Friends of 1C13P,
We have the honor of having single dad, Matt Haviland, join the 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Team! You’ll love his heart for being a dad and his passion for honoring the Lord. His advice isn’t just for single dads, it is good for any father.
You will be blessed by his words and wisdom!
Lori & Becky
Single parenting in any form is often quite challenging, if not extremely difficult. Rather than being our allies, time and resources are usually against us; and there is always the potential emotional roller-coaster due to resistance from the other parent or family members. As single fathers, we must come to the realization that some circumstances are within our realm of influence, but many will be out of our hands. In times like these, we have the opportunity to rise to the occasion and keep our focus on our walk with the Lord and our children.
To help you filter through the chaos that can quite often impair better judgment, here are a few quick tips to help you be a great single father─ even in the most imperfect of circumstances.
Steps to Becoming a Terrific Single Dad
1. Stay grounded.
Jesus gives us clear examples throughout the Gospels that storms WILL hit, but our foundation must be built on Him alone and through Him we can do anything. Despite everything that may be going on all around, make it a point to stay in the Word and prayer, and surround yourself with a strong and godly support system.
2. Check your emotions at the altar.
Anger, bitterness, worry and doubt will eat you alive if left unattended. Again, we are called to serve Christ first, and then our children. Even if you are struggling in some of the above examples, find a healthy outlet such as a pastor or mentor to whom to vent. Definitely stay strong for your children, all while learning what it means to, “love thy neighbor”.
3. Know your position.
Paul gives us clear instruction in Ephesians 6:4, Fathers do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (NASB, emphasis added). Whether you are a full-time or every other weekend dad, God has given US the specific task as our kid’s spiritual leader. Pray with your kids, take them to church, and model Jesus in some way whenever possible. The rewards will be eternal.
4. Render to Caesar…
Part of being a servant leader is following the laws of the land. Stay up to date on child support and/or alimony. You can always file an appeal later. And, render what is God’s too, so keep your heart right when it comes to tithing.
5. You are Dad- for life!
I definitely know how bad it can sting being limited by another person or the courts. But our role as Dad doesn’t stop at 18. Our greatest job as fathers (married or single) is to lead our kids in Christ and prepare them for adulthood. So no matter where you find yourself in all of this today, hold fast to God’s Word and all of the promises He gives us and look past the now towards the glory to be revealed.
Fathers do not provoke your children to anger,
but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
Ephesians 6:4: NASB
What steps can you apply today to be the very best single father you can be?
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. Matt 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.