In the interest of fairness, I heard back from readers (both males and females) that single dads are also struggling to make it as solo parents. And they’re right. I had no intention of slighting single dads. The fathers out there who are invested, involved, and making their parenting a priority in spite of the obstacles thrown at them are to be championed as well.
In the past, one of the obstacles single dads have faced regarding parenting time with their kids has been how the courts have viewed the whole child-custody issue. In a divorce, are the kids better off with their mom or with their dad? That’s the decision the courts have been forced to mediate between opposing parties who either can’t or won’t make wise decisions regarding the well-being of their children. And let’s face it, a husband and wife who couldn’t agree on how to stay married are probably not going to agree on how to raise the kids now that they’re apart. Sadly, the courts are left to decide . . . and that’s messy no matter how it goes down. Everybody—dad, mom, and kids—lose something.
As divorce escalated in our culture, the courts traditionally sided more with the mother as the primary caregiver of the children. However, that’s beginning to change. As things have become more equal in the eyes of the courts, fathers are getting more consideration in the custody issue. Splitting time equally between parents has become more accepted in the courts’ decisions than previously seen.
That trend bodes well for dads who are lovingly involved in their children’s lives, especially when the mom has been the negligent party in the home. I’ve worked with dads who have altered their careers just so they can be more involved in their children’s lives. These dads aren’t deadbeat loser dads. They’re engaged and want to be meaningfully involved in parenting their children well.
These are the dads who don’t “provoke anger” in their kids (Eph. 6:4). Instead, they are about nurturing, training, and teaching their children in ways that honor the God who has called them to be fathers (Deut. 6:5-9).
So when you see these guys out there doing the parenting solo thing with the kids, remember: They need our encouragement and support too.
Those are my thoughts. How about yours? Feel free to share your thoughts and stories as a single dad, about the single dad who raised you, or on how God has encouraged you to reach out and encourage a single dad.