Therefore as chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love which binds them all together in perfect unity. – Colossians 3:12-14
When I became a single mom it felt as though a prize fighter knocked the wind out of me. This was not in the happy homemaker’s plan, but it was my reality. I adapted to single motherhood fairly quickly, but what took more time was developing a new relationship with the father of my daughter. Single moms must to embrace forgiveness, love, and unity if they plan on healing themselves and their family. The fracture that is caused by separation or divorce can be so painful that this may seem impossible, but remember with our Father all things are possible.
When a relationship ends between two people there is a period of adjustment, which can be a difficult and painful transition for the whole family. Through the grace of God and prayer eventually both the parents and children will become comfortable with their newly structured family situation. Inevitably you will hit a snag. That snag can be mended or it can unravel everything. The choice is yours. When disagreements occur, I urge you to refer to (Matthew 5:9), Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God. Although both people need to work at developing a new relationship, you are a child of God and it is our responsibility to be a peacemaker. Do not led pride and anger get in the way of having a healthy family.
It is imperative that we set the best example possible for our children. We are responsible for modeling godly behavior. Do you want them to see mom and dad at each other’s throat? Worse, would you want them emulating that behavior in their own relationships in the future? Remember children are great imitators. Everything we do as parents whether it is positive or negative affects them and their future. We are not showing mercy, when we argue and hold grudges. Mercy is precisely what God wants us to show to one another as stated in (Luke 6:36) May my children always be merciful, as their Father is merciful. Be a role model for your child. Be proof that even if two people are unable to come together they can still treat one another with mercy and respect.
Although the family dynamics have changed, teach your children through your actions that they are still part of a unit that cooperates and works together. We all want the best for our children regardless of our marital status. What better way to give them the best than through an example of patience, kindness, and compassion.
Most importantly incorporate forgiveness, love, and unity into the rebuilding of your family and your relationship with your ex. You must forgive as God forgave you in order to move forward into a different kind of partnership. Love one another because it is powerful and will overcome negativity. Lastly, although the family has changed, stay united. Only through a united front are we able to stand strong against the storm. Above all pray and be the peacemaker and not a participant of war, where there are no winners.
Tips for being a peacemaker in a fractured relationship:
- Pray, Pray, and Pray- First and foremost look to God for guidance. If you have a contemptuous relationship and arguments begin with hello, pray first. Before the two of you even speak, ask God to give you the right words to say that won’t anger or provoke him. Also, try praying together when an argument begins.
- Remember He was Created by God- Remind yourself that he is created by our Creator and is made in His image, therefore he is worthy of love and respect. When you allow your heart to soften it is difficult to be confrontational.
- Choose your words carefully- How often do we blurt out whatever pops in our minds? Add anger to the equation and you have a nasty war of words. Before speaking, think about what you want to express and how you want to express it. Be mindful of your tone. Do you sound sarcastic or condescending? Choose your words carefully, they have a lasting impression.
- Walk Away- If an argument ensues, disengage and walk away. Heated discussions never resolve the issue. Once you have distance from the situation, the initial anger will dissolve and you can discuss the issue calmly and with a better attitude.
- Seek Counseling- Counseling is a wonderful way to begin the healing process. Have the whole family participate in counseling with your church clergy or a licensed family therapist. Sometimes we need an intervention to help us see matters in a different light.
- Let God Handle It- There are times when nothing works and you have to get on your knees and hand it over to God. Let him work it out for you.
Copyright © Chere Williams, Moms of Faith, All Rights Reserved