Single Moms: Modern Widows

Over the past few years of being a single mom, I have seen first hand that God has become my partner.  He has become my provider, confidant, and mostly my lover.  

I had the vision of this blog and want to say right away that I am not trying to take away from the true widows who have lost their husbands in any fashion: tragedy, war, cancer, or even drugs or alcohol.  I am not looking for sympathy, to take away from anyone’s loss, or for anyone to do anything for me particularly.  I simply look at the state of this world with so many single women, involuntary single women, and realize that they are very similar to the widows.  Many women are single involuntarily, their significant other has abandoned them physically or abused the marital vows in such a significant way that God shut that door.

Some people will say, I’ve heard it a million times, that God hates divorce.  My question is, does God hate divorce more than he hates abuse?  Would he rather His child be abused than to be separated from the source of abuse after years and years of His own intervention and still have no repentance?   How long is the abused person supposed to endure the physical, emotional, and even spiritual abuse before the church will accept that God hates abuse more than divorce?  If your daughter or son was abused, would you tell them to keep praying, keep hoping, and stay married because God hates divorce?!? No, you would tell them to leave and to never turn back!!  You would tell them that you’d take care of them before you’d EVER let them go back to that abuse!!  That’s what God did for me.

God told me that if I ever looked back, I would be like Lot’s wife… that Sodom, and my hesitation to fully obey his command for me, would destroy me.

As strong as we single moms can pretend we are (mostly until the front door is shut and can instantly fall apart), we need help.  Look at our government and the welfare system.  They provide assistance to single moms based off of the knowledge that most moms (especially in the past) have many skills that it takes to be a good mom but no workplace skills that will enable them to take financial care of a family on her own.  For goodness sake, most families now cannot even survive on the man’s income, which we can agree is generally more than what a woman makes (not a political stance).   To debate whether or not women take advantage of that assistance is not the issue, but the fact is that single women with children should be helped by their family, friends, church, and community.  The level of help needed is also not meant to take away from the hard work that must be continued by the mom.  It is not meant to be a replacement for her responsibility to take good care of her kids, her household, and to get tight control of her finances.

We single moms have a long road ahead of us.  The hope is not to be so lonely or financially in trouble that we look for any man that, come to find out, is another  of the same abusive, neglectful, controlling, or narcissistic man we were just freed from.  We want to make wise decisions.  We want to take time to heal, to not put our kids in danger or get tied to another of the same.

James 2:15-17  Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

Please use discernment and understand that some sort of accountability is expected (not holding it over her head that you helped but watching what she does with your help). I don’t want anyone to help a single mom and find out that she is one of those who takes advantage of anything given to them and moves on to the next person to leech on.  I know many people like this single moms and many others.  However, moms who are working hard, doing everything, being everything to their kids, need healthy people to pour into them to keep them going strong and staying on the right path and away from the same destructive people that she was freed from.

Church people, oftentimes, moms with kids come into church and feel the instant judgmental looks from married people, “She is just one of those women who didn’t fight for their marriage or even maybe never even got married, gasp.”   This is not the time for condemnation.  This is not the time for correction.  This is not the time to think you know anything about that woman. And this is definitely not the time to tell her that God Hates Divorce.  This is the time to welcome her, to offer her time and conversation.  This is the time to offer her babysitting or a coffee date at your house with the kids.

For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 2 Cor. 5:14

How can Christ’s love compel you to serve the single women in your church?

 

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