Shared from http://www.ChristineLindsay.org
TENDING HEARTS IN SINGLE MOTHERHOOD–by Guest Author Karen Jurgens
Guest Author Karen Jurgens
with her daughters after her divorce
Let’s be honest—going through a divorce isn’t easy. But no matter how difficult, don’t forget that your children may be suffering. To minister as the parental caregiver, it’s crucial to remember to first care for yourself. Just as on a flight where adults secure their oxygen masks before helping children, it’s the same after divorce.
Here are some points to help you along that journey.
Step One: Tend your spiritual life.
|Guest Author Karen Jurgens|
Step Two: Surround yourself with adults who can offer support.
|Karen’s daughters with Nana.|
Step Three: Begin a new life.
Playing school with Papa, Karen Jurgens’sfather.Looking back, I can see how having a job was a blessing in disguise. Although I felt overwhelmed at the time, God used it as part of my healing process. Teaching, grading papers, and learning computer software programs kept my mind busy from the moment I awoke until I fell asleep. Little time was left over to feel sorry for myself—no time left to attend pity parties at the Broken Hearts Club.
- Making a new set of friends also provided comfort. Singles groups in my church supplied opportunities for meeting new people and attending social activities. Laughter and pleasant adult company helped heal my heart.
- But what about the kids? In a single family, ministering to them is worth every bit of effort it takes. Providing a feeling of security and love is of paramount importance.
Step Four: Communication.
Karen Jurgens’s daughters at church.Regular church attendance and bedtime prayers were the most important routines I established. Every night we would gather on my bed to read the bible. We prayed aloud for each other and memorized scriptures together. These activities formed the foundation of the girls’ relationship and walk with Jesus. Any time one of them started to wander during their teenage years, their training in the Word always brought them back on the path of righteousness.
- Keep communication lines open by helping with homework, attending school and community activities, or playing a board or card game your child enjoys. Regular dinner time around the table is also a great opportunity for sharing about everyone’s day to celebrate the good things as well as to console any hurts.
Step Five: Create a safe and secure environment.
Karen Jurgens’s daughters in 2017Encourage positive words for little ears.No criticizing the other parent! Just pleasant, wholesome words that will nurture love for both parents.
Create a safe bridge of custodial visitation your child can cross in both directions. It’s not easy to live in two homes with two different sets of rules and expectations. Reassure children by continuing familiar routines with comforting belongings at both places, thus minimizing confusion and upset.
Pet adoption is a good way to bring comfort to a child’s heart. Loving and caring for our poodle Babette filled our hearts with love, comforting our entire family, and it taught the girls responsibility.
ABOUT AUTHOR KAREN JURGENS
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