Working with and ministering to single parents and their kids for over 12 years, my opinions have changed. I didn’t mean to ignore these families; I just didn’t see them. The more I learned about the lives of single parent families, the more respect I had for them and the more I wanted to come alongside of them as a ministry.
We began Family Connections, our church’s single parent family ministry, with only about 8 families at a family camp one summer. I listened to the stories of how churches had made them feel unwelcome and judged and how these families in crisis felt like God’s love and forgiveness was not for them. Directly after hosting that camp, I flew down to Houston to a single parent family ministry conference in Houston, TX. Going through the workshops, general sessions and speaking one-on-one with experts in this ministry field, my heart began to open and stir as I learned of the struggles these families face. There is the trauma of a destroyed family, court battles, children thrown back and forth between households, poverty situations, financial wars, child custody crisis and on an on.
I see the struggles of single parents trying to keep up with bills, schedules, car repairs, school supplies, extended family issues, legal details, devastated kids acting out, helping kids keep their grades up, house repairs, groceries, laundry, job commitments, childcare, etc. etc. etc. It is overwhelming, at best, and they don’t have someone else to share the responsibilities with on a daily basis. How do they do it?!
If you are a single dad or mom, I am talking to you….”I highly respect you for working so hard to be the best parent you can be. You may not have the cleanest house, but neither do I. You may not have the best and most nutritious meals all time, but you do your best to feed your kids. You may not be able to give your kids all that they want, but you make sure they have what they need. I am proud of you and all the effort you put into being a good parent for your kids. I am proud of you for looking for resources to assist you and your family. Keep going and let the Lord lead you through it all!
“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial, because when he/she has stood the test, he/she will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.” James 1:24
#chainednomore #hope #divorce #singlemom #singledad