Supporting the Single Parents in Zion

Ministry to Single Parents.

A few months ago I shared my heart on the the topic of being a single mother in a very old school Apostolic church. Following that article I was asked to share my views on what the church need to be doing for us single mothers and indeed fathers in church. While I cant speak for the single fathers, I am sure some of the 5 points below can be crossed over into a ministry for them too.

Let me know your thoughts.. Do any of your churches “CATER” too or for your single parents, if so what does it look like?

What we need is:
1. Acceptance: Within a church that is so intently (and rightly so) on marriage and the wholeness of marriage, we are dropped in the category of the broken, raising children in broken homes. This often feels as though our family unit is somewhat second class to that of a two-parent family. It should not matter how we have come to this single parent status, the fact is we are still mothers and we are still women. We still encounter the same feeling and struggles as any other women or mothers, it’s just that out circumstances are different. It’s important that the circumstance does not overshadow the core needs that still need to be met.
2. Understanding Our Priorities: Often we are not appropriately catered to as no one really understands what our priorities are. The typical marriage or family aimed seminars don’t always cater to single parents. We often get thrown into singles seminars with the perception that singleness is our priority – no – parenting is. Doing an adequate job of getting this little life from A – B as best as humanly possible is our priority.
3. Be Practical: Physical needs must be addressed and considered before you attempt to deal with the spiritual needs. The offer of prayer is a nice one, and to know that someone is praying for us is a blessing, but practically, the needs and demands in that of a single parent home can be very overwhelming. Generally, our pressures (much like any other home) circle around; Child care, Housing, Finance and Parenting. Consider the contribution to these. Additionally, considering we are so well informed about the impact it has on girls growing up without their fathers, or for boys who grow up without their fathers – the men’s ministry should be equipped and ready to step in as male figures in their life. Offering money in this case is not the practical solution here, engage with these daddy less daughters, engage with these fatherless sons. Don’t just assume the role is being covered, and don’t accept a weekend visit from their own biological fathers to
be sufficient. Be proactive and practical in addressing the needs.
4. Then Go Spiritual: Along the journey to single parenthood some women have encountered and come through some very traumatic childhoods, harsh and abusive relationships, heart breaking break ups (and downs) of marriages. Many of us are wounded and exhausted – at times limiting our initial ability to serve. For this period of time we need just that, time, patients and most of all love. Love Covers All. Many have to learn to trust again forgive again, overcome the past, have our hearts mended while learning to forgive ourselves. This takes time. The implementation of mentors – where older women are matched with younger women who are to provide a line of accountability for her as well as a safe place to be human.
5. Allow Us To Grow: Serving in the church allows mothers to feel a part of the fellowship rather than an outcast being held up by their past. This act as a healing for the mother and adds value not only to the church but to the Kingdom. This will come via encouragement from the body to serve and personal invitation to continue to do so. If there is an identified gifting / ministry identified – fan the flame! Encourage and support the growth, support the development.

Consistent and Continual LOVE

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22‭-‬23 (ESV)

I take comfort in this word today. I’m comforted because in a world of much inconsistency and much change, we can count on the love of God towards us being both consistent and continual.

This means that the Love of God towards you will not change from day to day. The power and impact of love will never change. It hasnt even got anything to do with your state or position in life. It’s got nothing to do with you and what you have or have not done. GOD IS LOVE. That is a statetment and a FACT! What is love.. God is. This same God has declared that He can not change (Mal 3:6) so we can be confident that God will always have and be love. A real and true love.

We can also be comforted that His love towards us has no end. There is no quota, there is no limit, there is no max usage or allowance limit. Much like His mercies (which is based on love) are new every single morning.

This means that when I need love (even when I don’t even know that’s what I need) I can be assured that I can find this without measure in God. While the love of family and friends is somewhat conditional and the demonstration of this love can often change from day to day based on how THEY are feeling..this is not how God works. And I’m so glad.

Have you ever turned to someone close for love, but because they are in need themselves they are not able to help. Not their fault, but they being empty are unable to pour into you means that you are now left without and still in need.

Having been in a few relationships in my time and I have heard the words “I LOVE YOU” uttered to me a few times. It interests me to see how different the meaning of this statement can be to different people. I’ve had it uttered and been abandoned. I’ve had it uttered and been hurt. I’ve heated it uttered and been heart broken. I’ve heard it uttered and been lied to and cheated on. But all have said – I love you!

Numbers 23:19 reminds us that “God is not a man…”(mankind). So when He utters the words I LOVE YOU like done in Jeremiah 31:3  “The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness” we are not talking about this human to human love that has a tendency to fluctuate and change and have it’s limits. This is the God of love..who IS Love declaring Himself to you, and He is a God of perfection so this love is without flaw and error because it’s not in His nature.

I’ve been learning just how intimate God can be with us. I’m accepting and learning to appreciate just how much God loves me. Despite me, He has made the choice to love me. To me this speaks volumes. I’ve had to choose to believe and really accept something I’ve been told from a child that Jesus loves me. It’s now, nearly 31 years old that I am grasping the full extent of what that REALLY means.

You can turn to God for love and be assured that it’s going to be just as strong and special as it was the last time and that you have access to this love without measure and without limitation.

Psalms 139:8. says; “if I go up into the heavens, you are there; and even if I make my bed in hell you are there.” Such love. That through the highs and lows of life and emotions and positions of our mind, His love is right there with us. Some are willing to party on the mountain top with you when things are good and the sun is shining, but come to the valley of the shadow of death.. they are not too keen any more! Again, God is not like mankind. He is ever present my sister! Anywhere you see in the word that God says I am with you, you can be assured His Consistent and Continual love is there too.

My sister.. consider Such Love.!