Through mistakes and sometimes no fault of their own, many adults have to bring up children on their own without a spouse’s help. They are single parents. While this is not the state God intended for them or their children, wise individuals in this situation will strive to teach their children the same godly principles that are applicable to all. Here are a few additional principles to keep in mind if you are a divorced or never-married single parent:
When your child asks why his father (or mother) doesn’t also live in the home, explain that you and the other parent made a mistake. Make clear that the child isn’t a mistake or at fault but that you and the child’s other parent made a mistake. Tell your child that God says a husband and wife should remain married for life. Tell him that if God blesses you with another spouse, that is what you plan to do next time. Assure the child that you love him and that you will be there for him.
Don’t speak evil of your former spouse. You don’t need to create extra anger and resentment in your children. As they mature, they will form their own opinions of both parents. Modeling godly conduct is always your best course of action.
Remember that you are the parent, the loving authority figure responsible for providing stability for your children. Don’t make your child or children your confidants with whom you discuss your intimate feelings, dreams and fears. Once they are grown and fully mature, then you can enter the friendship stage of life.
If you are contemplating a new marriage, make sure your children love and respect your future spouse. If they don’t, weigh their feelings and concerns heavily. If you develop a close, loving, respectful relationship with your children and they feel secure, they shouldn’t feel threatened when another adult enters their lives.
Let your children know that you expect them to have a happy marriage and expect that they will remain married when they grow up. Teach them God’s principles for achieving this important goal.
While there are undoubtedly many more helpful points that could be made, perhaps the most important of all is having a positive attitude and teaching your children that they can have happy, successful marriages in the future.