(This post was written by Matt Grimes, Middle School Ministry Pastor)
This week I want to stop and give a shout out to some people that I have great respect for, and that is single parents who are raising their children by themselves. Regardless of the circumstances that led you to where you are today, I have to say that I have the utmost respect for single parents who are not only braving the challenges of raising a child, but who are committed to giving it their all to raise them up in Christ. That is no easy task! A lot of people will talk about the importance of having both the father and mother in the picture playing an active role in raising their kids, and no doubt that is very important. However, one thing I have noticed over the years is that many single parents, especially moms, will walk away from a parenting event, hear about the importance of both parents playing an active role in raising their kids, and feel completely defeated because they know that they don’t have that partner in the fight. I want to stop and encourage you for a few moments.
In Matthew 28: 19-20, Jesus gives us the following marching orders: “So wherever you go, make disciples of all nations: Baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Teach them to do everything I have commanded you. ‘And remember that I am always with you until the end of time’.” What Jesus has commanded us to do is to go out and make disciples of the world around us, and no doubt that starts in our homes with our own kids. As parents that’s what we are trying to do; we are trying to lead our kids into a personal and vibrate faith in Christ. Whether we are a traditional two parent home or a single parent giving it all we have, our goal is the same. Here is what is even cooler. Take a closer look at the end of verse 20. What does it say? Jesus promises that HE WILL ALWAYS BE WITH US. Jesus promises that He will not leave us. So as a single parent God is right there with you, walking through each challenge you face. Romans 8:11 says “Yet God raised Jesus to life! God’s Spirit now lives in you and he will raise you to life by his Spirit.” How freaking cool is that? The same power that was able to blow Jesus out of that tomb and bring Him back to not just life, but eternal life, is alive and active in your life, and God promises that HE will never take that away from you. So no matter the challenges that come as a single parent that same power of God is there, supporting, leading, and guiding you the whole way and God promises to never take it away.
Ok, so I hear what you are saying, God is there and He is walking with me through it all. He will give me strength. He will lead me, if I trust Him, but what about the hole that my kids will have because I do not have the other parent involved? Take a look at what Philippians 4:19 says “My God will richly fill your every need in a glorious way through Christ Jesus.” Paul so eloquently reminds us that we have a God who knows our every need in our lives, and promises to not just know about them and be with us as we walk through them, but to provide for every need through Jesus. God promises you as a single parent that if you will put your trust in Him. Commit to pursue Him and allow Him to lead you as you lead your kids in following after Him, He will take care of the holes. He will stand in the gap, He will provide. God see’s you, loves you, is there for you, wants to lead you, and will provide for you as you give you all to raising your kid as a single parent. Don’t lose heart! Don’t be discouraged! Don’t let the enemy begin to defeat you on the battle field of your mind! God is right there, supporting and cheering you on! HE WILL STAND IN THE GAP! Keep up the good fight.
I hope you will check out next week’s blog post as we continue the conversation about single parenting, and discover some advice from other single parents on raising teenagers as a single parent. Until then, know that I have the utmost respect for you….Matt