Truth vs. Lies: The Failures of Being a Single Father
- Thursday, January 17, 2013
Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
–Philippians 3:13-14 (NASB)
As a single father myself, I can easily see where being a single parent can be considered synonymous with failure. In my own life, I recognize that I've put my daughter in a situation where she will not grow up with me in the home full time. There will be weekends and events I want to take her to that may not happen because of parenting time. I do not have the opportunity to put her to bed every night and pray with her. Even recently- I enrolled her in intramural basketball and she will only get to play in the games every other Saturday. All because of my own selfishness, the fact that I gave in to lustful flesh and had a child out of wedlock. I am such a loser...
That is the way I used to see myself: as an unfit dad with a life that was barely holding together. That is, until I had a personal encounter with Jesus Christ and He began to not only restore me, but build me into a better father (said with all humility) than I could have ever imagined. I now see challenges as opportunities and trials as tests to grow in my faith. Has life gotten any easier since I came to Christ? Not really. However, I am now more equipped than ever to handle the tough times and die to self to become more like Him. Let’s look into this.
In general, I would say the majority of single dads are the noncustodial parent, that is, mom has primary physical custody. This may or may not be the case in your life, but even we dads with 50/50 parenting time are still experiencing loss on a regular basis. I also learned that NO ONE is a perfect parent, and we will all fail our kids one way or another, big or small. I don't want to focus on the negatives, so I will draw from the few personal examples I gave above to help you discern between the truth God speaks to us daily and the lies our enemy so delicately (or not) likes to slip in our minds constantly as well.
Jesus called Satan the “father of lies” in John 8:44 There is no truth in our adversary. He either lies completely, or takes the truth and twists about- as he did in Matthew 4:6 He is very slick at getting to our minds and can be quite successful if we are not standing on a solid foundation in Christ. Even then, we must constantly pursue the Lord through prayer and Scripture to arm ourselves for battle. Here are a few examples of situations you may regularly encounter as a single father, the lie that is presented to you, and the TRUTH behind it based on God’s Word.
1. I am not able to attend all of the events I would like to with my children because I don’t have them all of the time.
The Lie: “You are missing out on the fun and important times with your kids; and they are suffering because of you.”
The Truth: Ecclesiastes 9:10 states, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might…” (NIV) My best friend said it perfectly when I first became a father and was facing parenting time challenges: “Even if you have her only one hour a week” he said, “make it THE BEST hour of her week!” I’ve found over the years that it is not the quantity of time I spend with my daughter, but the quality. So many parents miss this on a daily basis.
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