I recently had the honor of participating as a breakout speaker at the 10th annual “Survive N Thrive” single moms conference in Oklahoma City. I have to say, this gave me a whole new perspective on what these ladies go through on a daily basis.
Here is a quick synopsis of what God revealed to me while I was down there:
In my line of ministry, I generally work with fathers who are the noncustodial parent. I see on a somewhat regular basis when dads are restricted from seeing their kids or the children are being manipulated against them by a mom’s spiteful tactics. I watch as parents gash at each other like wild dogs─ each one going for the other’s throat.
But then I found myself surrounded by hundreds of single moms in OKC, some of whose lives have been shattered by a father’s selfishness or abandonment. As I listened to the opening keynote session, God made it very clear to me:
Moms are not the enemy.
Dads are not the enemy.
The enemy is the enemy. ( And..he will do anything he can to steal, kill, and destroy in our lives.)
My breakout session was even more confirmation, as I witnessed several moms attending tear up while I spoke. I felt my heart breaking for them and wished I could offer an immediate solution, but was able to pray for them before we parted.
With that being said, I am going to give you a few take aways if in fact you find yourself not on the best of terms with your children’s mother:
1. Keep your side of the street clean.
Despite what may be happening in the other house, as your children’s father you are called to lead them and set the tone for their future. Stay consistent in your own walk with Christ first and foremost so that you can lead accordingly.
2. Do a heart check of your own.
King David is a perfect example of someone who constantly threw himself at God’s feet, pleading with the Lord to keep his heart pure. Put your own life up against the Word and begin immediately to make any changes in areas where things don’t match up.
3. Pray for your children’s mom─ daily.
There is no better way to model Christ to your kids and to begin the healing process than following His lead. Remain faithful in this and allow Him to take control. It may not bring instant clarity, but this is a great place to start!
Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties;
and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Single dads, are you doing your part when it comes to building your children’s mother up?
By Matt Haviland
Dad of a daughter
1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Team Member
Founder of “A Father’s Walk”
Author of A Father’s Walk: A Christian-Based Resources for Single Fathers.