Grace for the Single Parent

March 15, 2012

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I am a single parent……for three more days!

My wife has been away at a missions conference for 12 days now. I am often the one in the family who travels, so this is not a whine fest. I have truly gained an appreciation for single parents over these two weeks.

I’ve been the one who feeds my hungry boys their meals and multiples snacks. I became skilled at packing lunches and organizing school bags. The amount of hours that I have logged in transit this week alone could have been spent writing several blog posts!

At the end of each day I found myself worn out, but not having many checks on my to do list to show for it. I’ve turned into an “even earlier to bed man” than normal!

Just when I thought I was on top of my routine, I ended up with a chest cold. Now I had to manage all of life with less than normal energy and sleep!

My output at work this week has suffered exponentially.

This led me to consider single parents who do this each and every day. I am worn out after nearly two weeks, they do this for a lifetime.

In years past, I can remember single parents being on the outside of church society. We often have judged them for having sex outside of marriage. Or many of them have undergone the stigma of divorce. Our response is often to take the “don’t ask don’t tell” tactic; further alienating them. Whatever the reason,  the church pushes these people to the fringe.

If there was sexual sin in the past, God has forgiven it and so should we. If divorce played a part, rather than judgment, understanding and empathy may be required.

The church is often strong against abortion, but offers less support to those children and parents once they are born.

Put yourself in their shoes for a few days. If you find yourself lacking a heart for this demographic, try it on for size for a few days or weeks! Your spouse will appreciate the “get away” you give them!

Let’s consider how we can show grace to the single parent. Grace does not wait for them to ask, but rather gives them an unexpected, unearned gift.

We can:

– offer to watch their kids

– send them away on a vacation or day outing

– help out with after school activities or shopping runs

– lend a talent – there are many things that the single parent never gets to 

Mercy or generosity will respond to a need or request from a single parent. Grace looks to give first. Just as Christ first loved us, let’s love the single parent before they even ask!

What other ways can we serve the single parents among us?

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A missionary teacher for 24 years currently living in South Africa. I am a recovering superhero, daily in need of the grace of God