|“3 Children are a gift from the Lord;|
they are a reward from him.
4 Children born to a young man
are like arrows in a warrior’s hands.
5 How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them!”
Psalm 127: 3-5
Whether you’re on that mountain top or in the valley below, your faith as a single parent will serve as the anchor of your home and the compass by which you lead your children. Children are our reward. Yep…even on those late nights finishing last minute projects for school that your child announced right before bedtime. Single parenting can seem overwhelming at times. At other times, it’s the most rewarding experience you can ever have. Don’t lose heart. God has given us the tools we need to parent our children for His purpose.
The Beginners Guide to Navigating Your Faith as a Single Parent
When my son was young, I used to love to watch him sleep. I would admire how peaceful he looked, and then I would feel the weight of the world on my shoulders to protect him from anything that would disrupt that peace in his life. As a single parent, I often times feel that weight even more now because there are many circumstances that I have to navigate with him on my own. That’s where my faith has to step in. It’s in releasing much of the things that I can’t control to God, knowing that He loves my son immeasurably more than I do! So, how do you build and rely on your faith to get you through?
What You Need to Know About Your Faith as a Single Parent
- Whether your children are with you all of the time or some of the time, you are their faith trainer.
- Your children will watch your faith more than what they hear you say about your faith.
- In order to fill your child’s “faith bucket,” you have to make sure your own “faith bucket” is filled.
How to Build Your Faith as a Single Parent
- Get connected with other believers in a community group or church. If you can find a faith-based group of single parents, that’s even better! When you connect with others, you realize you’re not alone, and you have others to encourage you in your walk with God.
- The most important thing you can do to build your faith as a single parent is read your Bible. I know that sounds simple, but most of us underestimate the power of getting in the Word. Carve out a little bit of time every day to spend with Him. It’s through the Bible that God will speak to you, strengthen you, convict you, and encourage you in your single parenting.
- If you need some help with knowing what to read in the Bible, I like to pick up Bible studies at the local christian bookstore. Some of the authors I like to read are Beth Moore, Priscilla Shirer, and Tony Evans.
- Spend some time each day talking and listening to God. Yep…I’m talking about prayer. It doesn’t have to be complicated…you just need to communicate with Him. Just like you would talk with your best friend (and listen to your best friend), communicate with Him.
Relying on Your Faith as a Single Parent
- Sometimes, you feel alone as a single parent. There are times when worrying about your kids can overwhelm you. When those times come, you have to take a step back and realize that God is in control. Pray for your kids. Pray about the situation. Then, release it to Him to take care of, and give Him responsibility for its outcome.
- Come to the realization that God is not your genie in the sky to grant wishes as you desire. Just because you love God doesn’t mean things are going to turn out the way you always want, and that’s hard to accept! I didn’t want my divorce. But, I’m able to look at it now and know that God has a plan for me. God also has a plan for my son. He will use it for good if I will listen to Him, follow Him, and allow Him to guide me in doing the most important thing to me right now…being a great single parent.
- Trust that what you read in the Bible is true, and then stand firm on those promises. Philippians 4:19 says, “and my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Believe and trust that when God tells us that he will provide for His children, what he says is true, and He will follow through.
- As you trust in God’s promises, remember that God doesn’t work according to our timing. Just like we know best in the timing of what we do for our children, God knows what we need exactly when we need it. He won’t provide it too soon or too late. It will be right on time. We just have to trust.
Common Questions About Your Faith and Single Parenting
- How do I trust God when I didn’t plan to parent on my own?
- You may not have planned to parent on your own, but it didn’t take God by surprise. He has been there all along, and if you can release your own dreams to Him, he will take your unexpected circumstances and make beauty from ashes. But, a key to that is releasing what you want and accepting what God wants.
- How can I help my child be a person of faith?
- Make your faith part of your daily lives. It’s not just about attending church on Sunday. It should be part of your day to day journey together. Talk about it, make it part of your interactions, and live it out as a family. Most of all, model it for them.
- How do I model for my child of the opposite sex what a godly man/woman looks like?
- First, make sure your actions match your words in your home. Then, find mentors of the same sex as your child for your child to emulate. These could be individuals in your family, church, school, or parents of friends. When you talk about situations, point out how that mentor handles those situations in ways that honor God.
- How do I find time for my own faith?
- Being a single parent can be exhausting at times. That’s when you need to make time to focus on your faith. Try to find about 15 minutes in the morning before your children wake up or 15 minutes after they go to bed to spend time in the Bible and in prayer. If you have a weekend without your kids, spend it getting away to a place where you can fill your faith bucket. Attend church retreats, if possible. If that means asking if they have scholarships for individuals, put away the pride and ask. You’ll be amazed at what one weekend can do to energize your faith!
The Last Thing You Need to Know About your Faith and Single Parenting.
- You can be an amazing example of faith and also be a single parent to your children. Don’t listen to the statistics that say your child is doomed to a life of rebellion because he/she grew up in a single parent home. YOU are the influence in your child’s life, and you can have tremendous impact.
- Decide where you stand in your faith with your kids and then model it with compassion, love, and grace. “As for me and me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
- As much as you love your child and want him/her to be an adult of faith, remember that God wants that even more. When you feel like you’re parenting all on your own, remind yourself that God is your co-pilot and is bringing up your children right alongside you. When you need help, ask for wisdom from God, and then listen…and wait. He will answer!
- Finally, make a decision about the climate of your home and determine not to deviate from it. “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15
What struggles do you have in your faith as a single parent? Drop a line below so we can discuss those in upcoming posts!