An Open Letter to My Sisters in Christ about Single Moms: This is Not How I Dreamed My Life Would Be
This post is for every woman who knows a single mother. Chances are you have friends, coworkers, or neighbors who are single moms. This is my plea to you:
Please pray about inviting single moms that you know to church with you.
I can tell you from experience that single moms often are afraid to come to church. We’re afraid we will be judged. We are afraid we will stick out like a sore thumb in the middle of all the families.
All of the emphasis on strong marriages in church is often absolutely true and wonderful, but if you are not intentional and keep referring to single parent homes as “broken,” you are reinforcing the belief that single moms and their children are not, and never will be, whole families worthy of love and acceptance from God and people.
“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.” 2 Corinthians 5:20
I can speak for myself and all my single mom friends that I know personally: this was not a “lifestyle choice” or what we dreamed our life would look like as a little girl. It is most likely the single biggest heartbreak and disappointment we have or ever will experience.
Yet our God is a God of restoration and redemption. Single parents can have the most amazing advocate and co-parent for their child: Jesus Christ. So please do everything you can to introduce your single mom friends to Jesus. He saved my life. This I know for sure.
Please pray about including us in social activities with all your other married mom friends and their husbands and children.
We are not out to steal your husbands. Instead, we would love for our kids to be included with their friends and their friends’ families. It is important for our children to see healthy marriages modeled. We, ourselves, would love some adult conversation. Single parenting can be a very lonely life.
“Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” Romans 12:13
Please pray about taking the time to ask us: how are you really doing?
Demonstrate the love of Christ. Don’t be afraid to ask us: what is the hardest thing about doing this all by yourself? You don’t need to “fix” their circumstances, you just need to be there for them as a friend.
“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2
Please do not direct us to a “Singles Ministry” or “Singles” Sunday school class or “Singles” small groups (Unless we specifically request this!)
Many of us need a community of other women to help us heal, to encourage one another, and point one another to a closer walk with Christ. I have absolutely no belief that I “can handle parenthood alone” or that my child “doesn’t need a father.” I don’t know any moms, single or married, who believe that.
However, this does not mean Single moms are on the hunt for a man. Do not constantly offer to set your friend up on dates (unless they ask you to!). All the frequent questions about dating and whether they have met someone do little to encourage your friends and often feed their insecurity that they will not be accepted just how they are today: single.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” Colossians 3:12
Please pray for us and our children.
This is my most important plea to you:
- Please pray we will find our identity in Jesus Christ alone and have the freedom that accompanies this
- Please pray that we will no longer feel guilt or shame, that we won’t feel isolated, and that instead we will find joy, peace, and strength in Christ
- Please pray that we will be encouraged
- Please pray we will model a close walk with Christ to our children
- Please pray that other positive role models will pour into our children’s’ lives, will encourage our children’s’ relationship with Christ and their identities as beloved, accepted and whole children of God.
In closing, I will say that although my circumstance as a single mom is not the life I dreamed of, God has built my small family into something beautiful. God uses even the hard things, the ugly times, and turns it all around for His glory. I heard this recently and I love it: when life gives you a pile of rocks, instead of throwing them, place them into a pile and make them a memorial to God. I hope that is what I am doing with my life.
With love and blessings from a single mom,
“All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no more so than the good times of his healing comfort—we get a full measure of that, too.” 2 Corinthians 1:3—5 The Message
Kristen Love is a peddler of hope with a heart for the lost, for the broken, and for the bruised. She is a devoted follower of Jesus with a living testimony that God can use even our poor choices and turn them around for His glory. She enjoys adventures around the world exploring and marveling at God’s creation while meeting and loving His people. Kristen is (super) mama to a teenage son who keeps things real. She loves to read and is excited to be back in school studying Ministry. Kristen also has the honor of working full-time as a lawyer, planting seeds and watering them wherever she is able (See 1 Corinthians 3:6-9).