Last week Kim shared a snapshot of her story in Part 1: Modern Family: Parenting past the poor choices of a spouse. If you’re a single mom, make sure you check part 1 of Kim’s series: What’s a single mom to do? HERE. Today Kim continues sharing her insights into this difficult dilemma.
How can moms parent their children well and lay a strong spiritual foundation for them even when their husband/their children’s’ daddy is overtly sinning?
Our choices affect our children. Period. But we have to realize we have a choice to believe God can use even very difficult, hard, unfair, wrong things and bring beauty from them when we: 1. keep running to Him and 2. obey Him with everything we have… no matter what the other person is doing or has done. Our job as Moms does not change due to our circumstances… it is and will always be to point our kids to God with all that we have. Help them study Scripture. Get them to get in it on their own. Keep taking them to church. Pray with them about everything. Let them see you depending on Jesus.
You have to understand that you absolutely cannot point your kids to Christ if you aren’t in the habit of running to Him daily yourself. You have to stay in the Word. You have to surround yourself with godly women who will speak truth to you. You have to pray to Him and ask Him to direct your steps. God says He will be a husband to the husbandless… whether that condition is literal or figurative for you. God will be your strength when you have a real, personal relationship with Him. It is from this relationship that you will find wisdom to parent your kids and point them to Christ. You have to rely on God’s Holy Spirit power so you can be the godly Mom He has called you to be.
Again, try not to correct or condemn your husband’s actions in front of your kids. As they grow in the Lord they will see sin for what it is, but they also need to see you being a godly woman. If you are still married, you are still called to show your husband respect even when he is overtly sinning. You can still be kind and careful in the way you talk to him and about him (married or not) . God doesn’t mince words on this one. We are to respect our husbands, and we are to parent our kids to show their father honor. Just because someone else is sinning doesn’t give us or our kids the right to do so as well. Your kids may not have two parents modeling the way … but they can have one.
And don’t ever stop praying for your children’s father (remember we are to even pray for our enemies). Pray for God to work in his life and pray that He will help you believe that He still can. Ask Him to help you love the unlovely. Ask God to help you and your kids forgive him. This was huge for my boys and me… and incredibly freeing when God helped us to do just that. Without God, this is all impossible. But when we choose to be spirit-controlled rather than flesh-controlled, it is then that we get out of God’s way and let Him work (and maybe even do a miracle with your children’s father).
Did you take any steps to honor your kid’s dad even though he made a bad choice that dramatically impacted all of you?
Yes. I realized that my kids (and yours too) will identify themselves with both parents. They want to know “am I like him?” For this reason, and because it is true, I try to help them know he had some great qualities. He had a great sense of humor. He loved animals. He genuinely loved people. Etc etc. I am also intentional about pointing out ways they are different from him and more like me…. or even better like Christ. I am intentional about making sure to recognize where they make good choices in specific areas where he had made bad choices without naming him by name. I always want them to feel free to talk to me as much as they wanted to about their father. Again, the more I know what they are thinking, the better I can pray and work to refute the lies with truth.
How did you pray about the impact of your husband’s sin?
I leaned heavily on the fact that God loves my kids more than I do. He sees all. He knows all. He goes before them. He is the only perfect parent, and I had to trust His hand in their life. I pray for protection. I pray for God to give them eyes to see truth and ears to hear it. I pray for Him to reveal to me any lie the enemy is trying to get them to believe. I pray He will help me catch them in their sin. I pray all the normal things a Mom prays… but I also pray that God will take what the enemy intended for evil and use it for good. God has been so sweet to allow me to see that. Reading Will’s interview with LYWB is just one instance (you can view that on my website www.morethanchocolate.org ) I can honestly say that God has used our hard road to draw us all closer to Himself. My kids will tell you and so will I… we know God better because of our pain rather than despite it.
Where can a mom whose husband is sinning turn to for help?
Surround yourself with truth. Turn off Oprah. Get away from ungodly friends and their advice. Run to God’s Word. Test everything. Get involved with a good, Bible-teaching church and find a few godly friends to confide in. Ask for prayer coverage. Don’t be a lone ranger. The enemy loves a lone ranger. You are on the front line of a spiritual battle… and it may very well be that the enemy has his sights set on your kids. Your child may be the next Billy Graham. Do all you can to cling to God and follow Him and teach your kids to do the same. Our Father is the only way. He is still the miracle maker (Luke 1:37). “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you” (Deut 31:6). He sees you. He loves you. His plans are still exceedingly, abundantly more than you can ask or imagine (Eph 3:20) Take one day at a time. I know it isn’t easy… but God chose you to be your kid’s Mom. You are His instrument. You are His soldier… but you are also His beloved. Rest secure in Him (Deut 33:12).
Kim has spoken at numerous women’s events across the country and authors an internationally received e-devotional entitled “Single Moment”. She has served as a guest blogger for Lifeway’s Women Reaching Women blog. Kim’s compelling story was recently featured for four days on Nancy Leigh DeMoss’ international radio program “Revive our Hearts”. She is the founder of The Well ( a ministry for Single Moms and their families) featured in the March 2011 Lifeway Magazine “Home Life” which is now being replicated in many churches. She lives and laughs often with her family in Lenoir City, Tennessee. You can learn more and read her compelling testimony at www.morethanchocolate.org