Parenting After a Divorce: 7 Christian Tips

by Derek Hill · Print Print · Email Email

Divorce feels just like a funeral.  You feel like a piece of your flesh is being ripped away and the wound cuts deep.  Parenting after a divorce is a very hard process because of all of the emotions tearing at you.  Unfortunately, as bad as you may hurt, it is always the children who are affected the most.  I am almost done going through a divorce that I, myself, did not want.  However, it is crucial that I do a good job as a dad to keep instilling God’s love and my own love onto my children.  Let me say that if you are reading this now, my heart goes out to you.  I know what you are dealing with.  I pray that this article will showcase God’s love and how to shine that love on your precious little ones.  Always remember Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Abide in the Father

This first tip actually doesn’t involve the kids directly, but it must be the foundation of your life in order to love your kids with a Christ-like love.  It is imperative that you keep connected with the Father.

  • Don’t stop reading your Bible. 

  • Don’t stop praying. 

  • Don’t stop worshiping Him. 

If you disconnect from God, you will disconnect from your children.  When you are connected with God, you are connected with an overflowing source of life.  God will lead you and I through these crazy times of life.  It is those times when I remember the overwhelming sense of love that God has for me that I can also show the overwhelming sense of love I have for my children.

Keep Being a Dad/Mom

I know that I have struggled with depression through this trial, but I am still the dad.  I cannot checkout.  If my children are misbehaving, I still have to give them the punishment that fits the crime.  Children learn their boundaries by how we raise them and guide them.  If we checkout, they will learn to live life with no consequences or boundaries.  Imagine their lives as adults.  They will not do well and may very well get into trouble.  Stay firm as a parent.  Your children will see they are loved because you care enough to punish them when they are wrong.  They will also see they are loved when you reward them when they do good things.

One on One Time

My dad/mom really loves me

I have found that one on one time with my kids has been a real blessing to me and to them.  There is something in a child that says, “My dad/mom really loves me,” when you spend quality time with just that one child.  Think about the things that your children love to do and do those things with them.  My boy loves video games and playing outside.  That is what we do when we enjoy one another’s time together.  My little girl likes to pretend she is a puppy and I am the guy who buys her at the pet shop.  What a great way to show love.  By me choosing her (even if she is a puppy), she feels a genuine love come from me.  God chose me and you too!  What a great lesson I have learned through this!

Be Thoughtful

Think of memorable things that you can do with your kids every year.  Because I love my kids dearly I bought myself a pair of onesie pajamas (blue camouflage)!  Every weekend that I have them during autumn/winter we will always put on onesie pajamas and watch a movie and eat cheesy popcorn.  This is such a great time for all of us.  Here in September when it is still 90 degrees, my daughter wants to wear her onesie pajamas already!  Find something that your kids can look forward too, whether it is every month or once every season like me.

Respect Your Ex

I know how you feel about your ex-spouse, but the children don’t think like you and I.  Your kids love both of you.  It is really important that when your kids talk about your ex that you always reassure them that they have a great daddy/mommy.  It sounds backwards, but it is about your children and not you or I when these things come up.  If my kids talk about something they did with their mommy, I always tell them, “You have a really good mommy.”  I know their mom loves them and no matter how I feel about her, my thoughts won’t change that.  Always speak truth.  I know their mom loves them so I must express that to them.

Stay in Church

This is so important.  I will always love God, but I want my kids to love God too.  No matter how you are feeling (depressed, sad, mad, bitter, enraged), don’t stop going to church.  Your kids need to see a strong Christian man/woman.  They need to see that no matter what happens in life that God’s house is a house of love and worship and that it is a priority for you.  Your kids need to see you committed to gathering with the body of believers in His house.  Whatever is important to you, may very well be what is important to your children when they grow up.  If you drop church to go hang out at the bar on Sundays, you will be setting an example that may never be shaken.

Talk With Your Kids

Your children will have questions through a divorce and afterwards.  They will want to know things.  It is extremely important that you and I give “age appropriate” answers to them.  If you experienced infidelity from your spouse, you should not talk about that with your children until they are adults or possibly never.  This is definitely the hardest part of parenting because I know that when questions come around I sometimes get frustrated easily over my own feelings.  I never want my kids to lose their innocence to things earlier than necessary.  Your children deserve to know answers (some of them), but you really need to decide if an answer should be given now, later, or never.  Keep their innocence as long as possible.  The children are the biggest victims here.  When you decide to talk about certain issues, be honest with your kids.  Let them know that above all, this tragedy has happened because the Devil, himself, brought it on.  Satan is to be blamed ultimately.  The only reason anyone sins is because of the temptations brought on by Satan and his demons.  Let your children know that Satan will be dealt with too, by Jesus Christ our Savior!  Your children need to know that this world of pain is temporary and life eternal is worth every blood, sweat and tear that comes.  Keep Christ as the centerpiece of your strength.  Tell your kids whenever you have them that you love Jesus and that you love them too.

Conclusion

Parenting after a divorce is one of the hardest things you will ever do. Regardless, you are still Dad or Mom and your kids deserve the best of you in not-so-best of times. Honor God by loving your children through the divorce, even when it hurts. Don’t ever forget that you are a child of God and everything you do is a reflection to others. Live like you know God loves you and teach your children the same. God will bless you for your commitment to your children. I would love to hear any ideas you may have regarding this issue.  I know I am still learning as I go too.  God Bless you!

Resources:

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version

“Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV)

YouTube video “Live Like That” by Sidewalk Prophets





Previous post:

Next post: