I have been in ministry to single parents and their kids for almost 15 years and throughout those years, I developed a huge love and respect for those who are trying to raise good kids alone in our society today.
They do not plan to get a divorce or lose a spouse to death, but for some reason, they. The pressure is immense and sometimes seems insurmountable. Why can’t they give up? Because they know they need to somehow provide a home for their children who are as devastated and scared as they are. That includes holding a job to pay the bills. That includes finding safe childcare as well as transportation for their kids to and from school. That includes usually fighting a horrible battle with their ex in the midst of it all. There are issues with inlaws, parents, IRS, bosses, leaky faucets, broken washers or dryers, children getting ill, figuring out where the next meal will come from, making sure the kids do well in school (even though their grades might drop through the family crisis)….and on and on and on.
Single parents don’t have the blessing of a healthy marriage to a spouse who helps them raise their children in a peaceful and loving home. They don’t have another person to “bring home the bacon” and share expenses, pick the kids up when needed, help with homework, assist with discipline and give the kids a strong sense of security.
I have not lived this life, but have walked it with many single parent families through our single parent family ministry, Family Connections, Divorce Care For Kids (DC4K), The Big D…Divorce Thru the Eyes of a Teen and now Chained No More…A Journey of Healing for the Adult Children of Divorce/Childhood Brokenness.
Through those ministries, I heard parents say that they felt very judged by “the church”. They felt like there was a big “D” on their chest and friends they used to have as a couple no longer talked to them. They didn’t feel like God loved them or accepted them and sit outside the doors of churches every single Sunday.
The next time you feel like judging or ignoring single parents and their kids, remember that we were put on this planet to encourage one another. That may mean with both words or actions. They are going through challenges you may never know, but they are part of God’s family. Take the time to get to know them, reach out to them, pray with them and extend the arms of Jesus to them in love. Word!