Sunday, August 30, 2009

Single Moms Answer the Question

I recently asked a group of single moms this question:

What does the church need to know about
single parents/families?

Some of their responses might surprise you ...

- Divorce is not contagious. It is ok to invite us to dinner. We feel isolated and need fellowship, especially on Saturday night.

- We won't steal your husband. We need help with household maintenance. Some of us need mentors for our sons. We need love and support.

- It's not easy. We're often broke and lonely. We're sometimes confused and need reinforcements with our kids. We're not freaks, just a little different than you, logistically.- We are not a separate entity. We have the same needs, if not more, for connecting, belonging. We get exhausted and lonely. We don't have a contagious disease. We are being overlooked in most of our churches.

- We need your support. Include us with your families so our kids can have role models for the parent they are missing.

- We are not a threat! You can include us in outings and groups. We need to be included for just plain fun. We need to be included in mixed small groups - not just singles or women. Sometimes we need to talk to a man to get that slant, but we are not chasing your husband. We need you to offer help - it doesn't have to be big. Know it is hard for us to ask.

- We are often struggling financially. Consider this when you ask us out to lunch after church. It's one of the reasons we turn down the invitation. When collecting food for a "food drive," don't give us outdated cans that you don't want your family to eat. We feel humiliated that you think we should appreciate that. We need to feel included and accepted. Bible studies and cell groups often have all couples. We could use help with "male jobs" such as household repairs. We need men to spend time with our boys. They need male role models.

- Some of us never get a break in our 24/7 week, 365 days a year. You probably don't want to be treated or regarded the way you do us. Kindness is free - and I don't want your husband. You've been telling me what's wrong with him for 8 years!

- The church needs to know what a support and resource they can be. We are not aliens. It's is good to ask what we might need help with. Be sure to follow up! We should be included in family events.

- We do not have a disease. Our boys need male role models to guide them. We are not in the church to steal anyone's husband. We do need a phone call just to ask, "We didn't see you Sunday, is everything ok?" It's ok to ask us if we need anything - and really mean it.

- We once, too, were in happy families, enjoying the congregation. Our family has gone into crisis, with a split in the strength of having two to raise the children, finances, household management, yard management, comfort and support, and companionship. This has all been lost in our split from our spouse. Whether we are a man or a woman, a chunk of our life is no longer there. Realize that we are strong, but missing many essential functions that make our family run.

Please respond to the truth of these heartfelt words ~
Linda

"Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us, and His love is made complete in us"
- 1 John 4:11-12.

4 comments:

  1. I agree with the words of the women in the article. Whether we are young or old, divorced or widowed with or without kids, the "Church" is truly lacking in meeting our needs. It's very hard to ask for help, and even when we do it's, "I'm sorry to hear that" or "I'll pray for you". But not even a phone call or a note to say "I care". How very sad!

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  2. Thanks for your honesty and for speaking about what's true for you and your experience.

    Church - these observations are a wake-up call!

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  3. What a thought-provoking article and one that really brings a lot of important thoughts to light in what is a difficult situation. I've shared this with a friend because it really got me thinking. Great post!

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  4. Thanks for sharing ... continue to pass on what's of value!

    Linda

    ReplyDelete

Welcome to the table, friend!

This is where we gather and hang out. I'd love for you to pull up a chair and jump right into the conversation. Or simply say 'hello.'

l'll be dropping in to visit you sometime soon ...

Linda

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