2. No crossfire. Whether it’s during an exchange of the children, whether or not the other man is present, and ESPECIALLY when you are alone with your children, keep the talk about “the other guy” either very respectful or general. NEVER bash him in front of your kids; NEVER argue about him with their mom in front of them (or ever if possible); and especially NEVER use your kids as pawns for finding out gossip about him. All that will do is diminish your credibility as a man of God and as a father to your children, and what you may have thought would help the situation could actually hurt both you and your kids. Paul reminds us in Ephesians 4:29 to watch our talk and make sure that whatever we say only brings edification to those around us. This is especially true when it comes to our sons and daughters.

3. Love unconditionally. Jesus tells us in Matthew 22:39  “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (NKJV). I quoted Philippians 2:12 at the beginning of this article to help sum up all of this when put together. To “work out your salvation” is similar to opening a giant gift, one that is constantly being unwrapped and discovered. As we learn to die to self and become more Christ-like through the application of God’s Word in our own lives, the grace that has been bestowed upon our own life continues to manifest itself all around us. In other words, when we have that healthy and very necessary “fear of the Lord,” when we see others as God sees them, and when we allow our Creator to do good works in us, we then become the type of father that trains his children up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4).

Guys, the road of a single father is hard, as is the walk of any disciple of Jesus Christ. Just remember, when we are walking in harmony with Jesus and submitted to His Lordship, we are always able to overcome. Without Him, we cannot do a single thing. Stick close to God and draw from His Word when it comes to these tough times, for “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord” Jeremiah 17:7 (NJKV).

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 Resource 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, please visit www.afatherswalk.org.  

Publication date: March 28, 2013