One phenomenon the world faces is that of single parents, often but not always a woman as the single parent.
Sometimes we think of single parents as those who have conceived a child out of wedlock. However, that is not always the case. Hagar was pressured into having a child with Abraham, and then was forced to leave with her child (Gen. 16:3-4; Gen. 21:17).
Bathsheba became pregnant as a result of the sexual advance of a powerful man (2 Sam. 11:4-5). Elijah was sent to a village called Zarephath to help a single mother who was a widow (1 Kings 17:9). By the time Jesus began His ministry, Joseph, His adoptive father, had died, leaving Mary a widow and a single parent. “Death had separated her from Joseph, who had shared her knowledge of the mystery of the birth of Jesus. Now there was no one to whom she could confide her hopes and fears. The past two months had been very sorrowful”. – Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 145.
Being a single parent is perhaps one of the most challenging jobs a person can have. Many face difficulties, such as managing their finances, dealing with the other parent, or simply having time just for themselves or to spend time with God, and wondering whether they will ever be loved again.
What promises can anyone, including single parents, take from the following verses: Jer. 31:25; Matt. 11:28; Jer. 29:11; Jer. 32:27; Prov. 3:5-6; Isa. 43:1-2.
We as a church have the responsibility to help single parents. James wrote, “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble” (James 1:27, NKJV). One could add, in principle, “and single parents in their trouble, too”. The help we can offer does not have to just be financial. We could allow them to have some respite by taking their children for a little while so they can do other chores, rest, pray, and study God’s Word. We can serve as mentors to their children or help repair things around the house. We can be God’s hands in numerous ways to help support single parents.
|Without passing judgment as to how they came to their situation, what specific things can you do to encourage and help single parents?|