My husband and I were the pastors of the Single Adult Ministry in the church we attended some years ago. We learned quite a few very important things. The group was mixed with singles never married, divorced, and single parents. The most urgent problems were among the single and divorced parents, dealing with all the daily parenting issues.
I realize my new book, Powerful Prayers to Protect the Heart of Your Child, is about teaching you how to pray powerful and effective prayers for your children. But, it’s also urgent to first take a critical look at your whole parenting lifestyle and coping abilities, and the effect it’s having on you as the parent, and on your child.
Is there peace in your heart and your home? Is your child well behaved and adjusted? Are you receiving spiritual help and encouragement from your local church, and is your child receiving Bible teaching and enjoying fun activities at church?
These are important questions to ponder. Many of you can answer positively, but many more of you are facing great battles, and spiritual nourishment is the last thing on your mind. To heal you must get into a different environment. Even if disappointments and regrets are clouding your mind daily, you must allow the Holy Spirit, your Helper, to begin a healing process in you, or your situation may never change. God did not create you to face life alone. (John 14:26) NKJV
Here I am sharing some of the life-changing counsel we gave to our single and divorced parents, and how we saw firsthand, many dramatic changes and transformation take place. I pray that you and your child will experience hope and wholeness. The learning, growing and becoming will be the best parts of your journey.
• Getting connected to a good vibrant and happy church, is my first and very important advice. God is able to make all things new. (Verse) Have the pastor and his wife pray you through a prayer of forgiveness and surrender and invoke a blessing over you and your child. Ask the pastor’s wife to recommend someone who can become your prayer partner and mentor. You need someone you can lean on and share your burdens with. Galatians 6:2
• Pray together with your children. Not only pray for them, but teach them how to pray to be forgiven and to forgive others, for their meals, before they head out to school, a bedtime prayer, for healing, good grades in school, etc. This will develop faith in your child. James 5:15 (NKJV) “And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
• Be specific and calculated with your instructions and discipline. Let your child know there are consequences for not following instructions and obeying. Don’t assume your child will learn everything in school or daycare. Verbalize instructions until they get it. Compliment good behavior, and deal with bad behavior with physical discipline. Proverbs 13:24
• You will always be the real and most important model of the behavior your child will imitate. Think about this. It’s not so much what you say, but what you do that will influence their life and behavior. Your goal should always be to depend on Christ for everything. As children of God, we must live by faith and not by what we see and know. Allow God Almighty to restore all the brokenness. (Galatians 2:20)
• Develop a royalty mentality. Your Heavenly Father is a King! He created YOU and your child chosen and as royalty. See yourself crowned and able to enjoy all of God’s blessings! Spend some time thinking and studying about this. Start acting, thinking, talking, and praying like royalty. It will change your mindset and desires. Teach your children to do everything like Kings kids, with the behavior of royalty! 1 Peter 2:9; 1 Samuel 10:25 NKJV “But you [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
• Stop complaining. Develop a positive and uplifting attitude, all the time. It is contagious. Teach your child what the Word says about our words. Practice until you both get it right! It will transform your lives. Pr. 6:2; Matthew 12:37
• Be generous with your hugs, kisses, and little surprises and celebrations. Pay attention to the emotions and feelings.
• Be your child’s counselor. Protect your child’s heart. Get into his mind. Find out what makes him happy or sad or hiding from you. Teach him that whatever he allows into his heart will develop roots and grow and will determine his future. That’s a big deal! “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it flows the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23
• Teach your child the truth about sex and immorality. Don’t wait until friends tell them and tempt them. Start while they are still young. Do some more research about this. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you. 1 Cor. 6:9-10
• Help your child develop convictions that will never be compromised. Powerful convictions lead the way to important rules, such as, not to lie, steal, cheat, do drugs, be immoral, hate, or compromise. Teach your child to love God with all their heart. “Like a muddied fountain and a polluted spring Is a righteous man who yields and compromises his integrity before the wicked.” Proverbs 25:26 AMP; Hebrews 3:14 NIV
• Address the Spirit of Anger for it makes a person act wounded. Have the pastor pray for you and your child if anger has become a serious issue. Don’t allow this spirit to steal your joy and wellbeing. Ephesians 4:26 NIV
• Pay attention to the Spirit of Depression. Get help immediately or it can lead to devastating behaviors in you and your child. Depression can cause your spirit to fail and go into a devastating pit. Psalm 143.7-8 AMP
• Avoid sexual immorality and loneliness for it can lead you into what you may think is harmless or safe sex. Always be on your guard. Protect your child by protecting yourself from all sin. Don’t open the door to the enemy. 1 Cor.6:18AMP
• Break the power of generational curses by keeping yourself pure and serving God with all your heart. You will open the door to God’s protection and to all His blessings when you refuse to repeat all the sinful things you may have been involved in the past. Deut.28:15-68