By Janice Sjostrand
Single parenting is a fact of modern life. In fact, according to recent statistics, approximately 13.6 million single parents in the United States, mostly women, are responsible for raising 21.2 million children, approximately twenty-six percent of children who are under twenty-one in the United States today. We are a nation of single parents. All of us know someone who is a single parent, the child of a single parent, or both.
Has God equipped the church to address the reality suggested by the statistics? Absolutely! Isaiah’s prophetic description of the Messiah is more relevant now than ever before: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). All of God is available to all His people through His church. The following is a list of suggestions to help you access the God you need in your journey as a single parent.
Wonderful Counselor: Counseling
Establish a relationship with your pastor. The Bible says, “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety” (Proverbs 11:14), and “Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counselors they are established” (Proverbs 15:22).
Seeking godly counsel is imperative for you as a single parent. Your point of entry is your pastor. He has both access and authority, and he is answerable to God for your care. Therefore, acquaint yourself with him, preferably before a crisis. Then when an issue arises pertaining to you or your child, you will have already established a connection. Sometimes a quick phone conversation is all that is required; other times you may need to make an appointment. Just as you would see a doctor for you and your child’s physical wellbeing, so too should you see your pastor for your spiritual well-being. Your pastor may refer you to someone else. Accept his counsel and keep him updated on your progress.
Growing in God requires applying His teaching to our daily lives and circumstances. The Lord knows that good parenting requires sound decisions. He can direct your steps through sound counsel.
The Mighty God: Spiritual Connection
Establish consistent worship at home and in church. You are first a child of God and second a single parent. Acknowledging His preeminence is worship, and true worship reminds you of your limitations and His power. Orbiting God keeps your world in balance and frees Him to be mighty on your behalf.
Your spiritual connection is enhanced by engaging in active worship alone and with others. You can worship at home—singings, praying, reading the Bible, doing good works for others, et cetera. Beginning and ending the day with active worship establishes God as the Alpha and Omega of the day and all it contains. Worship with the family of God in regular services and church-sponsored activities keeps you connected to the larger family. You have a contribution to make and a blessing to receive. Your spiritual connection at home individually and in church corporately is oxygen to your soul.
Everlasting Father: Support
Establish a strong connection with God’s people. Paul said, “For this reason [seeing the greatness of this plan by which you are built together in Christ], I bow my knees before the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, For Whom every family in heaven and on earth is named [that Father from Whom all fatherhood takes its title and derives its name]” (Ephesians 3:14-15, The Amplified Bible).
God is the template for true Fatherhood: powerful, wise, and unquenchable in His love for His children. (See Daniel 10:5-6; Revelation 1:14-16.) Through relationship with the members of the church, you have access to God’s fatherly characteristics. There are godly men and women in every congregation who together form a composite of His power, wisdom, and love. These are the people to whom you can go for advice, prayer, encouragement, and instruction. Allow them to help you and make yourself accountable to them. Honor those whose help and support you receive by listening to and abiding by their corporate counsel. Show your respect and regard in word and deed. Both you and your child will benefit from the relationships you build with the members of your own local congregation. Your connection to God’s fatherhood is through His body.
Prince of Peace: Peace
Establish time for rest and recreation. Every parent needs time to recover from the responsibilities of parenting. Making time to replenish and refresh is just as biblical as any of the other commandments with which we are so familiar. God rested, and so should you!
Whether overcome with anxiety or just weary with the daily grind, you need to catch your breath. A Selah is not a Sabbath; it is just a pause, a moment to be still. However sporadic, Selah moments are daily opportunities to receive peace from the Prince; in your stillness that you know He is God (Psalms 46:10). A daily dose of peace is far more effective than trying to drive yourself until you have two weeks to fall apart. You may never have the kind of vacation time you’d like to have, so enjoy a Selah either alone or with your child.
When you need immediate help, ask those who love you for prayer. Anointed prayer accesses power and grace immediately, and the presence of the Lord is a balm to a spent soul. At a word, He can still the strife within and bring you peace.
It is possible to be a single parent and be a child of God and a joint heir with Jesus. You and your child can have a place in His body among the beloved. Your every need has already been anticipated and provided for within His wonderful body, and you have access through His name. The more you allow yourself to give and receive, the more connected to the Source you will become. You may be a single parent, but you are not alone. Together, we are His family.
From, “Pentecostal Herald”/June 2009/Page 36-37 by Janice Sjostrand
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