Co-Parenting with God

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Co-Parenting with God

I’m a planner. I think by the time I was sixteen, I’d had the whole trajectory of my life planned out. Go to school, get a job, get married, have kids– anyone else like that? Yeah, I see you… But let’s just say life didn’t exactly go according to plan. I didn’t plan to end up getting divorced. And I definitely didn’t plan to end up a single parent. Whether you’re a planner or not, most of us don’t have these things in mind when we get married and have children. But they happen. And if they do, it can be really difficult to wrap your mind around how you are going to do the job of two parents, when you are just one person. Enter seemingly endless amounts of single parent guilt (like regular parent guilt, just on less sleep and more caffeine). But there’s a better way to think about this: Just because you are a single parent does not mean you need to both mother and father your child (because I have news for you, you will never be able to fill the shoes of the other parent for your child– God didn’t design you that way). And whether or not “co-parenting” is truly happening in your situation, it doesn’t really matter. Ultimately, your greatest co-parenting relationship isn’t with your children’s other parent. It’s with God. Your kids are God’s kids, even more than they are yours. He loves them more than you do. He knows what they need, more than you do. And He delights in equipping you with what you need to be the parent they need. But even better still, God is infinitely willing and able to provide for them in ways you just cannot. In this season, I’ve had to look to God for answers, whereas before I would often trust in my own abilities. And, when you ask God for answers, does He deliver. In all my seeking, He’s taught me how to be a loving disciplinarian and stronger encourager. It may sound crazy, but I’m absolutely a better mother now as a single parent than I ever was before. But more astonishingly, the Lord has covered my children and I in places where I was just not enough. He led us to the most wonderful faith community where we’ve been adopted into an incredible spiritual family. Godly men and women have taken us into their lives and poured out grace and healing upon us in ways that I never even realized we needed. I love how God knows all our needs, even the ones we don’t know about ourselves. In Matthew 6:31-33, Jesus says, “’Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.  But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.’” Now in this passage, Jesus specifically references our tendency to worry about our physical needs (and all the single parents said, “Amen”). But the Father knows every need: physical, emotional, and spiritual. And rather than worrying about where we may fall short (whether in paychecks or parenting), Jesus tells us the answer is found in seeking closeness with God first. And in case you missed it, Jesus has a great promise for those who take this guidance seriously: God will make sure those who seek Him will have what they need. [BTW, that does not mean He promises to put a Maserati in your driveway (hello, wants vs. needs)]. So the next time you feel stressed out, worn out, and plain outnumbered, remember that parenting on your own does not mean parenting alone. God is with you. He’s for you. And He’s all the parent you and your children will ever need.  

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