Q: How do I battle these feelings of guilt that I have brought on this situation?
A: The feeling of self-condemnation is a favorite trick of the devil’s. He is constantly telling you that it is your fault. The more you feel miserable over your actions, the more he has victory over your life.
There was a woman in Bible who did something everyone would agree was very wrong. Jesus had the legal and moral authority to condemn her, but in what is one of the most famous moments in history, in John 8:10-12, He said, “’Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?’ She said, ‘No one, Lord.’ And Jesus said to her, ‘Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.’” It was a thunderclap through time and space. What kind of God refuses an opportunity to condemn for past wrong actions?
If you ask Jesus into your heart, look at the wonderful promise in Romans 1:8 that Jesus makes in—one that can squelch even the most deep seeded guilt: “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”
Begin your life of freedom from guilt today by receiving Jesus.
Q: How do I get the right kinds of influences in my children’s life?
A: It is true that the influences that your kids seek, they will fill in some way. Too often, it will be with those that do not have their best at heart. There are plenty of mentorship programs online from which to choose. Your local church may also have programs set up to help, or even individuals who are eager to step in. Please see our Resources for Single Parents.
Q: How do I cope when I feel forgotten and alone?
There are so many different factors that cause stress in a single-parent’s life including: legal issues, conflict with the ex-spouse, death of the partner, and loneliness, just to name a few. For many, the feelings of loneliness and alienation, as the lives of others surrounding you seem to go on as normal, may become overwhelming.
De-stressing is vital, so that as a single parent, you don’t collapse or become unable to care for those that you love. Some ways of coping include: setting regular “me” time; take a long, hot bath; go to the gym and sweat it out; laugh and have fun; mediate or pray; practice deep and relaxing breathing techniques; stretch; be sure you are getting enough sleep; make time to plan for busy days and schedules.
Q: Sometimes, while I am spending all my time providing for my kids, I wonder what I am missing. What is the primary thing they need from me?
A: If you are providing for their needs, you are to be commended. The ability to give your kid(s) a home and stability while carrying the burden all on your own is a remarkable feat. One thing for sure, however, kids with only one parent often feel that the fact they don’t have two parents is their fault. Reassure them that it has nothing to do with them. Safe, open, and loving communication is key.
They may feel guilty, or that they caused the ending of the relationship. Why? Because as indicated above, during their early learning years most of their unpleasant experiences were their fault. So it is natural to blame themselves for the turmoil in the family. As a parent, you can explain to the child that it isn’t their fault, and on more than one occasion. It is also important for both parents to give a an age-appropriate framework to make sense of a divorce, such as, “Mom and Dad cannot live together, but we both love you and will continue to take care of you.”2
2 Stacia Garland, “Why Children Feel Guilty When Parents Divorce,” Exquisite Minds: Gifted and Creative Children, www.exquisite-minds.com, September 21, 2011. (Accessed on March 23, 2015).
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
Psalms 139:13-16 For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.
Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
1 Samuel 1:27-28 "I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I ask of him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.” And he worshiped the Lord there.
Proverbs 22:6 Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old, they will not turn from it.