En Gedi: Finding rest in the wilderness!

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Archive for the ‘Single Parent Issues’ Category

-One Dads Encouragement to Single Moms!

Posted by Scott on October 15, 2007


I have reflected on the single parenting issues and I am constantly reminded in the paper, news, email, Internet and our neighborhood about a third of our homes out there have children raised by brave single moms.  This is not an easy venture to undertake.  Different events have lead these moms to raise their kids while being single.  No matter what the cause of their “singleness” they are still undertaking the role of mom and dad to these children and have been appointed by God to do so.  I do not have to speak from experience to say this is a daunting task.

“The LORD watches over the alien and sustains the fatherless and the widow…”

-Psalm 146:9 NLT

I have been researching online, books on the fatherless, and the scriptures.  Everyone seems to come up with a cause, but only God’s word speaks of how to cope as a single mother.  In one story we don’t hear much about Jesus’ earthly dad, Joseph, beyond about the time Jesus was 12 years old.  He relied on His heavenly Father from that point on.  This is a great lesson for all of us parents.  It is only by the grace of our heavenly Father that any of our kids turn out good.  For the most part, as parents, we will fail in comparison over and over again.  As hard as we try we will fail as parents many times.  Yet in the end, God’s graciousness shines through and these kids make us proud parents. 

l1d64jcate2mjocajekc56ca7me1jucafrzrhkca5vq1h0calaasjycapm11pmcakw3wdqcae3s628cae4n9v0cafqx8i9cahh01iaca0t6lcnca54zm3xcaw47u0ucaj67vhbcad6yxszcaxl9oti.jpg  God has a plan for each of our kids.  These plans were created long before the earth was spoken into existence.  Our kids will be something when they grow up all for the glory of God.  We usually never have an idea until they are about 40 years old as to what that really is…I can say that since I am about to turn 40!  We do know that God has placed these kids with us to help mold and shape their future.  He put these kids into our homes so that we would give them everything we can from what God has created in us to be.  Our experiences are from God.  These experiences can be shared with our kids in order to instruct them.  Now, the plan that God has for our kids could mean that they are raised in a home with both the biological father and mother.  This could mean they are raised in a home with one step-parent and one biological parent.  This could also mean they are raised in a home with only a mom or a dad….otherwise known as the single parent.

 “This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

-Joshua 1:9 NLT

For the single mom, in the beginning I am sure it will be overwhelming to think about raising these kids alone.  The range of emotions that will fill your life at the moment of realizing you are going to raise these kids alone can only be imagined by someone that has experienced the same range of emotions.  TO help cope with this reality would be to find any moment of quietness in your day to just be still…don’t read anything, say anything, don’t have a radio or tv on, just be quiet and clear your mind as best you can to prepare to listen for God’s hope, encouragement, and light.  In this quietness which may only be a minute or two, you may experience His breath upon your head, the fragrance of His spirit being near you, or simply just a calm, but reassuring  silence that He is near.  After a moment of stillness you can begin to meditate or read from the Bible whatever you are studying.  If you do not have a place to start, go to Psalm 1:1 and begin there…you will find peace and inspiration for the road ahead in Psalm.  Try not to move too quickly through the passages.  Chew on every word.  Smell each page as you read.  Imagine with your mind the words that are taking place in each verse.  Meditate on this for a long while.  Now, you are ready to pray to God.  Your prayer may not vocalize as you thought it would, but your heart will be in much better shape to go before your heavenly Father.  You will find a new strength about raising these kids by yourself.  Now, begin to introduce each child to their heavenly Father.  Involve them in reading about the attributes of God.  Help them along to experience and get to know their heavenly Father in a way that most kids do not know God.  I cannot stress enough the need for your kids to know God above all else. 

The kids strength will rely on their belief in God and what they believe about Him.  The kids character will be shaped by what they read about concerning God, what they observe in your life about Him,  what the Bible says about God, how the church you attend worships God, and how they pray to Him.  For kids being raised by single moms the pursuit of holiness is crucial to their purity and security in the future.  Place into their life a confidence in God’s strength not their own strength.  Remember, you do not have to involve them in every event that the schools and churches put on the calendar.  Do not bend to the kids pier’s pressure as to sports, birthday parties, and other events.  If you do not guard this area of your families life it will only further frustrate you in your quest to raise these kids as best you can.  You only do what you can do and not disrupt your family unit.

23114766.jpg  The boys will want to play organized football someday.  Please, moms, listen to what I am telling you on this.  LET THEM PLAY FOOTBALL!  Not until they are about 13 years old though….I believe this to be the best age to start a boy playing football.  Yes, they may get hurt.  It’s alright to let them get hurt.  I know that it is a mothers tendency to want to protect your kids and not let them get hurt, but this is a right of passage for a boy.  The scars on their arms and legs become trophies down the road with their friends.  Raise these boys as you would want them to be as young men.  A young man that has never experienced pain and hurt will not step up and protect his family.  They will not step in front of that on coming car to save their girl friend, wife and/or children.  They will not be willing to fight over seas or in the country to protect our freedoms.  They will not want to take any chances that might injure them in the future.  The decisions you make now on this subject will be huge in determining the kind of young man your son(s) will be in the future.  Since about one third of families today are single family homes, then we need moms to be tough in this area.  This is the role a father would take, but since you are the mom and dad, you must put aside the mothering instincts in this area and like a dad would do which is to embrace their yearning to play a rough sport and slap them on the back enthusiastically to say “YES” they can play.  Again, it is important how you tell them they can play as well.

1-boys-fishing.jpg  Another reality about boys is the fact that especially when they are smaller they like dirt, worms, snakes, mice, anything that creeps and crawls upon the ground.  They will fill their pockets with these varmints…please enjoy these moments with a grimly smile…they love to be “earthy”.  This is just how boys are.  Don’t forget that boys like to go fishing.  Either take them or find a man that you trust to take them fishing…this is important.  I refer you to read more on the things Dads want Moms to know about boys article.  Click on About Boys here to go directly to it.  This has some great short quips about boys.  You can also click on Encouragement and read from a mother of 10 children perspective on raising boys…my wife Dana!  

Finally, moms, I want you to know that you are up to this task with God’s strength upon your life.  You may need to pull in grandpa, uncles, brothers, men in the church, neighbors, or whomever you can trust as a man to assist in raising your son(s).  It is great to have a manly figure in your child’s life on occasion.  This can help reinforce your parenting as well.  You are the parent, but it does not hurt to ask for help as God prompts you to do so.  Point these boys to read and study on great men in history.  Point them to great men of today they can read on.  Use videos as well to help these boys establish a mentor role model male.  Some great men I would recommend your boys getting to know are Theodore Roosevelt, George Mueller s8oytgcav4tqhmcagi1i0eca2ga8cyca05kqsfcay73doicajqiof1caevznjrca3rpygxcaz4rzq4ca9f51boca0g9olicalrsadeca0xxlsmca7srkxycaehdq01cam5v1etcafspj8jcau7fzjz.jpg, Charles Spurgeon, Ronald Reagan 8ifg22caej91s5caarj4lzcad522vgcatemf76cac2uv0lca6a1i8mcarvwhbrcacxitr0cag50kvfcaxu500ucafndfdpcahaldymca7e00ahcapnjeatcasiihs5casfh51zcae4jfnwcabgpb3c.jpg, Sir Winston Churchill, Chuck Swindoll, John Piper, Steve Farrar, Tony Evans, Dr. E.V. Hill, and John Wayne 130-157john-wayne-posters.jpg.  Books and movies to see are End of the Spear, Tombstone, True Grit, Tucker, Miracle, Seabiscuit, Its A Wonderful Life, and many others that show true masculine heroes and sacrifice.  Your influence on these boys growing into young men will depend on you as a mother not “feminizing” your boys at all.  Treat them different than your girls.  Girls should be feminized, but boys need to be rough, dirty at times, tough, smelly, and anything else that separates them from the girls…the tender moments will come and those are good to.  Books (other than the Bible) for you to read that can give you ideas for your boys and their raising are Standing Tall by Steve Farrar, King Me by Steve Farrar 88om5rcaz3azfbcajpj6o1cacz0jf9ca2o5ynmcaowlw67cabud7nnca4vaio9caua3h8xcago51xwcaoxe753cat3d6grca0erzgicayaq2a9caznsun3ca772y0eca1zrndwca0hkv1mcas4395x.jpg, How to Ruin Your Life by 40 by Steve Farrar bo17rmcayeyszscaw79jscca65hx9pcajekrmmca3lbolrcaj88ctccazr4zizcadlb5u0cat3i544cag7kii8ca9ei4vqca0cgttjca9m9q8fcaa1okohca8ypnvmcala8ghdcaxx2nw8ca8jaeoa.jpg, Man to Man by Chuck Swindoll05y2g7cauiz91pcaj6vr25ca47tviacacwj3m4camy0yp8cac39iuvca2i28ecca5l79rbcakd0dn5caci8ytocahsf1krca3m7937caapgt1bcans2kapca8ncrv0camccp07ca2w2awpca2a39d9.jpg, Talking with My Father by Ray C. Stedman, The Letters of Theodore Roosevelt For His Sons, The Bible Lessons of John Quincy Adams For His Son, What’s the Difference by John Piper, George Mueller on Answered Prayers, and many others.  A great book for you to read along with your younger boys is The Dangerous Book for Boys by Iggulden.  

Moms you have been singled out (no pun intended) by God for a wonderful task.  Your singleness is not by chance or for your destruction.  It is by design that you are single raising these boys.  God has a special adventure for you with these boys.  This adventure called life will be one of the most rewarding times in your life if you will embrace this challenge head on.  God is now in the role as the true Father of these kids…make sure they are brought up understanding this.  Point them to His sacrifices, His plan for them, His fresh mercies each day, His unfailing love for them, His creation in everything they can see and hear, and point them to His word in the Bible.  Keep plugging on…it will not be easy, but you can raise godly sons that will glorify God.

Look for resources online to help you through these years as a single parent.

-Scott Bailey (c) 2007

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