“Single dad” doesn’t always mean you have your kids full time; and even if you are their primary caregiver, there are still bound to be times when you are apart from each other for longer periods of time. I recently had a new single father describe being away from his children “like a hole in my gut”. I get it guys, I’ve been there. Now, I am not talking about parental alienation here; but even then, there are steps you can take during these times to grow. I encourage you to continually seek out ways you can work on being a better dad- even when the times get hard. Below are a few examples to get you started.
Pray for Them dad
There is no distance, circumstance, or hindrance that can prevent you from praying for your children- except yourself. The Bible is very clear that prayer works, and I cannot think of many things greater than a father praying for his children.
If it’s an option. Use the technology we have to reach out to your children, and leave for the better after they have talked with you (this may mean holding some emotions back during your talk). Be available as much as you can for them to call you too, let them know their time is always cherished.
This is one of my favorites! I have been keeping a journal for years for my daughter and I hope to present all of my writings to her one day when she is older. Begin now writing down the memories you have already created with them and write words of love and affirmation while you are apart. This will be a living message they can hold on to long after we are gone.
Spice Up the Surroundings dad
OK, so we dads don’t always think of “spicing things up” but what I mean is make your house a home. Clean up if need be, and maybe surprise them by adding some fresh paint to their room, rearranging or creating a new play area, or anything else that sends a surprise message of love once they are back.
Work on Yourself
There is no greater use of your time apart from your children than working on your own personal relationship with the Lord and growing as a man, father, and leader. Dive into the Word and seek His guidance. Improve and grow your prayer life. Make any changes in the natural and spiritual that will help you to leave a legacy that honors God and impacts your son or daughter for His purposes.
And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children,
and the heart of the children to their fathers,
lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
Malachi 4:6 KJV
As a single dad, how can you press into your heavenly Father today so that you can continue to be a great father to your children tomorrow?
By Matt Haviland
Husband to Christy
Dad of one daughter
1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Team Member
Founder of A Father’s Walk
Author of A Father’s Walk: A Christian-Based Resource for Single Fathers,Co-author of The Daddy Gap
Get a copy of Matt’s book, A Father’s Walk!