I’m now 31 years old. I’m divorced, and I’m the main provider and caretaker for my two children affectionately known as B&B. Big B will be 9 (Jesus, take me now!) in just a few weeks, and little B is 7. They are my children. Let me rephrase that…
They are MY children.
(And one more time…)
These children are MINE!
I don’t rely on anyone else to meet their basic needs. I don’t expect anyone else to pour into them or speak into their lives. I don’t allow anyone else to have more influence than me. Because again… they are MINE! (Ok, technically they’re God’s, but He put them on loan to me for their lifetime, and one thing I don’t want to have to answer to Him about on Judgement Day is raising horrible children. But I’ve digressed…)
Many of us have birthed our children out of wedlock, while a handful were married and suffered loss via divorce or passing of a partner. Some of us are married now but have husbands who are away for work, or at home every day but absent mentally. I’ve been through all of this minus the death part, and to be honest… wait… shouldn’t write that. (B&B’s dad is involved by the way, so there’s that disclaimer.)
Whatever your situation, I want you to know that you CAN do it!!! You are NOT as disadvantaged as you think. And your children might be the ones to save your soul.
I’m going to say some seemingly ugly things in just a few moments, but they are TRUTH, and we know truth ain’t always pretty. Digest them one by one. Single dads, these apply to you as well. I want you to walk in your freedom as a parent KNOWING that our Heavenly Father has your needs in mind.
- God wanted your child in this earth. Regardless of the circumstances, that child was brought here because you needed someone to love and for God wanted them here for His purpose. It’s up to you to discern what that purpose is. Nobody knows better than mom or dad the gifts that God has placed inside their little ones. Spend your years of parenting discovering and nurturing that child’s gifts instead of forcing him or her to become who you think they should be.
- A two-parent family is ideal, but no where in the Bible does God judge parents for being single. Why? Because God knows people are mortal, fickle, and funny. In fact, you’ll find that God judges nations based on how well they care for the widows and the fatherless. So remember, He is ON your side. He WILL provide. He’s NOT mad at you. Don’t believe me? Go read 1 Kings 17.
- Speak life into your children, and shut anyone up who does otherwise. “Oh, she’s so mean.” “He’s destructive.” “Look at them– they so grown.” SHUT. THAT. NOISE. UP. These words affect our children so much so that they become the very things they hear. Issue a gentle rebuke to those who say these foolish things and then tell your children ‘You is smaht. You is kind. You is impohtant” or the like…
- Put the loneliness away. Contrary to popular belief, you DON’T have to succumb to negative emotions. Sometimes we get so caught up in the pathos of it all, but nah… it’s POISON! The only way to deal with soul-rocking loneliness is to become closer to Jesus. He will FILL you, woman and man at the well. Loneliness drives us to make bad decisions which may lead to babies 2, 3, and 4, which equates to more sex partners, more heartbreak, more disappointment, more loneliness, more child support paid, etc.
- Keep your children close. I mean, physically close. The younger they are, the closer they should be. I know you can’t breathe, shower, pee, or eat without their interrupting everything, but both of you will be the better off for it. They will learn to trust you, and you’ll stay out of trouble. Lol. I strongly advise visiting Raising Godly Tomatoes. This site revolutionized my parenting skills, and all three of us are better for it.
- Don’t beg the other parent to be involved. Yes, it’s good to have parent #2 around, but truthfully, if they don’t want to be present, you shouldn’t want them there either. Allow them to be as involved as they choose because then you’re maintaining your authority and influence over your child… as you should be. Having said that, GET THAT CHECK and feel no guilt or shame about it.
If any person on this earth deserves the best of you, it is your child. In everything you do for them, love them unconditionally and be willing to serve them while teaching them to serve others. If your kids are ornery and difficult, well… I have other posts for that, but parents are well within their rights to mold their children into becoming more pleasant and loving little beings. I had to with mine… *shrugs*
To read more about parenting, just follow this link here: http://www.consideringthelily.com/tag/parenting-advice/
With love, sincerity, and hope for your happy family’s future,