I recently talked to a young adult single mother. She was beautiful and so was her baby. On the surface things seemed just fine, until she started to open up.
She explained how she is struggling financially to make ends meet; to pay for her apartment, college, and the associated costs of having a baby. Her friends always want to go out somewhere which requires money to be spent, so therefore she can’t go with them. She struggles with meeting new friends, because most shy away from her when they find out she is a single mom. She struggles with her baby’s father, who she doesn’t trust, and who has custody every other weekend. She struggles to go to church, because she feels that some look down on her. She feels like her family isn’t supportive and understanding of her.
She still tries to remain positive, thinking of the good things; including her baby. She tries to trust that the Lord will provide and things will be ok. But at times, it is very hard to see the good, and to see where God is leading her, and why He is allowing these things to happen.
As I think back on that conversation, I think there are several things we can learn from single parents.
- We all make mistakes.
Single parents might have made some mistakes, but we have as well. I know that when I was a young adult, I was having pre-marital sex, and only by the grace of God did I not have a child. So we shouldn’t look down on a single parent, and instead we should extend grace and love, treating them just like we would want someone to treat us. Read Matthew 7:12 and John 8:1-11.
- We should help.
We should show grace and love, by offering to help. You might be able to babysit, help them financially, or just be a good confidant and friend. Often times single parents feel overwhelmed and alone. You can be God’s hands and feet to help. The Bible talks a lot about how we should help orphans, widows and those less fortunate. I believe that as Christians we should also help single parents. Read Philippians 2:4 and Mathew 25:35-45.
- We should talk to our children.
- We can make sure they know and have relationships with single parents, so they can see that they are people just like us. Our children can see us helping, loving and showing grace to them. In this way, our children will see how Christians should treat single parents.
- We can discuss with them the ramifications of sex before marriage, and why God tells us to wait until we are married. They need to learn from us that sex before marriage often leads to an unplanned baby. This then brings financial hardships, broken relationships, social challenges, education and career barriers, and more hardships. Once our children fully understand, they will see that God loves us and wants the best for us. That is why He tells us to wait to have sex until we are married.
- We can let them know that birth control doesn’t always work. When my wife and I got pregnant, we were using two forms of birth control. So our son was unplanned, but not unwanted. I always tell teens and young adults about that, because the world tells them that if they use birth control, everything will be fine. The world says “If it feels good, just do it, and everything will be fine.” None of that is true, and our children need to see and understand that.
My challenge to all of us is to love, forgive, help and show grace to single parents. That is what Jesus Christ would do.
If you are a single parent, here are some great articles:
Here are some scripture verses: