It’s time to ask Jesus Christ to join your household to manage it for you and help you accomplish everything…God’s way!
A bomb just dropped on your home, destroying everything that you worked so hard for. Your husband left with only the clothes on his back, without any hope of sitting down with you to talk about any solution toward a reconciliation. He never returned and you are left to care for your children. That’s my story—perhaps it’s yours, too! Our annulment was finalized. Our twin daughters were nine years old then.
But some of you may have a different story. Perhaps you are a widow. Or maybe you have never been married. Maybe you are married, but your husband is mostly away from home because of work or is emotionally distant, checked out from any and all family matters. No matter the reason, let’s learn from each other and encourage one another.
Here are some tips for single-parent home management that you can put into place, especially if you haven’t got a solid routine or firm boundaries yet:
First, Do House Cleaning
Yes, dirty clothes should be picked up and washed regularly. Beds are made and floors are swept clean. Everything should be in its place because you need to create a semblance of order for your home. This subtly creates a healthy mental space for you and your children, allowing for a tangible sense of stability in the home.
It’s also a good time to do some personal house cleaning by getting rid of your anger, guilt, shame, and other negative emotions. Ephesians 4:31 says, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” Make your home a sanctuary for yourself and your children.
It’s time for a lifestyle change. Write a plan and learn to keep track of your money. Luke 14:28 reminds us that if you want to “build a tower,”—or maybe buy a new dress or pair of shoes—“won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it”—or buy it? It’s always wise to know how much you have and how much you can afford before spending your hard-earned money.
Decide to give to the Lord’s work as well, “but [never] reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly” (2 Corinthians 9:7-8).
Third, (Try to) Enjoy Cooking
You can create a lot of memories over meals you lovingly prepare as a family. Remember the Proverbs 31 woman? She gets up while it is still night and provides food for her family (v 15).
God also has a recipe to share for the making of a godly home. Reading His Word and doing family devotions are key ingredients to successful single-parenting.
Fourth, Make Helpers of Your VIPs
—And by VIP, I mean your children—while preparing them for life. It’s okay to shower the kids with lots of love and care but teach them and share the house chores appropriately “for each one should carry their own load” (Galatians 6:5). You will find out that your burden will feel lighter, and you will have more time for fun to enjoy together.
Did it seem like the single-parent home management tips I just mentioned are a bit obvious? The answer is probably yes, but I know that you will eventually burn out.
Here’s one more tip that will really make things so much easier for you and your children. You can have the best Executive Housekeeper take control of everything! Wait! What? What if I tell you that this housekeeper does not charge a fee and is the best in the world as He can do everything impossible? It’s time to ask Jesus Christ to join your household to manage it for you and help you accomplish everything…God’s way!
Now that you have Jesus Christ running your home full-time, it’s good to focus on walking activities that you, single moms, can do. Check out what I mean by "walking":
Walk before your children. Live a godly life so that you can be a Christ-like example to your children. Mean what you say and say what you mean. And just like Timothy in the New Testament, your children will have sincere faith in Christ within them (2 Timothy 1:5) rather than the influence of this sad and broken world.
Walk alongside them. “Train up a child in a way he should go; even when he is old, he will not depart from it,” says Proverbs 22:6. While you have the opportunity to do so, guide and direct your children to God. The time will come when you will not be able to do as much parenting, but you can have the assurance that you provided a firm foundation during their growing years.
Walk away from them. As hard as this may sound and even to do, remember that your children need to learn how to make their own decisions. Some of the consequences may be hard, but let your children stand on their own faith so they can find God’s purpose and will for themselves. Think of the Prodigal Son, who broke his father’s heart after asking for his inheritance, left home, and squandered everything. His father could have denied him what he asked for, but he didn’t. When the son returned home, repentant and remorseful, his father forgave him and welcomed him back. Not one word of anger and shame… only compassionate love (Luke 15:11-32).
Walk behind them. You will always be parents to your children no matter how old they are. You are called to prayerfully commit your children to God daily and in everything (Philippians 4:6). And when the road seems too difficult and you feel like quitting, remember to “be still and know that [God] is God” (Psalm 46:10). He is in control, so turn over everything to Him!
How would God rate your single-parent home management skills? What kind of walk are you doing right now? Are you making sure that your home is built on godly wisdom and is filled with beautiful and rare treasures of wonderful memories? If not, remember what I just shared and ask God to help you succeed as a single parent in your home! It's tough being a single parent, so don't forget to go to God in prayer, seeking His never-ending mercy, grace, and wisdom.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/FamVeld
Luisa Collopy is an author, speaker and a women’s Bible study teacher. She also produces Mula sa Puso (From the Heart) in Tagalog (her heart language), released on FEBC Philippines stations. Luisa loves spending time with her family over meals and karaoke!