During this time that I have not been well, God’s Spirit has been gently showing me some things That I feel need to be addressed. We live in a day and age where because of divorce and the preeminence of pre-marital sex and other abuses a large part of the population is made up of single parents. Being a single parent has been an eye-opener for me. There are many struggles and pitfalls that we run into and sometimes the only help we find is when we turn to God. My heart goes out to those who struggle but don’t know the help that Christ can bring. But for those of us that know Christ it can still be hard. What is the church doing to help single parents? Yes, many are in that situation because of their own failures and sin, but it doesn’t mean that they should be treated less then any other member of the church. And yet in many churches they are.
External religious worship [religion as it is expressed in outward acts] that is pure and unblemished in the sight of God the Father is this: to visit and help and care for the orphans and widows in their affliction and need, and to keep oneself unspotted and uncontaminated from the world. James 1:27 (AMP)
You need to understand that single parents fall under this category. They may not be widows or widowers, but they are in the same boat. We all know the effect of missing one parent can have on a child.
If indeed you [really] fulfill the royal Law in accordance with the Scripture, You shall love your neighbour as [you love] yourself, you do well. But if you show servile regard (prejudice, favouritism) for people, you commit sin and are rebuked and convicted by the Law as violators and offenders. James 2:8-9 (AMP)
The royal law tells us to love our neighbour as we love ourselves and that we are not to show prejudice or favouritism. But yet how many of us do? How many times have you let the cries of single parents fall on deaf ears? How many times in a church are the needs of this group ignored and others promoted? We have groups for singles, youth, married couples, seniors, and many more. Being a single parent is one of the loneliest places you can be and yet for a large part they are ignored. I have yet to attend a church that has a group that specifically reaches out to single parents and offers support and help where it is needed. And I have attended many in my wanderings before God finally settled me where I am now.
So then, as occasion and opportunity open up to us, let us do good morally] to all people [not only being useful or profitable to them, but also doing what is for their spiritual good and advantage]. Be mindful to be a blessing, especially to those of the household of faith [those who belong to God’s family with you, the believers]. Galatians 6:10 (AMP)
Single parents may have failed but they are no different in God’s sight than any other of His children. They have been forgiven just as much as you have. They need to be treated with the same love and respect as any other child of the kingdom.
If anyone fails to provide for his relatives, and especially for those of his own family, he has disowned the faith [by failing to accompany it with fruits] and is worse than an unbeliever [who performs his obligation in these matters]. 1 Timothy 5:8 (AMP)
Many take this verse as meaning your immediate family and I believe it does also but also believe it talks about the Body of Christ. If we are not caring for those that God has given us in the church, how can we care for any others He brings our way? There has to be a balance.
I will be looking into starting a Single Parents Support Group within the next month. Hopefully this will not only be an encouragement for those who are single parents in the church but also will be a source of evangelising those who have not found the hope we have. I ask for your prayers in this and I would also ask other single parents in other churches to see if God lays it upon your heart to start one in your area as well. But please first seek the council of your pastor and elders before you do. Make sure it’s from God. We need each other and I believe that the children of single parents become the responsibility of the Body in raising as well. I thank God for all those who have come into my children’s lives and helped them through crisis when I as single parent felt overwhelmed. Pray for the single parents in your church and community. Ask God how you can help as well.
And the King will reply to them, Truly I tell you, in so far as you did it for one of the least [in the estimation of men] of these My brethren, you did it for Me. Matthew 25:40 (AMP)
Some Helpful Resources;
A Cup of Joy – A Christian faith based not for profit resource center for single parents.
Thanks to Launa of Launa’s Little Piece of Heaven for creating the Take a Stand For Jesus banner for me. Let everyone know you are taking a stand and copy and paste it into your latest blog. Turn your space settings from private to public.
I encourage you to join Awesome MSN Spaces and let your faith be shown!