Passing It On
For many single parents, passing on the baton is even more difficult because they don't see their children every day. The other parent may have the children on weekends or even have full custody. When there's a difference in belief systems as well, the Christian single parent can feel like he or she is fighting an uphill battle. Here are some tools if you find yourself in that situation:
Write down spiritual markers
As a single parent for 12 years, I wrote a letter documenting the past year on each of my daughter's birthdays. I wrote of her journey, things we'd grown through together, things she'd learned about God and lessons I wanted to pass on. Each year I tucked it away into an "important papers" file. When she is out of the home and on her own, I will give her all the letters to help remind her how God walked with us, every step of the way. You can do the same. Write down what you see in your child's life, what God has done for you as a single parent and lessons you may not have been able to share. Those letters will be a legacy that helps fill the gaps.
Take advantage of the time you do have
Over the years, my daughter and I scheduled coffee dates, cuddled for nighttime devotions and discussed the meaning of life while using kickboards at the YMCA.
Find a way to do devotions that fits into your custody arrangements. Adjust content for the ages of your children. Your youngest might like story devotions at bedtime; your teenager may prefer a Bible study over coffee. However it unfolds, take advantage of the time you have with your child.
While you can't control what goes on in the other home, you can do your best to allow your home to be one of faith and peace. As your children age, they will remember that your home honored God.
I knew I couldn't protect my daughter from every influence she might encounter at her dad's home. It was a helpless feeling, so any time I stressed, I prayed. Whenever your children are exposed to a different environment, pray that they will cling to the truth they learned with you.