Ignoring single mothers…REALLY???

single mom singular troubles

~ By Kenneth

It was late one night while I was sitting at coffee when a mother and her two pre-teen children came in and sat down next to me. “Why isn’t dad here yet?” asked one of the children. “Because your father is not dependable, he never was when we were—-” the mother stopped herself and bit her tongue. A look of sadness swept across her face and I could tell that she already regretted what she had said, and although I’m sure she wanted to vent more of her frustrations out; she realized it was better not to bash the children’s father.

The mother and the children sat next to me for a half-hour and the father had still not shown up. Finally she got her cell phone out and called him, “Where are you? You were supposed to pick up the kids more than an hour ago!” While I couldn’t hear the other side of the conversation, it was quickly apparent that the father had forgotten it was ‘his weekend’ to have the children. The mid-30ish mother’s face filled with rage as she listened to her ex-husband explain why he had forgotten when finally she hung up on him and told the children they were going to go back home. The daughter started crying, “I want to see dad”. I was at a coffee house that served donuts and the barista working behind the counter saw the crying child and was gracious enough to bring over a couple complimentary donuts.

They left the coffee house and I felt like crying myself.

Over the course of the past 15 years there have always been single mothers in my neighborhood. And in nearly every one of those cases the mothers have been overloaded with the responsibility of child rearing, making meals, cleaning the house, getting to work on time, getting the children to school on time….and all the other entanglements that life in a household of children entails.

I’m not going to say that every father out there is a dead-beat-dad; that is definitely not the case. I know many good fathers who have centered their lives on the wellbeing of their children. Unfortunately, I know of many instances where the fathers have simply walked out on the family….and perhaps I am wrong, but it seems that throughout the course of human history it is more likely for us to find a father that skips out on the family than a mother.

Being a single mother is beyond difficult. It drives me nuts that the churches I have attended throughout my life do so little for single mothers in the community. If you ask me, it should be mandatory that every church in the Western World first make sure that the single mothers in their community are being cared for before they delegate money to be sent to far-a-way places or for expensive vacations for their priests and pastors.

But what does it mean to ‘care for single mothers’? Honestly, it’s not as difficult as it sounds;

—)  For many single mothers, a neighbor who volunteers to watch the children once a week for free can feel like a million dollars

—) A friend who comes over for two hours every other day to help with the cleaning can be awesome

—-) A friend who takes the children out for walks to the park can become a great role model and help to the children

—-) A neighbor who invites the mother and her children over for meals multiple times throughout the week can end up making a positive impact in their lives that will last a lifetime

Having worked as a volunteer for numerous organizations I fear that we sometimes have a tendency to think that in order to make a difference in the world we have to join an organization…yet that’s not necessarily the case. While volunteer organizations are great; they have their own limitations. And there is no organization in the world that can replace the simple human act of reaching out to our neighbors and friends and demonstrating love and grace.

So much of the Western World is designed around programs. I’ve visited some churches that have so many programs going on they publish a monthly newsletter so you can keep track of all of them. I fear though, that in our love of programs and organizations we have forgotten the simple act of being human; of remembering the humans that live next door to us and treating them with love and grace.

This past week all my articles have been focused on the people without faces; the people who we live next door to, stand next to at the grocery store, and walk by on our way to work…..yet we never really see who they are…..I’ve taken a risk this week in losing readers who may grow tired of this theme.

Even though I was raised in a Christian home….most of my Christianity was misguided as I was taught that rules, theology, head knowledge, and bible study were the most important elements of my faith. I was taught that baby Christians drank milk…but mature Christians ate meat; and the meat was all about being the smartest most intellectual Christian who had memorized the most bible verses………I am embarrassed and ashamed at the Christian attitude I demonstrated for so much of my life.

It wasn’t until the last few years when I went back and looked only at the life of Jesus that I realized what true Christianity really was; it is hanging out with the poor, it is caring for the neglected, it is caring for the orphans, it is hanging out with the sick, spending time with prisoners, defending the defenseless…….

True Christianity is not about being a bible thumper and trying to convert everyone to belief in Christianity……It’s about giving a face to the faceless. It’s about restoring the humanity of the downtrodden and reminding the world that the people at the bottom are every bit as relevant and important as the people at the top. There is a reason that Jesus spent his whole life with the people at the bottom…..and there is a reason that whenever Jesus was with the people at the top; he attacked their lack of love and hypocrisy.

Hopefully in my quest to put a face on the faceless…..my blog doesn’t suffer a slow death of irrelevance. For now I will have another cup of coffee.

Kenneth

 

 



Categories: People Without Faces

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126 replies

  1. You say that you run the risk of losing people for your recent posts. Well, I am here to tell you that you have also gained loyal followers. I love reading your articles, and it has made me what to go out and have a conversation with a stranger. Most of the time, I can not be bothered to hear other peoples stories, I feel like it is a hassle and a waste of my time. But sometimes we forget that everyone has a story. Keep on the good work!

  2. I, for one, am glad I found your blog. Although technically speaking you found me first. I’m glad anyway 🙂 .

  3. Adding a face to the faceless is akin to REhumanizing the enemy. . . then what?

    • Jj,

      Are you Meaning that that our culture has treated the poor, the defenseless, etc, as the “enemy” ?

    • no. . . ( I’m guilty of using too few words to explain myself)

      we dehumanize people in order to feel superior to them , , , and in order to do that they must become faceless to us . . .

      just like an enemy combatant must be dehumanized before we can feel good about killing him. . . .

      in other words at the bottom line the question always remains the same . . . am I my brothers keeper? if a person feels he is . . . he will bring face to the faceless. . . . imo this is what you are trying to do.

    • Jj,

      Gotcha, I totally agree w/ ya 🙂

  4. sometimes when I look at the lives of people who claim to be Christians, I feel disappointed, because most of them appear to have misunderstood the whole concept of Christianity. They judge non-believers, and anyone else they feel lives contrary to the bible teachings. They claim to love God, but I always feel they preach their faith better in theory because their actions prove otherwise. Reading this post though, I feel you clearly described what true Christianity is all about. It’s not about judging ‘wrong-doers’, pointing fingers or discriminating against others, but about embracing everyone, irrespective of their social status, religion, race, culture…etc.

  5. I worry about your caffeine levels! But I truly love your loving eyes, your open ears, and your godly soul. I read Jesus sitting and sharing with me when you write. Please keep your table, please keep on writing – please switch to de-caff! A loving reader. 🙂

  6. I wonder if there may be another problem keeping people from volunteering. For some, simply approaching someone and asking “do you need help?” seems awkward. Some may even fear giving offense. In this sense, a “program” might bring results, simply because it gives them a “safe” framework for helping — they know the people in the program want the help.

    • “for some simply approaching someone and asking ‘do you need help?’ seems awkward”

      I agree with you, I definitely would never want to be guilty of bashing volunteer organizations…..I do think there is something to say about getting to know our neighbors a little bit better and as we build closer relationships with them we might find out that there is an organic or natural way that we can end up lending a helping hand without it feeling awkward 🙂

  7. My single mother thanks you for this post. Thanks for the reminder that we all have time to help.

  8. Continue posting blogs like this one and I doubt that readers will ever find your writing irrelevant!

    Only one area of disagreement: Convincing people that Christianity is the right path to follow is an important part of being a Christian. Jesus spent a considerable amount of time doing just that. However, many seem to miss the fact that helping those in need is also important. It is difficult to consider the hereafter when you are busy considering where your kid’s next meal is going to come from!

    Thank you for bringing this issue to people’s attention!

    • Small change,

      I appreciate the thoughts and the gentle tone of your comments…..I have an article I will publish sometime soon which expands my thoughts on the points you make 🙂

  9. I was so happy to read your blog! There are so many people in our own country that need help! Why go halfway across the world to help when we could all just do one more thing in our own community!!

  10. I’ve really loved your posts this last week or so. It was challenging to read at times, but I have been thinking for years that our Western society has a culture of ignoring that which we really don’t want to face. It was nice to hear some of your anecdotes about people who try to make even the smallest amount of difference to those less fortunate.

  11. I hope you don’t mind my re-posting this on my blog. I too have had a similar eye opening: raised by law in the Bible, and being frustrated by it (sometimes even unknowingly), and then slowly growing in faith and love for others as the gospel is revealed. There is so much love that is needed in the world–the willingness to give it, is God’s unconditional key . . .
    If you lose bloggers? Oh well, Sometimes the seemingly small differences make the biggest differences of all.

    Peace.
    Dana

  12. Awesome Kenneth! I’m not speaking just to your theme this week of putting a face to the faceless, but also your boldness. We know as Christians we will face persecution. What we would face is nothing like what the apostles would have suffered. I don’t have to risk being stoned for my love of Christ and faith in God.

    You are right. So right. When I look at the life of Jesus, he lived with the sick, the outcasts, the sinners, and the poor. Why do we find it SO difficult to do the same? I think it’s because we’ve forgotten that everything we have is a blessing from God belonging to God. When God overflows our cup, it is meant so that we can share with others. Take care of others. Give until it hurts so others want to do the same!

    Thank you for tugging on my heart with this, and motivating me to be more aware!

    Michelle

    • “When I look at the life of Jesus, he lived with the sick, the outcasts, the sinners, and the poor. Why do we find it SO difficult to do the same?”

      I think that there is an attitude in Christian culture which (sadly) encourages us to think of Christianity as having to do only with ‘bible study’ rather than reaching out to those that society ignores. Yet pure religion according to the bible begins with helping orphans and widows, etc.

    • Yep! Fortunately, my church community truly stresses reaching out to others eithe individually or as a group.

  13. May I ask which churches you are referring to that send their priests on vacations? What kind of a sick joke is that? Nice article, by the way. Keep them up.

    • I have been in the church all my life, my father was a pastor and now so am I. I have never, nor have I ever heard of a pastor sent on vacation by their church, but I do know many who have been sent on vocation by their church. Please don’t judge too harshly people of God who go to Haiti or Malawi to help the poor, sick and hungry… often both single mothers or orphans. We need to think and act not only locally but globally for she is our sister too whether she lives across the stress or across the ocean. Peace

  14. I want to say that the woman you saw was NOT a ‘single’ mother – she was a divorced/separated mother whether or not the childrens’ father steps up to the mark – and yes it is tough, unfair etc – but the children do HAVE a father, and the law can be envoked to make him face up to his responsibilities, at least financially.
    In my book a ‘single’ mother is either a widow, or a woman who has had a child without having a relationship with the father, either by accident or as a life-style choice.
    Parents who have children and then split up are never ‘single’ parents, they are just committed or non-committed parents.
    In some ways a true ‘single’ parent has it easier – emotionally speaking – than a divorced/separated parent because they and their child(ren) have no expectation of any input from the absent parent.

    Of course the situation you describe is heartbreaking and would make most adults furiously angry with the cavalier attitude of the father concerned and his casual abandonment of his responsibilities.

    As to the Christian way of accepting and helping any lone parent, I do not consider myself qualified to make suggestions; save to say that if one is a parent, and understands the difficulties and responsibilities that involves, out of pure humanity one would offer a helping hand whenever possible.

  15. You can never go wrong by bringing up peoples true life stories. I’m sure your readers are curious everyday of what you have to say, how you effect their day, touch someone’s heart, and wonder what we should all do for our family, friends, community. It breaks my heart seeing single moms struggling, trying so hard to raise a happy and heathy child. What hurts more is the way that many people look at them, instead of helping out they blame the moms, especially European 😦
    Enjoy your coffee!! 😊

  16. Long time reader/subscriber, first time commenting. I’ve been enjoying all of your “faceless” topics, but this one especially hits home after reading through your thoughts the past week.
    Your summary is dead on, and what you said about spiritual milk and meat and hypocrisy I really needed to hear. Thanks for doing what you do.

  17. When I was 14, my pastor father had an affair and left our family. My mom had been a stay at home mom for years and the change was incredibly hard for me, my younger brother, and my mom. My father was not attentive or helpful at all. My mom worked her butt of at multiple jobs just so we could get by.
    The church we were part of at the time somehow made us feel judged and ostracized, even though we had done nothing wrong. Sometimes people just don’t know what to say, I think. It got so bad for my mom that we changed churches. Thank God this next one knew how to love people. That community made all the difference in my life.
    There were people who would help us, a family that would let my brother and I hang out with them after school, a great aunt who sent grocery store gift cards so we weren’t hungry, employers who stocked our cupboards or just stopped by to make sure we were okay. Things that Jesus would do.
    Sorry for my long-winded comment! Having been on the receiving end of both love and neglect, I can attest to the fact that loving people by serving them (like Jesus did) accomplishes more than all the preaching in the world. Giving a face to the faceless, reminding people of the value they have in Jesus—yes, yes, and heck yes. Thanks for this post, Kenneth.

  18. I love your passion for giving a face to the faceless…and for coffee 🙂

  19. As a single mom, I have always had the attitude of “I had these kids so I will do whatever it takes to care for them.” I know that a lot of us single moms find each other and rely on each other to make things work. I see that as a wave of the future. Good post. Thanks for bringing attention to it.

  20. God bless you! You certainly bless me!

  21. I feel compelled to comment on this post because I, too, am a single parent.
    (By the way @herschelian a ‘single parent’ is defined as: “a person who has a dependent child or children and who is widowed, divorced or unmarried” also defined as: “someone bringing up a child/children on their own as the custodial parent because the other parent is not living with them”)

    I have blogged (only once) about this very subject myself before because it is a very difficult undertaking. A (good) single parent (mother OR father) will often find him/herself being the moderator and PR person for the parent that is not in the children’s everyday life (as the parent you observed was) in order to both maintain the positive relationship the two need to have and more importantly, so the child understands without doubt that the less present parent still loves them. This also helps lessen the pain of the parent’s separation/divorce if there was one.

    Often (as in my case) one does not start out planning to become a single parent. This occurs due to unexpected bad choices/ unresolved issues/ mistakes/ *insert applicable reason to fall out of love or leave a marriage here* and will almost always leave pain and sometimes resentment. A parent’s worse reaction is to project these feelings onto the children and some even use them as pawns or as control devises to get back at the ex or lessen their own heartache. This is the absolute worst thing a parent can do. I have felt some of this in my interactions with my ex and I do everything I can to resolve my daughter’s father’s feelings of ill will towards me and his allowing the emotions to be evident to our daughter. Our child loves her father very much and although it was my decision to leave the marriage due to his repeated untruths and partaking in things that were unhealthy, addictive and illegal which I paid to get him help for; he blames me for the failure of our marriage and has said so to our daughter (who knows nothing about her father’s choosing unhealthy substances over his family more than once).

    Regardless, we seemed to have a civil co-parenting relationship, with only occasional bumps in the road I worked hard to resolve quickly and peacefully, I recently came across some text messages to and from my daughter and my ex when she asked me to fix something that was stuck on her phone. These messages included such statements as, “I hate Mom” and “Mom SAID she went to buy us a pumpkin at the store but she has been gone over half an hour so I bet she is meeting with a man!” to which he replied, “Your mother has always been that way, honey, I am sorry.” I was devastated. My daughter NEVER talks to or about me this way as far as I am aware to anyone else and I have a feeling she does this to make her father feel better. She is always loving and sweet to me and at 10 years old, I have certainly never heard her say she “hates” anything. This is a “bad” word in my house. I asked her about what I found and she had no comment so I repossessed the phone and went to my room and tried not to cry.

    I work very hard to take great care of my children. I am the custodial parent and carry all of their health insurance and their fathers pay less than the required child support because my income has always been well over theirs in order that they could provide a safe, comfortable place for the children to come to when they visit. I pay all of their medical bills and all of their child care even during the summer weeks they spend with their father so as not to burden them. Often at a financial burden to myself. I also find myself covering for their father if/when he has forgotten to cal on a special day or isn’t able to make a choir program and if my child ever told me they hate their father I would ask why, and unless it was because they were being physically or otherwise abused, I would talk to them about having respect and love for their Dad because he makes decisions for them based on his love and concern for them.

    So sorry for the extended rant; but I wanted to send a ‘second’ to your opinion. Being a single parent is tough. I would not EVER wish to give it up but also, it is exhausting and can be heartbreaking at times. Anyone is welcome to come read my little attempt to write a “pick me up” motivational message for my single friends on my blog no so long ago, but in it you will see tinges of desperation, sadness, and depression as well. I could have used someone like you to offer up a pat on the back or an offer of help.

    Great blog! And mine is crissi23.wordpress if anyone is so inclined.
    Have a great day.

  22. Beautiful and inspiring piece. You really made me think on this one, I plan to go to India in May with a volunteer organization to work with 1st and 2nd graders on their writing and english skills, I have this strong urge to get out in the world and help people, I want to serve in any way I can, but I neglected the fact that my sister is a 27 year old single mother with two kids, she is still in school and working. I feel so ashamed that I have forgotten to help out in my own surroundings, I don’t need an organization or program to make a difference. You have reminded me to help the others around me as well as the ones from afar. Thank you!

  23. Kenneth you’re a great blogger and your stories are very relevant first of all. As far as the single mother, there are many dead beat dads, but there are just as many woman (deadbeat/unmotivated) with unresolved issues, that men are forced to walk away by these woman. Sadly, our court system often gives these woman custody of the children and wants half of the fathers pay check. A man can not feel comfortable giving his ex. money when she financially mismanaged it. He surely cannot feel good when the woman has the kids and she doesn’t care for them. I have witnessed male friends of mine go through hell with their woman. These men I speak of are great, but they had woman who were never satisfied, spend away, and not take care of the kids. Sadly, a lot of woman want the Kim K. life, and because of it they are single. So many had it all, but because of their selfish ways, they now have broken families. These woman have a distorted view of marriage and motherhood. What needs to happen is a whole refocus of how we handle who raises the child in separation. Ideally, we should have complete families with no separation.

    Now woman or men for that matter cannot leave their kids with anybody these days, because pedofiles are lurking everywhere, but that is a whole other topic.

    The bottom line is for single or married people is that children are a responsibility that require sacrifice. When that child is born, it is no longer about them. Selfishness has to go.

    • Albert,

      Great points and I’m glad you mentioned them 🙂

    • Your welcome. I just get tired of society and media that constantly seem to rag men. It is almost as if we are creating a belief system, that if woman are having trouble it is the man’s fault.

    • There were some comments (including a few from me) mentioning instances of single dads on a previous post. Not all deadbeat moms I learned of (from the single dads themselves, or their friends and family) were selfish per se– one was deeply hooked on drugs. The results were much the same as you described, though.

  24. Kenneth – a great post. It so often happens that the essence of any teacher is lost over time. Thank you for reminding us of the real work to be done by us from our own hearts. Love, Pat

  25. Brilliant post. Like many people, I’ve seen this behaviour of parents neglecting their kids and leaving them solely with the other parent.(from both sides)
    While you dont want to say ‘they dont care’ actions speak louder than words most of the time, so in this case, really!!? One weekend is not that much time to spare. And you really do not want to say it in front of the kids, they still love their parent. It would be a hard road to travel.

  26. I LOVE your workk…and kind of stalk it…you don’t have to worry about those who leave you for speaking the truth 🙂 we all need to hear /see/read it

  27. I enjoyed reading this story, the first I have read of yours.
    Observations shared…wonderful!

  28. What a wonderful message and I totally agree with you. I have been very lucky that my family have always brought me up to do this. I read your other post about the jazz player and it inspired me to compliment a busker I saw the other day. Im always so shy and think Ill interrupt them but he was so pleased so thank you for posting that as well 🙂

    • Sophie,

      Thanks for the kind comments…..hopefully this doesn’t betray my ignorance but I didn’t know what a “busker” meant in your comment so I had to google the word lol……

  29. Thank you. What a great attitude. As a single mum myself I still feel society looks down their nose at me. Quite possibly my own stuff. (cetainly ,I’m sure)
    I am lucky ot have family around who offer support. I am forever greatful when they invite me and the boys over for dinner. Or when they take even 1 of my 3 boys for few hours or even for a night. I especially appreciate when they take 2 of my 3 boys so I can get some 1 on 1 with 1 of the boys. Something that is very hard to come by. Especially when they start school.
    It takes a village to raise a child. 🙂

    • “I am forever greatful when they invite me and the boys over for dinner. Or when they take even 1 of my 3 boys for few hours or even for a night. I especially appreciate when they take 2 of my 3 boys so I can get some 1 on 1 with 1 of the boys”

      this is what I hope people learn; that merely watching a single mother’s child(s) can really make a difference 🙂

  30. Hey Kenneth, some of the listed points you describe can be real lifesavers for parents with children of special needs. My wife and I are very involved in our children’s lives, but there are many days where our son’s needs (he has autism) are very, very draining, and I really do wish that we had friends we could trust to help us out a little bit in that way. We have no babysitters we can trust– and any that we have tried to ask start quickly saying ‘NO’ when they realize the full extent of our son’s challenges.

    • Jaklumen,

      it really saddens me that so few people in various church communities don’t realize how much parents of young children (whether they have special needs or not) could really use time to themselves away from the children. it seems to me that the average church tends to have an attitude that if you’re married than ‘you’re on your own’……

    • Yep… this attitude tends to prevail in our congregation. Some of it is that many feel overwhelmed by their own circumstances; I’ve heard many complaints of “When is it going to be someone else’s turn [to help]?” and I remember one particular “I’m tired of doing all the work.” We are a mix of blue-collar laborers and white-collar professionals, and our ward (congregational area) is near the poorer side of town.

  31. I am in school with Catholic seminarians, men who have chosen early in life to devote themselves to the priesthood.
    Yesterday, I walked in on a conversation in which one of the seminarians was bashing the federal welfare system insisting that people abuse it. Of course, some (few) people abuse it, there isn’t a program out there that people haven’t figured out how to manipulate. I said that it’s better for a few people to abuse the system than for no one (single mothers in particular) to have access to food stamps and money for necessities. What does he say? “I don’t care, they should figure it out themselves and work for a living”. Being my snarky self, which tends to get me into trouble, I accused him of lacking empathy. To my surprise, he proudly said that he doesn’t have empathy for welfare recipients.
    I know that he does not speak for the Catholic church but he is getting a Catholic-sponsored education to become a priest so that says something about the church, I think. I know a lot of Catholics who are very focused on helping the less fortunate and spend a lot of time and money and effort for charitable organizations and I will not say that every seminarian shares this particular view but it sure seems like it sometimes. It frightens me that these future priests who will play such an instructive role in many lives will be at the pulpit holding onto these harsh attitudes.
    What I find more upsetting is that I do volunteer and give charity money when I can and spend my days working for miniscule wages with people who suffer from intellectual disabilities (and their families) and the seminarians have repeatedly accused me of having no morals because I’m a non-believer. So, I don’t get my morals from church doctrine, so what? It shouldn’t be mandatory that only theists can change the world with their good deeds, especially if those “good deeds” are often protesting against free-clinics that don’t even perform abortions (because they literally get extra credit for doing that). They speak very negatively of “Obamacare” yet they don’t want anyone to have free health care at a place which mostly treats the less fortunate for bronchitis and rashes and stomach illnesses, etc. because it occasionally hands out free condoms.
    I want to stress that I’m not accusing Christianity or the Catholic church of injustice, but even these future priests have told me that instead of helping single mothers through rough times, they would actually ex-communicate divorced people from their parishes. Is this where the Catholic church is headed? Really?

  32. So true. It really annoys me when people I associate with are under the impression that all Christians are hypocritical and all about rules. It’s not. Jesus never taught us to be hypocritical and He never taught us it was okay to judge others.

  33. Kenneth,

    This post could very easily be written about me. You are more than correct in your thinking as reaching out to the single mom would be a wonderful thing. Being a single mother is extremely difficult, especially when the insanity of divorce court is fresh in ones mind – the upheaval can be horrifying. I’ve been there done that, and although my children are grown now, I still remember the time when I too listened to excuses from their father, rarely had time for myself and a small gesture of ‘let me help you’ would have been a blessing.

    Thank you for this post, it cannot be said enough.
    Have a great day.
    Elizabeth

  34. It is the loss of those who leave the blog alone. You make good point and getting people to think. And those bible thumpers well they just don’t want to look past their own nose.

  35. Christianity to me is about a lot of things. First and foremost, it’s about Jesus. Without Christ, without love for Him, Christianity unravels and into rules, rituals, emptiness, and even our good works turn to filthy rags.

    I’m grateful for people who have a heart for those who are so often looked down on or completely overlooked by the holier than thou’s of this world. I’m grateful that Christ’s heart has touched yours, Kenneth, to be a conduit of His compassion and mercy to those who may not otherwise encounter a kindly face, a listening ear, or a helping hand.

    I pray for you, for your ministry (that’s what it is) and for those you’re reaching with Christ’s love.

    Keep on keeping on.

  36. Jesus said ‘the poor you will have with you always’…which suggests to me, we will always have a career to do, not a job you can home from, but a lifetime commitment. in that regard we do need to keep learning and start eating “meat” as you say. Just because you may eat “meat” doesnt mean you don’t need the “milk” any longer. That “milk” is the first nourishment, when a baby is born the mother’s milk is filled with antibodies that are essential to the child’s growth. i have noticed in my own faith, my own walk that losing the ‘honeymoon’ feeling will and does happen, but we also go back and celebrate it once a year…we should never let go of that first connection with God, but we do need to keep putting it into action and growing (isnt is curious that milk analogy applied to a healthy body is where the bones get their strength and its proven that the older we get the more we need)

    as a single mother, i have learned a few things 1)that moment your face changes when you deal with the other parent lasts forever in a child 2)i needed help and no one gave it, except Jesus – all my Christian friends were suddenly too busy, which makes me wonder if they are Christians 3)somebody just stopping by to say hello would make my whole day 4)everyone who wanted to do something for my children (who were safe) was welcomed and thanked, sometimes single parents do feel entitled, we must still be kind

    i am working on my own blog about some of this..just taking my time to get it all together in a readable format, suffice it to say the more of us who speak to the heart the better…so thank you

  37. I absolutely love this article and couldn’t agree more! We share much of the same views 🙂

  38. From my perspective your series on the “Faceless” has been very relevant. Having grown up in the Christian Faith, I have always struggled with the “Self Righteousness” of so many Christians. I have challenged a number of them about seeking the true message and not all of the rules and trappings that organized religion has created. Your series has hit the nail on the head and I applaud you.

  39. Your posts are sending out a very important message. Something I’ve noticed is that people can be extremely judging, not just of people they know. People will judge other people who they have only met once or twice, but don’t really know anything about. People will also judge someone the very second they meet them before they know anything but their name. Some people go so far as to simply judge people they pass on the street or see in a restaurant. I think the first most important thing is to not judge someone from these short encounters. You don’t know what a person has been through in their life until you give them a chance and get to know them.

    • ginger,

      “Something I’ve noticed is that people can be extremely judging, not just of people they know. People will judge other people who they have only met once or twice, but don’t really know anything about”

      that’s a very powerful point you make and I totally agree with you

  40. This is a beautiful article, especially the last part. People may disagree with me here, but sometimes I think people get side tracked worshipping religion over Divinity.

    What are all those rules, traditions and ceremonies worth if you forget to love and care for others (especially the poor and outcast and including those whose beliefs and lifestyle are different from yours). Being loving towards all others is rule #1 in my book.

  41. When I was a sole parent, there was a pervasive loneliness about it. We didn’t lack money, but companionship. For example, I would take my child to the zoo, and then we would go home. There was no one for me to talk to about how the day went or how my child liked it. I found that other families did not invite us for family meals or family outings, I think because they felt awkward that I’d be the “odd one out” and I would see their happiness and find my own life lacking. This just led to more isolation. I socialized with other parents at the swimming pool, hockey rink, etc but we were rarely invited to people’s homes.

  42. Excellent writing. Excellent observation.

  43. Thank you Kenneth for writing this. Us single parents do tend to go unnoticed at times, but it also falls back on who we are on the inside and how much we want to succeed. I thank you for the observation, and I am glad that there is at least someone who does notice all the struggles us single parents go through. Thank you again!

  44. Reblogged this on The Wandering Life of a Foreigner and commented:
    Excellent observation and wonderfully written!

  45. Raised by a single mom and am amazed by what she was able to do on her own. It’s something I try to remember every day with my girls (11 and almost 6). I don’t ever want them experiencing a day that doesn’t have dad in it.

  46. Kenneth, thanks for reading my post. I have enjoyed looking at your site. This particular one had a heartwarming effect on me though. It was your ‘human’ reference that touched me.

  47. Now I wish I could live next door to a single mother, so I could help out and be a role model to cute children.
    http://mybeautifullife96.wordpress.com

  48. Very true! If Christians started serving single moms on a Sunday morning (clean their house and bring them lunch) instead of a song service and sermon, the church would not be losing the culture war the way it is now. I don’t think anyone will take you serious as pro-life till you invest in lives in need.

  49. Aw… you sure are fond of coffee 🙂
    Single moms, I knew lots of them – the teen mom,
    a cousin, an office-mate… They’re practically aplenty.
    And while others ignore them, I love hanging out with them.
    Their personalities are wrapped along the lines of
    maturity, patience, and raw human emotions.

  50. Wow. That was a brave post. It was refreshing to NOT read about how as a single mother I should be doing more to help to bring a father figure into my children’s lives or they will be ruined forever! I have to say, in spite of my checkered religious past, I was helped by Christians so keep the faith everyone.

  51. As a single Christian mother I find that one of my most consistent ministries is ministering to other single mothers. Picking up their kids, having them over, just talking with them, it means so much.

  52. I love the point you’ve made here about the Churches responsibility ro Single parents and am challenged by it. Widows and orphans – the bible says and our single parents are the modern day equivalent. I would also like to flag up service families too. My husband was away a great deal when my four children were growing and the absence of a Father affected them considerably. Being both parents was exhausting to them so single parents have my absolute respect. I will be considering those in my church now and how I can make a difference to them.
    Thank you Kenneth

  53. I just ran across your post today, about 4 months after it posted, and have not read all the comments, so maybe someone said this already – but – It seems to me that all the Biblical admonishments regarding the care of the widow and orphan apply in the case of single moms. Thanks for pointing out the forgotten “widows”.
    FB

  54. being humble for me…loving my neighbor……it starts right in my present space…in my relationships about me…my most intimates…
    It is easier to hold the door for a stranger..catch them when they stumble…yet harder for those I call my loved ones…
    Is it because I think they make take advantage of it..or do I think they already know…?
    And what is it that they know…and for that matter..others know..?

  55. I do like this. My mother was a single mother who was constantly let down by my dad, from his cheating to to his not wanting to give me a name, to his not wanting to get me medical treatment to his dropping out of our lives altogether.

    She felt judged I know, though I doubt she really was, that was partly because she was well-educated and successful and didn’t have several children with different fathers.

    Which brings me to the point I guess, that while we should not judge any mother struggling with something (or father for that matter), we should especially applaud those who do not just pick up the next deadbeat and rinse and repeat. If only mothers like mine were more admired for their strength and morality perhaps fewer would think there was no point trying and just go from man to man acquiring kids. I have NO doubt they do it tough. But they also don’t learn from experience.

  56. Thank you for this… as a former single mother and soon to be again… and also as one who is trying to wake up the Muslim community to the reality that the outward appearances, memorization of the Quran and propagandized sermons is not what our Prophet taught.. cannot thank you enough!!

  57. Now see! THIS is what Christians are supposed to be like! I saw several true Christians who believe the way you describe when I was growing up in a small church as the daughter of the kind a “bad” Christian you describe. It is good to see that there are still people out there of ALL religious paths who are thinking about the world around them and putting in an effort to make the world around them better by making a positive impact on the lives of others. As a widowed mother of three (our eldest was almost 4 and our twins were almost 2 1/2 when we lost their dad) now late teen sons, I thank you on behalf of all the over worked, stressed out moms who are going it alone by choice or not. Thank you!

  58. TOTALLY YES.

    Didn’t mean to shout….but yes. We need to take care of people. Last year, we had a single mother in our church who was moving into a new apartment with her two children, and the ladies made a list of everything that would be needed for a new place. Everyone split up and got something for her, from a crockpot to blankets to wooden spoons. It was fantastic and I thought, this is how it should be.

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