As single parents don’t you sometimes wish you could open a surprise envelope under the mat on the front porch and find the answers to navigating your parent role at its highest capacity? Friend, I think every parent whether single or married would love to find such a discovery! While that envelope might not be within reach, something else is – God’s Word. In it we find overt promises and guidelines for navigating our parenting skills to the best of our ability.
Here are 5 nuggets I’ve found to be true in my own motherhood experience, all birthed out of the principles in God’s Word. I wish I could have thought of something funny to say, but it wouldn’t come to me. So this blog is just going to have to be deeply practical. This I know which qualifies me to share. I’ve been a married mother, divorced mother, remarried mother, stepmother, and now grandmother. That’s a lot of mothering. Amen? I know what I’m talking about. So, listen up, young ‘un.
- YOU are enough. What children need the most is the parent under their roof. When they grow up and leave the house, what they will remember above all else is your love, your sacrifices, your efforts. They will call to mind the temperature you set in the home, either one of peace as you relied on the Lord to meet needs or one of chaos as you relied on every other whim.
- Make wisdom your #1 goal. Wisdom is the ability to see life from God’s perspective and then knowing the best course of action. For the rest of all of our days we will need God’s wisdom with the kids. Mine are grown with children of their own, and I have never been more needy of wisdom from above than now. So start wisdom training asap. It will be your best friend for a lifetime.
- Harness your thoughts. Don’t obsess over things you can’t change. What good does that do for the children? It builds in them an unconscious belief system that God is weak and insufficient and unable to provide. It robs them of the inner structure of security which is paramount since there is only one parent under the roof. They need to see their heavenly Father as their covering. Replace negative emotions with positive ones (discover how in The Single Mom and Her Rollercoaster Emotions).
- Think character over material things. As single parents we want the instant gratification of watching we kids jump for joy when we give them stickers or whatever they can hold. But the greater gift is one that promotes moral structure that will serve them well for lifetime. Make character a BIG DEAL! If you’re going reward, reward when you see honesty, gentleness, self-control, kindness. Develop their heart and the actions you desire will follow.
- Fall in love with Jesus. I’ve saved the best till last! Your children will model their lives after someone. Might as well be you since you’re the most prevalent adult they see. Be intentional in your alone time with God. It’s the spring board for being the godly model you desire. We model well NOT out of our own efforts (that always falls short), but we model most authentically when we ask the Holy Spirit to model Jesus through us.
So there you have it. Let these five tips set you on our way!
“By wisdom a house is built, And by understanding it is established; for by knowledge the rooms are filled with all the precious and pleasant riches.” Proverbs 24:3-4 (ESV)
About Pam Kanaly
Aloha! I’m Pam Kanaly, President and co-founder of Arise Ministries. But actually, I think Arise found me wanting to bless single moms years ago. Ministry was never on my mind as a kid. All I wanted to be was a hula dancer. So Mother enrolled me in the tiny tots’ class. Guess God knew I’d have two grandbabies born in Hawaii. I love the great outdoors. You might even find me spending time with my husband grizzly bear watching or camping. In fact, it was on a turkey hunt that God gave me the name Arise Ministries in 2002. I suppose it’s a good thing that I majored in Grammar in college since I love to write words of encouragement to single moms.