“With gentleness correcting those who are in opposition…”  -2 Timothy 2:25 (NASB)

What do you sometimes get when you combine two adults with a vast array of differences in opinions, and children in between? Answer: the never-ending, always-changing world of single and co-parenting. As if being a single parent didn’t have its stressful times to begin with, there is always the possibility of some extra drama thrown in from the other side. The danger lies in allowing our circumstances, and especially our emotions, to hinder our better judgment. Through it all, we are not to “keep score” of who did what and use it for leverage against the other parent. As ambassadors for Christ and as godly role models for our kids, we must hold to a higher standard - knowing that those little eyes are always upon us.

Correcting the Other Parent

As Christian parents, bringing our sons and daughters up in Christ is a top priority. We can accomplish this possibly through Christian schools or homeschooling, taking them to church with us, and an overall lifestyle that honors God. What happens when this is not being taught in the other parent’s home? What if mom or dad does not buy into the whole church thing? Or what if the other parent doesn't really care for God in the first place, perhaps even teaching other religions, beliefs, and activities? How do we react, and, if possible, correct the other parent, all while maintaining that higher standard we mentioned? I believe this happens more often than we think, and I’ve not only seen it - I have lived it. As with any other trial in life, we must look to God’s Word for the answers.

Romans 12 is full of verses which carry tremendous weight in dealing with this situation.

“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil, cling to what is good...Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.” -Romans 12:9-11 (NIV)

“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse…Live in harmony with one another…” Romans 12:14-16 (NIV)

“Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men…Never take your own revenge…’Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord…Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”Romans 12:17-21 (NASB)

I understand that this can be a very touchy area. I also understand that Christ living in us will outshine anything else, and when our children do face those tough times in life, our consistency and faithfulness to Him is what will hold firm. We must also understand that we cannot control others - that should never be our focus. Our focus must remain on dying daily to our flesh and trusting God to be faithful to His Word.

Correcting Our Children

Even in their innocence, kids learn at a very young age how to use, and often manipulate, their parents to advance themselves somehow. This may happen intentionally, or it may be the indirect cause of the parents. Phrases such as “Mommy says” or “Daddy does” should not be the deciding factor in how we parent when they are in our care. When times like these occur, we must be first to correct our children, and then to correct the other parent (if need be) in a very positive way. I’m not going to lie. In my own life my daughter’s mother and I do not see eye to eye in a lot of areas. However, I have noticed that my daughter can be very good at twisting things around too, even conjugating up scenarios that did not happen or not in the way she described. It has taken several of these instances and some discernment to know when she is telling the truth and when she is not. If I perceive what she is telling me does not match up with other times, stories, or what I know to be true, then I must correct her in the proper way - even if it means siding with her mom.