Father’s Day can bring a mixed bag of sentiments for women. For the mom who’s been abandoned, it can stir up feelings of bitterness and frustration. Widows may wrestle sadness over the happy times their children have lost, and resentment can creep into the heart of an unwed mom who never walked the aisle. Maybe you had a strong father growing up and you celebrate and honor him on this holiday. Others of us had weak or absent fathers that now in present time seem undeserving of the occasion. Whatever your situation, Father’s Day undoubtedly invites a wave of emotion.
How should single mothers approach Father’s Day? Here are four thoughts to consider:
- Honor the God-given role of fathers. You may not like the idea of honoring fathers, but God requires it. That doesn’t mean you have to throw a party and hype up the holiday, but it does mean we are to respect the role of fathers—regardless of personal experiences. Encourage children to develop a healthy regard for the position of a father. Discourage negative talk and attitudes toward dads. Someday your young men may grow up to be fathers and your daughters may share in parenting with a husband. What we model for them now shapes how they will view fatherhood in the future.
- Celebrate the awesome fathers you know. Each Father’s Day, I make an effort to call or text (via their wives, if they are married) some of the greatest fathers I know. Some are married and some are single. I thank them for leading their children with strength and integrity and being a strong example to other men of what it looks like to be a godly father. Resist the temptation to be jealous or envious of two-parent families and focus on the blessing of seeing men who raise the bar of excellence in a broken world. We need more men parenting and leading their family well as an example to others.
- Point kids to the heavenly father. My sons didn’t see their father often when they were little. When they expressed sadness over his absence, I would use that to point them to the faithfulness of our heavenly father, reminding them of His everlasting love and His constant presence. It was never a put down to their dad, but a redirection of focus. Use every opportunity to speak God’s truth to your kids in a way that connects to their world. The standard for what makes a great father is not found on earth. It’s found in God.
- Pray for fathers. Being a godly father is no easier than being a godly mother. It is essential to pray for men to rise up to be the fathers God has created them to be. As a single mother I spent too many days praying something inconvenient would happen to the man who walked out on me. No one benefits from such a sinful attitude and selfish prayer. Our only hope is Christ—for all of us. When we pray for dads, we invite the Holy Spirit to do His work in the hearts of those men. What could be better for your children than being influenced by a man who loves Jesus?
This Father’s Day, worship the Lord by giving honor where He requires it, including to fathers. May you be blessed by submitting your will to the Lord and following His commands to show honor.
“Honor your father and your mother…” Exodus 20:12
About Kim Heinecke
Kim Heinecke wants to live in a world where children listen to the advice of their mothers without question. As a former single mom she’s been encouraging women using her life experiences in parenting, growing in the Word of God and everything in between. When she’s not negotiating with a teenager or wrestling a pre-schooler, you can find her camping in the family RV or pretending to understand sports with her husband and four sons. Read more from Kim at www.TheMomExperiment.com.