GIVING THANKS – 7 THINGS TO REMEMBER FOR EVERY DIVORCED PARENT

By Dugan P. Kelley

“For flowers that bloom about our feet; For tender grass, so fresh, so sweet; For song of bird, and hum of bee; For all things fair we hear or see, Father in heaven, we thank Thee!” — Ralph Waldo Emerson.  Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth.  Blessed is the man/woman whose quiver is full of them.  They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court.” Psalm 127:3-5.

For each divorced parent who is headed into the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it is easy to take for granted or simply just forget the amazing reasons to be Thankful.  So, if you are a divorced parent and find that you are (like the rest of us) feeling overly harried, we pray that you will be able to pause, reflect on these reasons for being Thankful:

The beauty and miracle of your child’s life.

Whether you are a newly divorced parent, divorced for years, or you are currently suffering in marital conflict, the life of your child will always be a blessing and a miracle.  Scripture makes clear that your child’s mere existence is a miracle and a blessing.  “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb.Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.”   Psalm 139:13-16.

Time with your child.

Each of us have the blessing of time.  It is so tempting to waste that time without fully appreciating it.  Time is one of the most valuable assets we have. It often overwhelmingly impacts so much of our lives, yet we often fail to pause and reflect on the blessing of time with our child. Ephesians I 5:15-17 “So, then, be careful how you live. Do not be unwise but wise, making the best use of your time because the times are evil.”  Every divorced parent should spend some of this amazing resource (time) on your child.

Your child’s joy at the wonderment of creation. 

Any parent has seen the joy expressed by their child, but have you really focused on the wonderment that a child expresses throughout life?  Savor those blessings and opportunities to see the world through your child’s eyes.  Remember what it was like when you were able to experience true joy and be thankful for this experience.

Your child’s ability to learn from you. 

Your child is a student and you are a teacher.  They are constantly observing, soaking in your behaviors and knowledge, and implementing those seeds of knowledge in their own life.  Be thankful as a divorced parent that you have the ability to plant good seeds in your child’s life and be careful with this awesome responsibility.  As Scripture admonishes us, “Tell your sons about it, And let your sons tell their sons, And their sons the next generation.” Joel 1:3.

Your child is a mirror to assist us in identifying problem areas in our life. 

Like our child’s ability to soak in the good and the bad seeds that we plant in their hearts, they also help us identify areas for improvement in our own lives.  Remember, as a divorced parent, our children will mirror our behaviors, speech, and appreciation for the world around us.  Even the gaze of a baby can remind you to think about your choices or consequences of those choices.  Your child will become who you are, so be thankful for this opportunity to constantly reflect and modify your own behavior!

Your child is a legacy!

We are only here for a short time.  Life flies by and then it’s over.  We will leave a legacy through our children.  “The righteous who walks in his/her integrity – blessed are their children after them!”  — Proverbs 20:7.  Your imprint on your child will leave a lasting legacy.  “Grandchildren are the crown of the aged, and the glory of children is their fathers/mothers.” Proverbs 17:6.  This legacy can be tremendous.  As a divorced parent, be thankful for this opportunity to leave a positive legacy for your children and their children and beyond!

Love! 

As a divorced parent or married parent, the most important gift and blessing given to you with your child is LOVE.  Your love for them and their love for you is a miracle.  It is the lifeblood of your relationship with your child.  I John 4:7 “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.”  Each day you have with your child, remember that LOVE is a foundation of that relationship.

Parenting is a tough job!  As a divorced parent, it’s even more difficult.  You are responsible for another human being.  However, there are any number of blessings that you can be thankful for this holiday season.  So, this Thanksgiving holiday, please take a moment and savor the reasons above and any other reasons to be Thankful.

Kelley Clarke PC has many articles about strengthening marriages and families, divorce and how to live after divorce.  Read more here and on our Facebook page.