Father’s Day comes every year. But that doesn’t mean every family celebrates it. A home with an absent or noncustodial father can make Father’s Day difficult. Facing Father’s Day as a single mom brings questions.

How can I help my kids on this day? What is expected of me? Should we watch videos of the time we had together with Dad? Am I required to honor him too? Do my children spend their entire weekend visiting dad? Or do we talk about how they feel that their biological father doesn’t always find the time to spend with them?

Sometimes Father’s Day weekend can be difficult for everyone.

Answer hard questions

You may be frustrated to face Father’s Day as a single mom when your kiddos ask these hard questionsOr what about when you notice your child’s heart hardening toward their father? They want to be tough, but they’re really in pain. “Mom, I don’t ever want to talk to my dad. I don’t ever want to talk about him. Mom, I don’t miss him.”

I find the question that hurts the most is, “Mom, what are we doing today? I don’t have a dad.”

Frankly, you are tired of giving the right answer.

When we see our kids hurt, we hurt even more. Our inner mama bear wants to come out. Sometimes we want to react the way the world expects us to act. I have fallen in that boat as well, but that way only hurts our kids and us even more.

Trust me, I know!

Yet as a single mom on Father’s Day, we see the importance of a day to help our children recognize their dad. And with God’s help, we can do this. So here are a few appropriate ways to help your kids celebrate a Father’s Day that is difficult:

1. Remember

This is for the children whose earthly father is currently in heaven. Let them spend time going down memory lane. Help them remember some of the funny and meaningful things their father did.

2. Write a letter

Have your child write their dad a letter. It can include things they wish he knew they were going through right now.

3. Spend time with a substitute

I know it’s not the same. But if another man has made a significant impact on your children, make sure they tell him! Celebrate him this Father’s Day as a man who leads and models faith for your children.

Download a free 30-day guide to praying for your children.

4. Encourage them to go

Don’t discourage your kids from spending the weekend with their dad. Show them how excited you are that they get to spend this time with him. And allow them to enjoy it.

5. Pray

Even if your kids have a great relationship with their dad, pray for other kids who are questioning why they don’t get to spend time with their dad. And if your kids are hurting this Father’s Day, pray with them. This is a good time to teach them about grace, mercy, and the power of prayer.

Single mom, it’s hard on us too! Having a Lord who never leaves us nor forsakes us (Hebrews 13:5) can help us in this time as well.

Moms hurt too

On Father’s Day as a single mom, I want to leave you with the Bible verse God continues to put in front of me. Whenever He notices me walking back to unforgiveness, He puts this verse in bold neon lights.

If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful. – Luke 6:32-36

Find hope in knowing God heals the hearts of single moms and their kids. He also transforms the hearts of fathers every single day. “But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand” (Isaiah 64:8).

Regardless of the status of our earthly father, we always have a Father to celebrate, the Ultimate Father, our Lord and Savior. You can offer up this prayer as you prepare for a difficult Father’s Day.

God, I know the only perfect person who has walked this earth is Your son Jesus. And we all fall short of Your glory. On this Father’s Day, I want to thank You for blessing me with my heavenly Father. I know through You all things are possible. Teach me how to show grace and mercy when needed. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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