We are living in a world where, because of varying reasons, single parenting is growing at a tremendously rapid rate. Being an “official” single mom for a little over 5 years now, I’m sometimes very sad about the situation. It hurts most when I see the position of my own children. But then I look back and realize how far God has brought us. And in the words of Darryl Coley – “I just can’t tell it all!” It is also very encouraging when you have people ministering to you who have been where you’ve been in some form or fashion. People to support and encourage you when you feel beat up and broken down. That’s where a Single Parent Family Ministry comes in.
new millennium single parents
Many times, people assume, scrutinize, misjudge and look down on single parents because they believe they are single as a result of having children out of wedlock. They assume that single parents are in that position because of promiscuity, lack of self esteem, and selfishness, to name a few. However, that is not always the case. Today, the leading number of single parent homes are as a result of divorce, death and abandonment. And in some cases, in order to save themselves and their children from physical and emotional abuse, women have had to run from their “stable home”. So don’t be discouraged. No matter why you’re in this position, God knows and his opinion is the only one that matters!
Then there’s the assumption that single parents are the reason that America’s children are undisciplined and lacking in morals. For example, have you ever been called to your child’s school when they’ve gotten in trouble and been asked – “Is there a man in the house that can talk to your son?” I have. And someone once said to me that because I am a woman, I cannot possibly raise my son to be a man. At first it bothered me because I know that young men need their fathers. I know there are just some things about being a man that I do not know. But then I prayed about it and looked at other single moms who raised their sons to be pretty decent men.
The vast majority leaned on God to be the “head of household”, the “man” in charge, so to speak, in their homes. And I remember what God said in Psalm 68:5 – “I will be a father to the fatherless”. He is the best example that I can give to my sons. And I came to realize that even if there are two parents in a home, without God being the “head of household”, a child can still head down the wrong road. And if a biological father is not allowing God to lead him, how in the world can he raise him to be a man like unto Him? God is the example we must all follow.
I read a lot on single parenting for encouragement when I start to feel down. I bought myself the Mom’s devotional bible and was blessed to receive Dr. Tony Evans’ booklet entitled “Tony Evans Speaks Out on Single Parenting”. I would encourage you to do the same, if you haven’t already. Pastor Evans says that God is the God who sees you. He says, “the greatest thing a single parent can do is to have a passion for God, because when you have a passion for God, you have Someone who can be a Father to your children and a husband, a protector, to you…” Dr. Evans’ book also brings to mind the passage a friend of mine told me to read whenever I get discouraged. Maybe you know it. Isaiah 54. Specifically, verses 4-7. Oh, my sister, my brother, as I write this article, if you could only see the tears that overflow from my eyes when I realize where I was and where I am now. God has been so faithful! Even when I would throw my hands up in despair, God knew the plans he had for me! He knows the plans He has for me. Just sitting here being able to write these words is such a blessing for me!
If people would open their eyes and hearts, look deeply, they would realize that the vast majority of single parents are as a result of varying circumstances. Did you know that there are even single parents who are – married? I was shocked to see these words leap out at me from my devotional bible – “For various reasons, we find ourselves without a mate. Mothers without mates. Parents without partners. Whether through…emotional abandonment by a husband who still shares our house, we may find ourselves without the husband we hoped to have.” All I could say, is, God, I know you truly know what I went through!
To be honest, even while I was married, I actually felt like a single parent. Although my husband provided financially, he didn’t provide emotionally or spiritually. The reason is that in order to provide financially, for the lifestyle he wanted for us, he had to be away from home for months at a time, leaving me to be – a single parent. But, you see, God had a plan for me while I was going through that. I couldn’t see it then. But when I look around me, when I see where I am today, I know that had I not gone through that situation, I don’t know that I would’ve been prepared for single parenting after the divorce.
But even deeper still… What about women who run for their lives from men who beat them to a pulp in front of their children? No money, no family to support them, nowhere to turn, maybe not even to a homeless shelter. Oh, there are so many variances of single parenthood that people don’t see, or, don’t want to see. If a person is a single parent because of any circumstance, who can judge? Isn’t that God’s job? The bible clearly says, “Judge not, lest you be judged”!!
So I say to single parents, do not feel ashamed of being a single parent, or let anyone else make you feel that way. Be encouraged because God has great plans for us!! Although the single parent family is not “God’s Original Design”, we are still a very integral part of His kingdom and there is much work for us to do. We have to encourage one another. We have to be strong and wise and trust in the Lord for all of our needs. Even when it seems He’s not there, He is!
For those who are not single parents, look past your assumptions, and do not judge us harshly. You don’t know the circumstances which brought us to this point. Pray about your feelings, ask us how we are feeling, you may be surprised at how closely you are to the same circumstances which brought us here. You might even be a “married” single parent in the new millennium.