It's our hearts that resonate together strong, bound by the Savior's love, that draw us close.
Awhile back, I asked a group of single parents what the church needs to know about you. Your musings are well-spoken and soul deep, yet extremely practical. Your frustrations, disappointments, and pleas do nothing but reflect the honest beauty of who you are.
I understand that this week of expensive chocolates, sappy cards, and soon-to-wilt flowers is often a heart-searing time for you. But here, in this place, I'm leaning in to what you've penned ... and I know, for sure, that our readers will, too.
~ I think church is focused entirely on families and when I went to church with the kids, I tended to fit into groups with moms and kids. When I go to church alone, I do not fit into any groups because there are no appropriate groups for middle and older singles in most churches. I can feel very out of place but that carries over into any social setting for me. It seems harder to get to know others when you are single.
I wish that families would be more inclined to invite a couple of single women over for lunch on occasion and possibly then the single women could get to know each other and be included in a family gathering.
~ 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 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.
If you're single, what else do YOU want to put on the table?
If you're married, what's the best way for YOU respond?
And here's a bonus today for you, my friends. Sheila Kimball is penning a brand new e-newsletter exclusively for singles and divorced women and single moms.
Single Saturday is making it's debut on Valentine's Day. I know no finer gift to pass on to a friend ... or claim for yourself. It's free, it's published once a month, and it looks to be chock full of all kinds of encouragements.
Go ahead and check out all the details here! And please tell her that Linda sent you.
would you be so kind as to share today's significant musings?
the links are below.