5. Stay focused on the long haul 

Whether or not things ever get better between the dad and the mom, no one can forsee. Dad’s focus needs to remain on the fact that he is Dad: for life. Things began extremely rocky between me and my daughter’s mom. Almost eight years later, it’s bumpy at best. Children get a huge part of their personality and self-perception from their father; and our enemy is a master at keeping us spinning around in circles instead of looking up to God for help. I once heard a great author say (I’m paraphrasing) that as much as we would like to keep our children our little ones, our job as fathers is to prepare them for adulthood and then release them. Christ is the head, followed by Dad. Any single father that holds fast to that will not only be able to persevere through the storms along the way, but will one day see God’s glory revealed through it all. (Romans 8:18)

Once again, single parenting is a tough, tough situation for everyone involved. Our responsibility as Christian individuals is to show the unconditional love of Christ to others, and to do the same for the kids involved. The Bible tells us to hate what is evil and to cling to what is good. Love never fails and perfect love casts out fear. Hold fast to all of God’s promises, because we know in Christ all of his promises are “yes” and “amen.”

Matt Haviland is the founder of A Father’s Walk single dad ministry and the author of the book, A Father’s Walk: A Christian-Based Resources for Single Fathers. He currently lives in his hometown of Grand Rapids, MI, is the co-founder of the Grand Rapids Single Parenting Expo, and is a single dad to a beautiful little girl himself.  For more information on the ministry and how to form a single dad small group in your own church, please visit www.afatherswalk.org.  

Publication date: January 23, 2014