I have to say, this has been a great spring! One of the highlights has been watching my daughter play her first year of softball. Although she and I have played whiffle ball plenty of times at the park, I completely underestimated her skills (a little Daddy bias here). She has also been in dance for the past six years.
This week proposed a unique situation: she had a softball game on the same night she had dance practice. As I was dropping her off earlier in the week, she expressed to me that she wanted to play in the game but her mom wanted her to go to dance.
For those who know us, it is no secret that her mom and I aren’t exactly on each other’s Christmas lists and it would have been easy for me to allow personal feelings to rise up and make demeaning comments such as, “Yeah, she’s like that sometimes” or “You should tell her you don’t want to go to dance”. Instead I had my daughter look me in the eyes and I said, “Promise me no matter what Mommy says you won’t argue with her. She’s your mom and you need to respect her decision.” She agreed.
Single parenting is naturally a flawed system.
God created family with both a mother and a father and when one parent is removed from the equation for whatever reason, it throws everything else into unbalance. Dads, whether you are married, have full custody of your children, or every other weekend, one of the greatest lessons we can teach our kids is to honor their mother. You may not be on the best of terms with her always, but that does not excuse you as your children’s spiritual and life leader. Watch what you say about her around them, keep your emotions in check, and please model the behavior you would want them to show in return.
When we do these things, we are teaching our sons to respect women and our daughters that women are worthy to be honored by men.
Here are a few quick tips:
- Never slam Mom with the kids around (ideally not at all), but look for opportunities to build her up in front of them instead.
- Help the kids do fun activities such as make her a card or present for Mother’s Day, Christmas, or her birthday.
- When you and your children pray, be sure to include Mommy in those prayers too and let them hear it.
Clarence B. Kelland said, “My father didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.” When we teach our children to “Honor thy mother” we in turn are honoring our heavenly Father.
Dads, are you currently teaching your children to honor their mother?
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.
Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.
Philippians 2:3 (NIV)
By Matt Haviland
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
Looking for more posts about single parenting from Matt Haviland? Click HERE!