If you are a single parent, your family is not “broken” – your heart is. If you are raising children as a result of divorce, you understand why God hates divorce. While He hates the devastation and suffering divorce brings, He loves you and your children.
In divorce, your marriage and part of your soul dies. But there are no rites of passage to sail you through a sea of blinding grief — no funeral, no public mourning, no visits from family or friends bearing food and reminiscing about happier times. Your rites are unpaid bills, attorney fees, custody battles and counseling visits with devastated children.
Whether a marriage or spouse dies, you experience trauma. Like a horrible car wreck you survived, you must step over broken glass and twisted metal and move forward to comfort your children as you cope with your own shock and pain.
I don’t have clever parenting tips or formulas to share, but I can share real, enduring hope because of what God has shown me over the past eight years.
Regardless of the circumstances that brought you to this time as a single parent, Jesus Christ is with you and loves you.
Decide to love God, no matter what
Preach the gospel to yourself every day. Pray without ceasing, and expect great things from our God. Lay your fears, hopes and hurts at the feet of Jesus, asking Him to heal your broken heart and the hearts of your children.
Ask Him to give you a grateful heart as He reveals blessings He has for you in caring for your children and in singleness. Acknowledge that the job is too great to raise children without His gracious provision and tender mercies.
Decide to love your children, no matter what
Of course you love your children, but take action every day to demonstrate your love for them in ways they can understand. View each decision you make through the prism of what is in the best interest of each child. It won’t be convenient to live sacrificially.
You will wish for a partner to share the responsibility and demands. Remember the Lord has chosen you to care for them here and now, and trust Christ to be your partner. Watching you depend on the Lord day in and day out will be a powerful witness in your children’s lives.
Tell them you love them. Pray with them. Communicate clearly and often that you will never give up on them or stop praying for them.
Decide to pursue a place with God’s people, no matter what
Live your life in community with other believers in a local church. Pray with other believers about their concerns, and enlist prayer warriors to pray for your children. Don’t expect everyone to understand. You may not understand what others are going through either. Choose to be compassionate and forgiving. Refuse to be offended when people don’t understand.
The Bible contains countless examples of those who persevered to secure themselves a place with God’s people. Jacob, scrappy and duplicitous, wrestled with God until he got the blessing. Rahab, a prostitute, welcomed the spies to Jericho and risked her life because she wanted a place with God’s people on their march into the Promised Land.
Regardless of the circumstances that brought you to this time as a single parent, Jesus Christ is with you and loves you. He loves your children more than you ever could, and invested more in them on the cross than you will invest in your lifetime. He is able and willing to heal broken hearts and change ashes to beauty in your family.
What is God showing you about His faithfulness on your journey as a single parent?