Kermit the frog says it not easy being green. Move over Kermie, being Christian single parents is a much harder job…and more lonely. Perhaps this prayer by an anonymous Christian single parent says it all:
“Lord, grant me Time Enough to do all the chores, join in the games, help with the lessons, and say the night prayers, and still have a few moments left over for me;
Energy Enough to be bread-baker and breadwinner, knee patcher and peacemaker, ballplayer and bill juggler;
Hands Enough to wipe away the tears, to reach out when I’m needed, to hug and to hold, to tickle and touch;
Heart Enough to share and to care, to listen and understand, and to make a loving home for my family.”
Phew! I got stressed out just reading it. One of my friends who is a single parent dad to two minor children was discussing the possibilities of using an online Christian dating service. “Eharmony? Christian Cafe? Who has time for single parent dating, and how would the kids handle that? No, with all my daily responsibilities I barely have time to use the bathroom! What I really need are some single parent stress reducers.”
If you are a single parent mom or single dad, and feeling a little like my friend, you’re not alone. Single parent-led households have skyrocketed over the past decade all across Europe, Australia and the U.S. In fact, according to Pew Research, over 34% of US families are single parent-led households. And many of these folks are single Christian parents.
Christian Single Parents and Their Needs
Single Christian parents have overwhelming spiritual, emotional and physical needs. Yet, polls also show they are one of the least likely groups to attend church. Why is this?
Money saving worries have led some single parents to work several jobs in order to make ends meet, and they simply do not have the time. Many others, however, feel excluded or stigmatized by the church, and so stay at home. In a nutshell, single parenting is stressful. Period.
When the Scriptures states that believers should care for the poor, the widows and the defenseless, Christian single parents are not too far removed. Churches and single parent ministries have a great opportunity to show the love of Jesus in this area.
If you are a single Christian parent, and struggling with the burdens of life. let me remind you of some wonderful things:
- Stop feeling guilty! You cannot do it all, no matter what that single parent prayer says. So take a bow (you deserve it!) for the job you are doing and rest in the One who can do it all, and who wants to help you bear the load (Psalms 55:22, Psalms 91, 1Peter 5:7).
- Plan a little time just for you in order to recharge. Even Jesus got away into the wilderness to pray for a while, apart from his kids…the disciples! If that means a bubble bath and a great book, go for it.
- Join a singles group fellowship where you can encourage others and be encouraged. It’s what the Lord wants for you (Hebrews 10:25). While many churches are failing to meet the needs of singles and single parents dating, there are those who have formed local Christian singles support groups and specialized ministries for parents and kids. Find one and stick with it. You and your kids will both be happier for it.
- Remember to leave your anxieties with Jesus, who promises never to leave you (or your kids) nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5). Are these just empty words, or real promises from a Heavenly Father?
Finally, because we believe local fellowship is a great place to grow spiritually and meet other singles with similar issues, Oasis-Church-NJ.com is in the process of listing all known singles group ministries in one place for your easy access. If you know of a singles group ministry or single Christian parent support group that should be listed, submit it to us here. Please also consider helping other Christian single parents and other singles by posting your comments