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Although incredibly rewarding, rearing a child can be one of the most challenging tasks on earth. As a single parent, those challenges increase. But with God’s help and wisdom from His Word, you can be the parent He’s called you to be!
If you’ve ever thought you weren’t a good enough parent, maybe you just need to change what you think and say about yourself!
1. When girls become teens, single dads need to stay connected emotionally and talk about the things their daughter wants to talk about…getting involved in their world.
2. If you're a dad raising a daughter or a mom raising a son, the child may need a same-gender mentor in his/her life. Pray for divine connections for a mentor for them.
3. Let the child know that God will make up for the other parent not being there.
4. If you're a single parent because of a broken marriage, and you're even partly responsible for the divorce, don't carry around the guilt. Go to God for forgiveness. Otherwise, it could negatively affect your child.
5. You don't have to try to pay your children back for the loss that they feel that they have. Trust God to give you grace to give the child what he/she needs.
6. Be careful not to give them too much freedom or buy them every single thing they want. Don't let the other parent's absence cause you to withhold discipline.
7. Supervise your children and stay involved in their life.
8. Do things together instead of just sitting them in front of the TV or computer. If you feel like you don't have a lot of time to spend with them because of things you have to do around the house, include them in these tasks.
9. Find a support group of people, either from your church or a couple of friends, who can act as a sounding board for you when you need encouragement or help.
10. It's important to have dual parent friends as well. Don't just have single parent friends.
11. Make taking care of yourself a priority—eat properly, exercise, sleep properly. It's not a selfish thing: If you don't take care of yourself, you won't be able to take care of anyone else.
12. Balance work and family life by continually straightening out your priorities. This builds emotional support for the child.
13. Have more realistic expectations of yourself: you can't expect to be the ideal homemaker, cook, housekeeper, etc.
14. You don't have to make decisions by yourself. God is with you! Learn to follow your heart and believe that you're up to the task in front of you. And don't be afraid to make mistakes.
15. And most of all, remember: You don't have to be both parents – God will make up for what's missing!
“Tips for Single Parents” is taken from Joyce’s Enjoying Everyday Life, featuring special guest Dr. Linda Mintle.
[Your child’s name] reverently fears the Lord, and keep all His statutes and His commandments...they love the Lord their God with all their [mind and] heart and with their entire being and with all their might. (From Deuteronomy 6:2,5)
[Your child’s name] loves to pray and study the Word. They correctly analyze the Word of Truth. (From 2 Timothy 2:15)
[Your child’s name] has a teachable spirit. (From Proverbs 14:16)
I do not exasperate my children; instead, I bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. (From Ephesians 6:4 NIV)
For I will [fully] satisfy the weary soul, and I will replenish ever languishing and sorrowful person.
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]
For the Lord of hosts has purposed, and who can annul it? And His hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back?
For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.
Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh; is there anything too hard for Me?
Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding.
6 In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.
Isaiah 43: 1-2
But now [in spite of past judgments for Israel’s sins], thus says the Lord, He Who created you, O Jacob, and He Who formed you, O Israel: Fear not, for I have redeemed you [ransomed you by paying a price instead of leaving you captives]; I have called you by your name; you are Mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned or scorched, nor will the flame kindle upon you.
Shaping the Lives of Your Children