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2013_05_19 Fellowship

~Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.~

James 1:27 (NIV84)

 

**I’m going to be honest. I have done everything in my power NOT to write this post today, but, as always, the Holy Spirit won!**

 

In line with yesterday’s post, I posed a question on Twitter asking what people’s favorite accountability tool was. One sister in Christ answered that her favorite accountability tool is weekly Bible study. Well at the time there were all sorts of topics running through my head, as usual. The most prominent one was a search for Biblical references, support, practical counseling tools, etc. for some of the deeper, less often discussed issues of single motherhood. I’ve been on this quest on and off for quite a while with a disturbing lack of progress. So when I read her reply I thought, “Cool, I could find a bible study on this and finally get to really digging in on this topic!”

I quite literally got the most painful set of results to this search to date. Praise God for the determination He kept burning in me though, because I refused to end my day on such a low note. Finally I ran across this article and things started to look up for me and my search. But I still couldn’t shake the revelation that came almost immediately as I read the article. Most ministries I know of have a singles ministry, but it’s not usually child friendly in its events so in order to participate a single parent would have to use resources both financial and limited childcare options. On top of that, most of the topics only deal with part of their issues. Occasionally, I have seen mother ministries, but these have been in churches where the congregation has a higher population of stay-at-home moms, typically married, and meets during the day. Many of these are even less help to a single mother than the singles ministry is, because it deals with issues that most of us don’t even have the time to have.

Which brings us full circle back to this morning; me trying my best to talk God out of having me write this post…lol. The question is a valid one though, where does the single mother find a place within the average church to fit in, grow in the things of Christ, and fulfill the callings of Titus 2:4-5 that can be applied to her life? When the typically everyday parts of your life alone are demeaning in and of themselves, who can you reach out to in the natural that won’t perpetuate that?

Fellowship is one of the most important aspects of the Christian walk. It is what helps keep us bound one to another. It gives a way to confess our faults and weakness to each other as commandment in James 5:16. This is especially true for those who by the very nature of their lives are alone. The lack of available options deepens wounds and many times leads to intention isolation to try to lessen the hurt and take some control over the situation.  As the lovely Maya Angelou so eloquently expressed, however, “Nobody, but nobody can make out here alone.”

So what’s the solution? What do we do about it? Honestly, I have no idea. I can, however, give a few pointers to the single mothers out there who find themselves seriously fellowship deficient:

  1. Accept that the only person you can change is yourself! No matter how abandoned and alone you feel, no matter how many people who know of that stand in a position to do something but don’t…you have no right to dictate what they do with their lives no more than they have a right to dictate yours. That anger, resentment, and bitterness is only hurting you and your kids…no one else.
  2. Never give up! The problem with locating most groups for single mothers, especially local ones, is the very nature of them. They are for single mothers by single mothers and those women’s schedules and budgets look just like yours. So typically, they aren’t as well organized or promoted. Keep digging!
  3. Reach out! Ask other single mothers in Christ what they do to socialize, how they fellowship. If all else fails seek out another mother from your church here and there for a cup of coffee after service. Who knows, you may grow a group of your own!
  4. Accept that you have to give to get! I know you may be in starvation mode, lacking in so many areas of life that you can’t even fathom watching someone else’s kid for an hour or hosting a playdate. However, in groups of moms supporting moms it is going to necessary…think co-op. In time the relief you get in return builds your reserves and it gets easier and easier. Be prepared though, depending on your current level, it may be a slow process.
  5. Prayer and meditation are key! Stay at the foot of the throne as much as humanly possible! Being before His Face is what is really going to keep you pushing forward. Even if you can’t do anything but crumble to your knees and cry out in pain…so be it! Just keep yourself in His Arms, at His Feet, in His Lap…He will carry you through.

It is my earnest desire that the body of Christ as whole finds its way back to a deeper sense of community. So many moments are dedicated to policies and procedures when the kind act of one Christian to another would solve the problem. I truly believe that is one of the things Jesus was referring to in Matthew 5:17-20. His Life, His Example, His Walk on this earth is the blueprint of how to walk in accordance with the law, with Love and Faith and Hope leading the way. May we all strive daily to embrace the truth of what it means to walk in His footsteps more deeply each and every day! Be blessed!

Surrendered to Him~

Signature

 

 

 

Our Father in Heaven,

We magnify Your Holy Name! You are the Beginning, the End, and the Fulfillment of all in between and we are honored to be Yours. Abba extend Your Loving Grace, Mercy, and Protection over all those mothers struggling to find some place on this earth they can call home…a place to belong, to grow closer to You, to learn for those more mature in You. Reach out and touch the hearts of those who are in a position to help and show them a plan of action to put in place. Most importantly Abba, help us see ourselves the way You see us, so that we can easily shake off not only the weight of guilt and condemnation we may already carry but the weight others may try to throw on us. Strengthen Your daughters, for they are tired and in pain. We know that all we ask in accordance with Your Word and Will is done right now in Yeshua’s Name, so we give You Praise! We thank You right now for the fulfillment of Your Promises past, present and Future!

In Yeshua’s Name we pray,                        

Amein

 

Does your fellowship have a ministry geared toward single mothers or is your single’s group child friendly? If so, what are some of the activities they have? What kind of study resources do they use?

4 Responses

  1. christi4imp
    | Reply

    Beautiful Rose, I am not a single mom, but I once visited the same church twice… The first time with my husband and the next week by myself. I was stunned at the difference in my reception. The first week I was welcomed with smiles and handshakes. The next week, ignored. We found another church. I’ll never forget that experience. In planning events for my church, the single mom was always a consideration and we (myself and other women in leadership) actively watch our foyer for women who appear to be alone. Nothing is more heartbreaking than being alone in a crowd of happy people! I hope attitudes are changing. I will continue to pray for God to open my eyes to the single moms who so need the support of the church!

    • ~rose~
      | Reply

      Wow! I am really shocked at your experience! I don’t even think I’ve gotten that kind of cold shoulder. Kudos to your family for finding a more receptive place to worship!

      “Nothing is more heartbreaking than being alone in a crowd of happy people!” That is such a truth that has become all to real for too many of all kinds in churches across America. However, I’m sure with more people like you and your ladies praying and actively changing things, it will most certainly get better! Be blessed sis!

  2. dogbronte
    | Reply

    I am glad to see your Christian concern for single moms. In my previous job as a landlord’s agent for a rental complex I had the privilege of meeting several women who had been forced to take care of a family on their own. They had to become resourceful, they had to become tough.
    I have come to realize that the hardest part of being a single mom is watching the effect of what this forced lifestyle has on their children. Well over half are left close to defined poverty. Almost all need help in some way. Most single moms will leave the church. Institutional counselling cannot provide the the care and attention mom and family require. This can only be found in the company of the Church, yet, very few Churches have ministries that include single moms as families.
    Ministries that cater to single moms as a group is not inclusion.
    I wrote a blog entry called Love and the Single Mom in which I question Church attitudes toward these mothers.
    http://humbledogs.wordpress.com/2013/01/10/love-and-the-single-mom/

    Peace be with you.

    • ~rose~
      | Reply

      Thank you for your insights! Being a single mom myself, I can attest that the walk is hard no matter how you got there or what financial state you exist in. The plight of single parents presents an opportunity for the Church to shine, but there seems to be a void in most individual congregations. Most of the single mothers I know when asked, “When you are in need of help, where do you turn?,” completely exhaust their list without ever once mentioning a church, even if they are regularly attending one. The ones who are blessed to be in a congregation with great instruction coming out of the pulpit will have God high up on their list, but some don’t even think of Him in those terms at all. It’s great that this is being addressed by more and more people!

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