According to Fathers.com, children with highly involved fathers perform better overall academically, socially, cognitively, and emotionally than those without a father presence in their life. Parenting was designed to be a two-person job and when half of the equation is removed, the full burden of parenting alone falls upon the other.
Moms, I realize this may be a touchy topic, but please read on. I have learned over years of working with fathers there is no “one size fits all” solution to single parenting. I simply want to address the need for a strong father or father-figure in your children’s life. First, let’s look at a very familiar passage that speaks on the matter:
He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse. –Mal 4:6 (NASB)
Malachi 4:6 is the last verse in the Old Testament and Church tradition tells us that God is silent for the 400 years between the Old and New Testament. Don’t you find it interesting that the LAST THING God spoke about for 400 years had to do directly with fathers and their children? I would even go as far as to say our nation is facing God’s “curse” (judgement) because many families are on life support due to the effects of fatherlessness.
Yes, your children’s father may have been the one to leave; and perhaps he has an open door to see the kids whenever he wants, but chooses not to. Many of you may even be on decent terms with Dad and co-parent together well. Just know that your children are not automatically condemned if Dad is not stepping up like he should. Timothy was raised by mighty women of faith, despite his father being an unbeliever (cf. 2Tim 1:5, 3:15, Acts 16:1). He went on to be a primary leader in establishing and maintaining future churches after Paul.
Here are a few questions for you to dwell on over the upcoming weeks- ones that I hope lead you to a place of healing and growth.
When it comes to your children’s relationship with their dad, are you an advocate or adversary?
Who can you ask to mentor your son?
Are you still dealing with unresolved “father wounds” of your own?
How is your heart when it comes to your children’s father?
Most importantly, how is your personal relationship with Jesus?
The Bible says, “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy habitation.” –Psalm 68:5 (NIV) The word “widow” here actually means a wife who has lost her husband- either figuratively or literally. In other words, God is the ultimate source of love, protection, and provision for single moms and fatherless children! I encourage you to hold fast to this truth as you work through the day by day steps of single parenthood. God bless you moms!