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 The single mother dilemma



What about single Mothers? Can they submit, and find Godly shelter?
"Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world."

roadsign writes:, on another thread;

"Just curious, BrotherTom,"
"How would you guide and encourage single mothers? There are many around, even in the church. They are trying to care for children, discipline, hold down a job, manage a home, and deal with loneliness and emotional fatigue."

"They don't have an opportunity to obey God regarding authority. They must be the authorities in their homes, or their homes will unravel. In fact, to fail to do so would be negligence."

What scriptures would guide them in the role in which they find themselves?

Diane [roadsign]

This is a very serious problem, and an issue that the Church must find a solution for; NOT to be ignored. I think God is watching...and I would like your serious input and ideas....Tom



 2012/2/11 21:03
CJeanne
Member



Joined: 2009/9/27
Posts: 41


 Re: The single mother dilemma

I just want to say that I hope others will contribute to this thread who have experience of this situation and wisdom to share about it. My daughter is in this situation and to my mind managing a herculean feat without complaining, as if it were the most natural thing in the world -- because that's what the modern world seems to expect of women these days, single parenting being so politically correct and marriage being so trivialized. But there just has to be a heavy toll, both for her and the children. I don't live close enough to be a help and since she's not a Christian (yet?) she doesn't have a Christian perspective on parenting or whatever help a church might have to offer -- and I have the impression it may not offer much anyway. I've often thought that the church should give more attention to such situations but that's as far as I've gone on the subject. The world today destroys marriage and natural relationships and new believers come into the church in many states of crippled lives.

I was one of them myself some twenty years ago, not with the responsibility of children at that point but a single person who would have been lost in church without others taking the time to be encouraging. I was blessed to be taken under the wing of an older lady whose spiritual gift was obviously shepherding. She collected many of us and shepherded us through Bible studies and personal friendship and meals at her home and practical help with finances and whatever else she was able to provide as need arose. Among other things, she provided a refuge in her home for another friend who was having a nervous breakdown after her husband left her. I didn't realize how special and unusual she was until she moved away and I was truly on my own. Fortunately by then I had made other friendships.

Sorry to dwell so much on this since it's not the topic of the thread and single people may have problems but single women with children have even more. I guess my point is that one dedicated Christian woman can make a ministry of help that accomplishes a lot for others and perhaps this is a ministry that could be encouraged more. Young women with children need others to lift some of the responsibility for the children, caring for them as needed, perhaps also helping with housework, and just being a friend.

It's tricky to involve Christian men in a situation with a single mother but truly male influence is needed in those situations and I don't know how that might best be worked out. A couple making the effort to include them in their lives? Especially an older couple?

 2012/2/11 22:11Profile
roadsign
Member



Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3776


 Re:

BrotherTom, I appreciate you drawing emphasis to this issue. It is a pressing social concern. The children of these mothers are bound to suffer in these situations - and that will have a significant impact in the future.

What makes this more complicated is our social assistance programs - and the whole mentality of reliance on the state. Also, getting a cheque each month cannot compensate for the lack of a fatherly presence and protection in the home.

The church could really shine here - by being an authoritative community in which single parent families can thrive and bloom. Imagine if at least one church in each town felt specifically called into a ministry to these people.

Diane


_________________
Diane

 2012/2/11 22:30Profile
CJeanne
Member



Joined: 2009/9/27
Posts: 41


 Re:

Hi Diane,
I love the idea of a church adopting this as a ministry. Can you spell out some of how you imagine this working in practical terms?

And really good point about the social assistance programs. I've often thought the church really MUST take over here whatever that would involve.

 2012/2/11 22:53Profile
ginnyrose
Member



Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7431
Mississippi

 Re: The single mother dilemma

Single Motherhood is a dilemma, for sure. Having worked at a CPC for 15 years one gets a perspective not seen by many. Perhaps the most devastating one is that there are those who plan to be a single mother. Really! Oh, yes, they may claim to be Christians...! SIGH. They do NOT want to get married because they do not trust males to be there in the long haul, but they want children so they get them and get on welfare - supported by the taxpayer.

Upon reading this it becomes obvious that for some it is a sin issue, pure and simple.

Then you have those who are left alone because of divorce - another issue. Some of these are victims not of their own choosing, but this is not always the case, either. I am hearing there is just as many married females involved in extra-marital affairs as married men. Again, it is a sin issue. What do you do about it?

What do preachers do to protect their flock from indulging in sinful behaviors? Personally, I place a lot of blame for this on the leadership of the group. They have caved into pressure to conform to a Hollywood lifestyle amongst their people because you do not want to be judgmental. People want to play with sin and then do not want to reap the harvest. Won't work.

Knowing all this won't fix an existing problem, or will it? It has been my stance on this issue that the leadership MUST work to teach the young the dangerous consequences of immorality and how it will undermine marriage stability. A high percentage of marriage failures can be attributed to the couple having been involved in fornication rendering bonding next to impossible once they get married. They have tasted the fruits of sin and the devil has convinced them it is sweet, so there is little motivation to pursue infidelity once the vows are said. For too many all these vows mean is that they will stick to this person until they find one they like better.

But, what do you do with an existing problem? The problem of mothers being victimized by a philandering husband?

We had in our church a single mother with three children. Our deacon took it upon himself to be there for the son. He took him hunting and did male things like this with him. He grew up to be a fine young man who is now married with several children. The girls married well and all have children. In the meantime, the mother stayed close to the LORD, was faithful to her marriage vows. She drew near to the LORD and He was a husband to her. Eventually, her husband died leaving her a widow. A few years later she married a widower who cares for her.

Another lady was left by her husband and she has remained single, true to her marriage vows. Her children grew up, married honorably. She enjoys the affection of her children. Since she was a part owner of a business, its assets were divided and she reinvested her money which still is earning her a livelihood. Today she is involved in a crises ministry.

This is how it was handled in our church.

Blessings,
ginnyrose


_________________
Sandra Miller

 2012/2/12 18:28Profile
roadsign
Member



Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3776


 Re:

Quote:
I love the idea of a church adopting this as a ministry. Can you spell out some of how you imagine this working in practical terms?



Here’s how I imagine steps which equip a church to minister effectively to single mother families:

1. The church experiences revival and reformation – and becomes re-ordered in its purpose for existing - under the authority of God.

2. Through effective leadership it comes to see marriage and family relationships as foundational.

3. The church begins to recognize the huge gaps present among its members – especially the absence of a father’s influence.


4. The members re-orientate their priorities – so that the more vulnerable members receive appropriate care. They seek to strengthen these mothers – so that they have more emotional energy for their own children. That includes spiritual priorities, knowledge for financial management, child care, discipline, etc.

5. The older women minister to the younger women, etc.
6. Child care.

I could go on and on…. What we don’t want to perpetuate is simply a welfare/victim mentality, which keeps these families in a state of dependency. And we somehow want to help mothers move into more mature habits of relationship and responsibility. Otherwise their children will merely repeat the pattern.

It takes a whole church to raise a child!


Quote:
Our deacon took it upon himself to be there for the son. He took him hunting and did male things like this with him.


Now, this is deaconing! This shows that even if a church is not fully "revived", there are always individuals who, through God's working in their own lives, come to take on such roles. What a blessing in any church!


Diane


_________________
Diane

 2012/2/13 7:20Profile
ginnyrose
Member



Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7431
Mississippi

 Re:

Recently a friend of ours shared a conversation he had with a black preacher. They were discussing the breakdown of the black family.

The friend told the preacher the father needs to take the role of the headship in the home in order to build strong families. This was a sore issue with this preacher! He told our friend, "Look! it is not the men, it is the women! They refuse to submit to their husbands. If he says anything contrary to what the wife thinks in regards to the children, she will take them and leave! These women are raising nothing but a bunch of hoodlums!" And this is the evaluation of a black pastor.

Years ago stats told us that 25% of all black males have been in prison, or are in prison or are out on parole. Today this figure is higher. I used to share this statistic with my black clients and they agreed it is right except that it seems to be a bit low.

This is the observation of concerned blacks in my area - do not know what it is like where you are. However, having said this, let me hasten to say the whites are coming right along - they are just a little bit behind. But the reality is that broken homes, single motherhood will push up these stats, no matter what the skin color or culture you are in.

It is a mess out there. It gets really sad when it has invaded the church and I think this is the concern expressed by the lead post.


_________________
Sandra Miller

 2012/2/13 9:43Profile
Sree
Member



Joined: 2011/8/20
Posts: 1698


 Re: The single mother dilemma

In 1 Timothy 5 Paul considers only widows over 60 to be listed as Widows. There should be a reason for this. Single Mom is not same as Widows (lower standard) so definitely they cannot be listed if they are not over 60.

The idea of supporting Single Moms should not result in Churches encouraging this social status of being Single Mom. This is dangerous than not caring for Single Moms.

Single Mom status is a dangerous because it will most likely lead the women into adultery to satisfy her needs and also result in poor parenting. This is also seen as main reason for increase in homosexuality because if it is Boy Child then he will lack Dad's love resulting in Choosing a male partner.

Instead seeing what can be done for Single Mom, Churches should focus on preventive measures. At least for the marriages that they conduct among their members, they need to make sure these couples understand the responsibilities of marriage and should not enter into a married relationship with divorce or parting as an option.

Best thing that a Church can do to a single Mom (not widows) is to unite her with her husband. Divorce for any reason is not a part of new Covenant life.


_________________
Sreeram

 2012/2/13 10:17Profile
Solomon101
Member



Joined: 2008/4/1
Posts: 516
America's Heartand

 Re:

Sree states: Best thing that a Church can do to a single Mom (not widows) is to unite her with her husband. (You qualified that as saying that they must be under 60 years of age per 1 Tim 5) Divorce for any reason is not a part of new Covenant life.

I Respond: I do have a couple of questions then,

1. You suggest the church should reunite her with her husband. Well, what if she is a 22 year old with 2 children, ages 1 and 2, who's husband was tragically killed in a car wreck four months ago. In addition he was the sole income provider for the home. What do you do now? She can't afford child care with the salary she will make IF she can find employment. Her bank account is now empty and they will be shutting her electricity and heat off in 7 days leaving her and her children in the cold to freeze. This all by no choice or fault of her own. She is obviously well below the 60 year old requirement to be receiving help from the Church that you quoted.

Do you still say the church has no responsibility to help this sister?


2 You stated, "Divorce FOR ANY REASON is not a part of new Covenant life". What if it was your daughter. In fact, what if it was your daughter who had been severely beaten up by her husband. She has had 5 broken bones from the beatings her husband has given her when he comes home drunk. She also has had many trips to the hospital to have other injuries treated that he inflicted upon her. He often goes out and hires prostitutes to satisfy his sexual perversion and then tries to demand his wife perform the same perverted acts... if she won't then it's another severe beating. He has said he will kill her if she makes him upset again. They have 1 child and she fears for the child's life when he is around. She fears he may kill their child as well as her in his next fit of rage.

If this is your daughter are you saying you would tell her to stay in this marriage?

Again, you stated, ""Divorce FOR ANY REASON is not a part of new Covenant life". There are clear scriptures, one from The Gospels and one from Paul's writing, that specifically detail 2 instances in which divorce is certainly allowed. I agree that it is a narrow set of circumstances. However, the scripture clearly gives those circumstances and if those conditions are there then it is in no way wrong to divorce.. again, if those conditions are there.

 2012/2/13 11:54Profile









 Re: Is she my sister in Christ?..or just another out of order burden?

"The idea of supporting Single Moms should not result in Churches encouraging this social status of being Single Mom. This is [more] dangerous than not caring for Single Moms."...Sree

"Instead seeing what can be done for Single Mom, Churches should focus on preventive measures."...Sree

So, in your mind, ministering to single moms is encouraging her"social status"? as a single mom?..To me, this is like the ostrich burying her head in the sand when conflict comes.

So, can single mom's be a part of the church? and if they suffer want, or need for their children, spiritually or materially, are they to be ignored because their lives are out of order? In your mind this is [more] dangerous?

Yes, there was a widows list, and Paul did encourage the younger widows to marry...but that does not mean they were abandoned until they were. If they were saved, and born again, their status would be as an equal member of the body, just as me and you, and the same would be so if they were abandoned by their husbands.

This is the spirit of equality within the early church, and every church ever that has walked together in severe persecution. It is the Spirit of Christ among them.

" And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need."

I'm sure there were young widows there, and abandoned women too. I think they qualified before Jesus, just as their children did. Also, you left out an important part of the equation; The Fatherless. The Fatherless does not mean just the orphaned. In 3rd world ghettos today, and in American "Hoods" it has become a plague...for fatherless children receive their approbation from the gangs.

Father-less means without a father; No Dad. Today it has become harder and harder for a family to make ends meet, with two incomes...and many single moms have no job skills, and just focused on being a homemaker. I cannot imagine how my single sisters do it, and raise a family. They are tougher than me, and braver.

"Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world."

This is PURE religion, meaning the main thrust of our Christian walk, in the Apostle's exhortation, and if a sister has become a single mom, and is struggling or her children have need, how can I say I have the Love of God in me, and ignore her. I cannot.

Or, as you say, I could just have a series of seminars on the "Preventive Measures of ending the Status of the Single Mom "...and leave it at that.

 2012/2/13 12:10





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