Helping Single Parents Disciple their Children by Replicating Jesus

Helping Single Parents Disciple Their Children by Replicating Jesus (1).jpg

By Linda Ranson Jacobs

Linda Ranson Jacobs is a speaker and child care expert, who works with single parents, children, and teenagers. She has been both divorced and widowed. Linda is the creator and developer of DivorceCare for Kids, a weekly program helping children whose parents are separated or divorced. Websites:,,,,

The following comes from Linda’s new book, “The Single Parent:  Confident and Successful”[1]

You may be asking how do we create emotionally and spiritually healthy single parent homes? We replicate Jesus. Let me say that again, we replicate Jesus. Let’s look at what we can learn from Jesus Christ our Savior when He walked on our earth.

Everything you need to know about how to raise your kids in a single parent home is in God's word. Not only that, it is modeled for us by Christ as He led His disciples and others. 

Jesus taught what people should do. Love the Lord your God. He also taught what people should not do.

He forgave. He always forgave when people repented and asked. He also had empathy for the people in various situations – something many single parents struggle with especially when it comes to ex-spouses or extended families.

He was gentle .... but firm at the same time. He taught there were consequences for actions. But he also taught there were consequences for some inactions or failing to take action.

He was tender and caring for the weak and for the hurting. He cared deeply.

He pulled the children on His lap. In other words, he gave physical attention to them. Something many children in single parent homes want and need. When did you last hug your kid? He also honored children by allowing them to contribute – think the little boy with the loaves and fishes story. Imagine the honor that little boy felt when he contributed to the entire community.

He came down to our level. He spoke to us so we could understand. He ate with his disciples. They spent meal times together. Single parent families desperately need to find time to have at least one meal together and not be rushed, watching TV or involved in social media.

He walked and talked. You might say he made the most of each moment, even when traveling.  Know when many kids talk freely? In the car but not with movies on, or hand-held devices or iPhone.

He was not afraid to discipline. He publicly rebuked Peter when he was out of line. He also brought up secret uncomfortable subjects. He asked, “What are you discussing” when his disciples discussed who was to be first. (Luke 24:17)

He showed physical attention. Not only did children sit in his lap, but the disciples were laying all over Him at the last supper as they reclined to eat.  He was also not afraid to show emotion in front of them.  He expressed joy, sadness, he cried, showed anger, frustration, etc. We should not shield our children from our emotions. However, we should display them appropriately.

He taught them and gave them small assignments to test their abilities then He corrected their errors. He not only said “do what I say” but also “do what I do.” He modeled by example when he physically washed feet of those around him.

He showed them safe people they could trust when He was away. "Dear woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.”” John 19:26-27

He showed them that even a leader needs time away as He would slip away and pray. Yes, even single parents need time away to pray, contemplate and read God’s word.  

[1] The Single Parent:  Confident and Successful, Linda Ranson Jacobs, (BethanyHouse)

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