After Edric and I give parenting talks, many single moms come up to us feeling discouraged and anxious because of our emphasis on the role of a father. They tend to fear that their children will not grow up with the support and mentoring they need from a dad. We often encourage them by saying that God is gracious and then give them practical tips on how to parent alone. However, our vantage point is still different and single parenting is best explained from the perspective of someone who is actually in a position to say what the challenges are and how to surmount them.
Last weekend, Edric and I were in Cebu with friends Mel and Cathy Po, where we had the privilege of speaking alongside actress, Jodi Sta. Maria to a large gathering of Ateneo parents. Jodi shared her journey as a single mother and she itemized these life lessons:
Security – a child longs for security. It’s possible for a single parent to meet this need by being available and creating a home environment where a child knows that unconditional love and forgiveness abound.
Identity – a single mom’s identity has to be rooted in the Lord and she has to transfer this truth to her child/ren as well. God is father to the fatherless and husband to the husband-less. When a single mother understands how much God loves her, she doesn’t have to worry about how others label her or judge her. Her identity is hidden in Christ, therefore her joy and peace also come from her relationship with Him. These are not dependent on circumstances or others.
Non-negotiable Date Time – Since single moms tend to get busy trying to provide financially for their child/children, it’s important to safeguard date nights with them. These are predictable moments in the week when children can look forward to bonding time with mom.
God-centered Parenting – Pschologists, the media, and books will have all kinds of opinions about how single parents should teach, train, and raise their children. However, the best source is still God’s word. He is the author of parenting. Principles such as Proverbs 22:6 – Train up a child in the way he should go so that when he is older he will not depart from it, and Deuteronomy 6:5-7 – You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and teach your children to do the same, are still applicable to solo parents and their kids.
Love as Motivation – Children are inspired to change, to improve, to excel when they know with certainty that they are loved. Unconditional love is a powerful motivator. Not only should our children be assured that we love them no matter what, we also have to make choices for them that are based on unconditional love verses selfishness. Whether single parent or not, this is a real struggle. “Let all that you do be done in love.”1 Corinthians 16:14
Educate Yourself – Every parent needs a doctorate degree in parenting. But no school exists for this sort of degree! So we have to attend biblical parenting seminars, read books, and surround ourselves with parents who have successfully raised their own children so we can learn from their mistakes and victories. Edric and I continue to grow in our parenting from getting together with other couples who are also committed to teaching and training their children. We exchange “best practices.” Single parents can do the same.
Memories Last Forever – Invest in memories. Some of my fondest memories are of my childhood years, sitting around the dinner table as a family, exercising together, traveling, and vacations. These are forever imprinted in my heart and mind…as they will also be for kids of single parents who deposit fond memories into the emotional banks of their kids.
Overcome the Circumstance as a Family – I would like to add that you can have a new “team” of people who will become your child’s family to provide the emotional and spiritual support you both need. No parent should be an island. “It takes a village to raise a child” is such a true statement. So find that village of people. Maybe it’s your parents who can come along side you to help you parent. Or maybe it’s a sibling and his or her family who can be part of your child’s growing up years to fill in the gaps.
Manage Your Time and Priorities – When I had the chance to ask Jodi (who is super humble and down to earth) how she balances being an actress and parenting her son, she revealed, “I don’t take on multiple projects at a time. I used to, but I don’t anymore.”
She admitted that she has earned the freedom and respect from the industry to turn projects down, which is a blessing from the Lord. However, I am sure it’s not easy to say no to good sources of income as a single mom. Jodi is a great example of someone who works hard to be a provider but recognizes that God is her ultimate provider. Prioritizing her son, as well as giving time for her weekly discipleship group, speaks volumes about her desire to put what’s most important first. It’s no wonder God is also blessing her career!
I want to end this entry with a passage that I read a few days ago that I feel is so perfect for single moms. Whether you are a widow or abandoned by the man who should have been committed father to your child, may this minister to you. God loves you, single mom! If you honor Him and obey Him, He will certainly uphold you and provide for you.
“Fear not, for you will not be put to shame; and do not feel humiliated, for you will not be disgraced; but you will forget the shame of your youth, and the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more. ‘For your husband is your Maker, whose name is the LORD of hosts; and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, who is called the God of all the earth. ‘For the LORD has called you, like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit, even like a wife of one’s youth when she is rejected,’ says your God.
‘For a brief moment I forsook you, but with great compassion I will gather you. In an outburst of anger I hid My face from you for a moment, but with everlasting lovingkindness I will have compassion on you,’ says the LORD your Redeemer.
‘For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, but My lovingkindness will not be removed from you, and My covenant of peace will not be shaken,’ Says the LORD who has compassion on you. ‘O afflicted one, storm-tossed, and not comforted, behold, I will set your stones in antimony, and your foundations I will lay in sapphires…All your sons will be taught of the LORD; And the well-being of your sons will be great.’
‘In righteousness you will be established; you will be far from oppression, for you will not fear; and from terror, for it will not come near you. No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; and every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, And their vindication is from Me,” declares the LORD.” Isaiah 54:4-8, 10-11, 13-14, 17
9 thoughts on “God Loves Single Moms”
I like the bullet point of “memories last forever” but all these words made no mention about the cake, you know women have needs.. and i’m one of them want to get it sometimes.. hehe 😛
Then get someone who will satisfy you! You must have nothing to do in your life! You do nothing but to oppose to each post and comment on each opinions on this page! Pity you whoever you are! Get a life girl!
in my last comment below you can see am already assessing myself. maybe you are right i’ve been running my mouth (i.e. commenting) and i already talked to myself that we’re gonna work on this to put cover on my mouth. Despite our difference I do apologize if I offended anyone of my comments. thanks
I apologize. I don’t mean to offend you… but it’s just that, I have been noticing your comments since on the previous posts, and it just came to the point that I cannot stomach it anymore. I am sorry, Kristina. 🙁
I am a single mother to three. And it is H-A-R-D. But through it I understood how God can be SO present and why he would be silent. It is the most important part of my journey as a mother. It is through my singleness that I was brought closer to him. Through my much repeated mistakes, i understood how he forgives, how he doesn’t forsake, how he generously gives love…because God saw how much we respected life and how selfless we gave up ourselves to bring out these precious children to this world then he would never abandon us. We are called for something great, we are called to be mothers to the future followers of God.
The KSP Solo Parent Ministry meets every saturday at the 5th floor of CCF Center
KSP was formed in 1997 and has met every saturday afternoon. Pls refer solo parents (men and women) to the ksp as they are aware of all the problems of solo parents and how to be cenyered with the Lord in spite of the hardships of being a solo parent
You are right Joy, a husband and wife cannot fathom what a solo parent is going through. Way back during the Reposo days, the CCF elders suggested that a couple’s cell group should “adopt” a solo parent and meet with them once a month so that the kids of the solo parent will have some sort of a “father” presence in their lives. We did attend for maybe 3x a couple’s group once a month…but eventually didnt work out well for the couple who adopted the solo parent and with he solo parent simply because the couple coildn’t relate at all to what the solo parent is going through. They cant understand the pain, the bitterness, the loneliness, the helplessness, the unforgiveness, and the loss of one’s self worth.
For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, but My lovingkindness will not be removed from you, and My covenant of peace will not be shaken,’ Says the LORD who has compassion on you.
This is one of my many life verses! I cant help it but tear up while reading those promises in Isaiah! Thank you for this article Ms.Joy. There are a lot of single parents out there who needs encouragement like this.
Ever since i knew about the Lord’s unfailing and unconditional love for me through Christ, i can honestly say that i have never felt like i was a single parent ever!! All glory to God!!
I believe in my heart that God is the ultimate provider and He is also so gracious to provide support in terms of family relationship to my only daughter. My daughter is most loved niece/grand daughter in both sides of the family and I give all the glory to God! Indeed He is the Father to the fatherless and husband to the widows. Thank you Jesus! 🙂
with all your BLASPHEMY and with all your FALSE beliefs cannot solve the problem of the SINGLE friend of valentine’s day.. Huhu 🙁
What Am doing wrong? Ok let me work on this..