family pic

family pic

Thursday, October 4, 2012

musings on single parenting

I am amazed at how much my thinking and views have been transformed in the last 5 to 10 years. When you turn 20 you think you have gotten this thing called life figured out. You think Christianity is black and white and that there must be a set/default answer and solution for every problem that comes in life. I personally thought as I matured in my walk with God I would learn all of these default answers and my Bible would essentially become my reference book. Larry Crabb calls this recipe theology, where we treat the Bible like a recipe book. Yes there are definite answers and solutions within the Bible that we are commanded to follow, but there are some topics that are not so black and white. We are forced to become completely dependent on the leading of the Holy Spirit to direct and guide us to His will for our own personal life.

One of the ignorant conclusions I had come to when I was younger is that churches should not reach out to single moms. I remember hearing about a single mom's outreach ministry on the radio and being filled with a wave of judgement. They should not be reaching out to those in sin. It almost sounded like they were supporting single moms. Yes if you were a single mom during this stage in my life I probably had mentally cast some judgment on you :P

Oh, how the Lord has transformed my thinking. But He hasn't given me a new set of default answers to my thinking. I'm realizing that there are some topics that just aren't answered in the Bible. One of these topics pertains to single mothers. Previously this was a "black" area. Single moms...bad. Marriage....good. Maybe there were some women that couldn't prevent becoming single mothers, but surely they could have prevented getting in bad relationship. If they became pregnant and didn't get married...that was their fault. If they got married and their marriage failed...they could have somehow prevented that. I now see that my error was in believing that we as humans have to power to control others and our circumstances. I now realized that we don't. God was the perfect father and husband, but Israel still rebelled against Him. Would we dare say to God, maybe if you were just a little more gracious to them they would have remained true to you? or "if you could have just showed them a little more tough love...?"

 And then God took me off my prideful throne and I become one of those single moms. I became frustrated with people who judge or stereotype single moms. I'm finding people/churches reach out to them because they see them in sin. My skin cringes when I hear people say that they will reach out to single moms because they are in a ditch (implied that they have fallen into sin). I've realized there isn't a default answer to this topic. Yes, some single moms are rebelling against the Lord. Yes, some married women are rebelling against the Lord. We can't put a "good" and "bad" label these categories. I get frustrated and worked up over the judgmental views of single parenting, then the Lord ever so gently reminds me that this was me 7 years ago! I wish I could go back in time and explain 20 year old me why single mom's need to be reached out to and supported. What reasons would I give you ask? Stayed tuned and find out... ;)