This week I have been hitting some parenting topics in:
- Who’s The Boss? What’s God’s Plan for Parents and Children?
- Spirit-led Parenting: Letting God Raise Your Children Through You
- Child-Centered Families vs. God-Centered Families: Creating a Home Where Kids Thrive
While two parent families, led by a godly father and mother, are God’s plan, and I believe the ideal situation to raise kids in, the truth is, many of you are not living with those circumstances. I wasn’t raised with those circumstances. Today I want to expose the heart of a child who is being raised without both parents together and how to find healing.
A Letter to My Single Parent from Your Little Girl:
There are a lot of things that I have wanted to tell you, but I haven’t known how. I haven’t even understood the feelings I have, let alone how to tell you. But this is what is what I know is going on in side of me.
I’m not sure why you guys split up, but I wonder if it is my fault. I wonder if I would have behaved better or begged you to not leave if it would have made a difference. At night, I dream about what it would be like for you guys to be back together and for us to be a happy family.
I really just want both of you. I don’t want to have to pick between you guys. I don’t want to have to spend Christmas with just one of you. I want both of you because you are my mom and dad. I want both of you when I wake up in the morning and to tuck me in at night. I want both of you at my birthday party. I want both of you to ask me how my day at school was. I want both of you to be at my games, parent conferences and my school programs.
I know that we don’t have a lot of money, but that’s ok. I really wish you didn’t work so much. I really don’t care about the new toys. I know you want to get me nice stuff and new clothes. But it really doesn’t matter to me. I just want you. I would rather have you to talk to than being alone with a new video game. I get really lonely sometimes.
Sometimes when I am by myself I cry because I am so lonely. I feel like no body gets me. I feel like no one understands why I am sad. I know you get mad at me when do bad things or I don’t listen to you. But I guess I just don’t know what else to do with the sad stuff inside me.
I really don’t like it when you go out on dates. I wish that were us hanging out together. I don’t say anything because I want you to be happy again, but it really makes me lonely and sad all over again.
Maybe we won’t be a family again. I guess I will have to get used to that. But I really hope that God gives us a special miracle.
If you are a single-parent, here’s some thing I think your kids need from you:
1. Validate Their Pain
Unless there has been a physical death, single-parenting is a result of sin somewhere. Because “the wages of sin are death,” your child is literally dealing with a living death sentence. Don’t avoid that. The pain is real and deep. You may still be suffering a great deal from a divorce or adultery. If you still feel pain, imagine how an immature child feels.
…Weep with those who weep. Rom. 12:15
2. Give Undivided Attention
Your children don’t want to share with a boyfriend or girlfriend, or especially a new spouse. They don’t want to share you with work or your friends. Your kids want you. You may be feeling frustrated because you are dealing with non-compliant kids who are rebellious. But please consider this- they want you.
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord. Eph. 6:4
3. Create Stability
You may not be able to restore your marriage, but there are other ways to create stability in your kid’s lives. God has created an amazing tool to demonstrate his redemption. It is his church. The church is designed to be a place of refuge for the weary and a home for the homeless. Find a close-knit group of Christ followers who will embrace your kids and give them plenty of grandparents, aunts and uncles and brothers and sisters.
Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household… Eph. 2:19
4. Establish a Support System
Your kids aren’t the only ones who need stability. You do too. You are probably working more hours and now maintaining the household on your own. You need help. You need the family of God too. The church is designed to share and help with all the needs that you have. Find a group that is living out God’s purpose for the church.
And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. Acts 2:44
5. Let God Fill All Your Needs
No matter what’s missing, God can fill those needs beyond what a physical father or mother can. Direct your children into the arms of their perfect parent who longs to comfort and heal them.
Father to the fatherless… this is God, whose dwelling is holy. Ps. 68:5
I will comfort you there in Jerusalem as a mother comforts her child. Is. 66:13
We come to you today and ask a special covering over those single-parents who are struggling alone to raise their children. Please heal the hurts in the hearts of those children who are living without both of their parents. Please fill the mother and father needs of all the children who are searching. May they find that comfort, not in the ways of the world, but in you alone.