think her example of faithfulness was one I've absorbed into my very core, and I can't even articulate all the ways it's affected me.

So what's some of the best wisdom you can share for raising a "messy" but terrific family today—no matter what background you come from?

I encourage us parents to step back from the noise of our culture and take a long look at the way we interact with our kids and the messages we give them.

We need to consider the example we're setting for our kids. If they see us always tapping away on our phones instead of truly engaging with and listening to the people around us, of course they'll learn to do the same. In order to thrive, kids need what children have always needed. They need to eat nutritious foods. They need to spend time moving and playing outdoors. And they need to be authentically connected to their parents and their friends.

Somehow we've made family life so complicated. We believe our kids need a lot of gadgets. Or that they need to be on six different sports teams or be the best violinist in the school orchestra or to speak Mandarin by the time they're 7. Really, though, those things can keep them away from one of the simple joys of family life: just being together.