Single Moms: Move Forward with Confidence
- Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Forgive. Understand that you can’t get over what happened to you and move into a better future unless you’re willing to forgive. Know that God expects you to forgive others since He has forgiven you. Realize that you can always count on God to help you forgive. Make the choice to do so, despite your feelings, and trust God to help you through the forgiveness process. Forgive yourself for the mistakes you’ve made that have harmed your children and other people, forgive people who have hurt you, and forgive God by stop holding grudges against Him for what He has permitted into your life. Confess your sins and repent of them, apologize to those you’ve wronged and reconcile your relationships with them if possible, and embrace the forgiveness that God offers you. Celebrate the freedom that forgiveness gives you, and keep on forgiving so that it becomes a habit in your life.
Enlist the legal and emotional support you need. Get to know your legal rights and how federal, state, and local laws can affect your circumstances. If you don’t have enough money to hire a lawyer, ask someone at your church or a legal aid organization to help you find a lawyer who offers free or low-cost help. If you or your children are going through physical or sexual abuse, get away from danger right away and seek help. Don’t be vindictive when dealing with your children’s father about issues like visitation and child support; remember that God calls you to act in a loving way to all people, especially your own children’s father. Don’t hesitate to ask men you respect to help you with specific tasks you’re not able to do well on your own, like repairing your car. Connect your children with some healthy male role models.
Manage your money wisely. Ask God to guide you as you set a household budget, and to help you live within it. Don’t let vague financial worries keep you awake at night; determine which specific bills you need to deal with first (such as mortgage or rental payments) and pay them diligently according to their due dates so you won’t need to worry. Be sure to give prompt attention to filing your taxes and paying any legal fines, such as traffic tickets. Get out of debt and avoid incurring any new debt. Seek help from financial experts if your finances are currently a mess. Don’t neglect giving to God’s work and saving and investing for the future. Before buying something, ask yourself: “Do I really need this?”, “Is this the best possible buy?”, “Will it enhance God’s work or my relationship with Him?”, “Can I afford to buy this with cash?”, “Will it require costly upkeep?” and “Have I been willing to wait for God to provide this?”. Talk openly and tactfully about money issues with your children’s father, doing your best to try to build a positive relationship with him.
Deal with your parenting worries. Deal with laziness and irresponsibility by figuring out which rewards for good behavior and lost privileges for bad behavior will motivate your children. Choose your battles, focusing only on major issues and being willing to let the rest go. Deal with poor school performance by staying in close communication with teachers and administrators at your children’s school, talking with your children openly about school, praying for them, and connecting them to tutoring help if needed. Deal with media fixation by placing limits on television and Internet usage to free up more time for activities like schoolwork, household chores, sports, church group events, music lessons, etc. Deal with fearfulness, anxiety, and dependency by reassuring your children that they are deeply and dearly loved. Deal with controlling or manipulative behavior by saying “no” to your children when appropriate and disciplining them. Deal with nutritional issues by making time to prepare healthy meals to eat together at home, encouraging your children to get enough exercise and eat a proper diet so they don’t struggle with a weight problem, and getting them professional help for any eating disorders they may have.
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