By Lia Martin, Crosswalk.com
In a perfect world, every child has two parents to share the load of raising and loving them. But life, as we all know, isn’t perfect.
Family life comes with surprises, tragedies, or changes, that will sometimes require parenting alone.
Single parenting through separation, death, or divorce, isn’t what anyone desires. But it’s a life situation in which you can teach your children about faith in God.
And because holding on to what’s true in the middle of any confusion is always best, here are 10 loving truths single parents need to hear, and Scriptures that prove they are true:
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1. You Are Not Alone
As someone who's currently single parenting, I've often needed a reminder that I'm not alone. It can feel quite lonely when your kids have gone to bed and everything is dark and quiet. Single parents, understandably, can wonder sometimes if God even cares.
It’s helpful to remind yourself that God is El Roi, the God who sees, as well as Immanuel or “God with us.” We have his truth as proof.
Just step outside into creation in any season and you will feel his breath in the wonders of nature all around you. When you pray to him, he is right there with you, and is holding you through your struggle. No matter how alone you feel, your maker (who is making a way for you) will never leave.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. – Psalm 23:4
...Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go. – Joshua 1:9
2. God Will Parent You
God is your greatest source of wisdom for making your parenting decisions, big and small. His word says to ask, seek, knock, and trust that he will answer.
If you remain tethered to him in continual inner dialogue, he will guide you like a good Father. As Psalm 68 teaches us, he is the father to the fatherless and the protector of widows. Lean on his compassion, cry into his shoulder, and believe that he chose you, and is refining you, to parent right where you are.
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. – James 1:5
As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. – Psalm 103:13
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3. God Will Provide
The Bible is full of miraculous stories of God's provision. One that speaks to the hearts of single parents is the story of the widow in 1 Kings 17. When God sends Elijah to ask her for food, she is near-death desperate. She has only a puff of flour and mere drops of oil for her and her son.
Some days as a single parent feel like this... wondering how you will afford groceries or pay the bills. But, God sees. The widow faithfully gives what little she has to Elijah, and the Lord pours forth in blessing. As the story goes, she had food every day to eat.
God was also there in the desert with Hagar, when she thought her son might die. Know that God can open your eyes like Hagar’s, too; to see a well of provision right in front of you.
Faith, after all, is being absolutely certain of what you cannot see. When you believe God is your provider you can expect him to do great things.
Behold, God is my helper; the Lord is the upholder of my life. – Psalm 54:4
And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. – 2 Cor. 9:8
4. You Are Part of a Loving Family
Sometimes when you're so busy taking care of “everyone and everything,” it feels difficult to reach out for help. However, even if you have lost the support of a spouse, you are still in God's family. There are people at your local church who love you just because you are brothers and sisters in Christ, as children of God.
And if you're blessed with siblings or parents that are able and willing to help, God desires that you not go it alone. Don't let the enemy fool you that your family isn't any bigger than your household.
All parts of the body rely on each other at different times and in different ways. Allow it to be your turn. God will surely provide opportunities for you to bless others.
So we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. – Romans 12:5
Carry each other's burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ. – Galatians 6:2
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5. God Calls You to Rest
I'm just an average fellow struggler, not a theologian or scholar, but in all my years digging through Scripture I don't recall any commands to overburden, overload, or damage ourselves. Yes, there are stories in the Bible of great distress; but God is always greater.
And with the voice of the One he sent to reconcile us to him in compassionate mercy, he says for us to come to him for rest. When you yoke yourself to the teachings of Jesus you can let go of burdens that are too heavy, and let his strength be perfected in your weakness.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. – Matthew 11:28
It is vain to eat the bread of anxious toil, for he gives his beloved sleep. – Psalm 127:2
6. God Has a Good Plan for You
Even though being a single parent likely wasn't in your plan, there is no life circumstance God can't use for his glory. Your story, however it unfolds, is a treasure to him and he is weaving it all for good. In fact, the Bible assures us that no plan of God’s can be thwarted (Job 42:2).
God's heart for you is not to leave you in despair, but to lead you to a promised land. Ask him to reveal the beauty of his plan to you. Then fix your eyes on what he is doing—not what the world is saying to you.
The plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of His heart through all generations. – Psalm 33:11
The Lord will work out his plans for my life, for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever. Don’t abandon me, for you made me. – Psalm 138:8
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7. You Are Loved
Parenting alone can feel a lot like pouring out every last drop. Of energy, time, attention, and love. So how do you refill? Speak truth to yourself. Think about how you love your children deeply and would do anything for them...and realize your father in Heaven loves you more.
He is the one who formed you, called you forth, and is working in every unknown. He quite literally laid down his life for you, and has explained that the very purpose of living is love.
God’s word says he is delighting over you with song, and that he loves his handiwork with an everlasting, incomparable love. Even while you're laundering, lawn mowing, grocery shopping, cooking, or even crying in desperation—he is still caring for, and equipping you, with loving hands.
Though the mountains be shaken and the hills removed, my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace removed, says the Lord, who has compassion on you. – Isaiah 54:10
I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:38-39
As you grow through your season of single parenting, keep inviting God to tend to you. Reach out for the help he provides. Trust his plan. Memorize his scriptures.
He is the pioneer and perfecter of your faith, and he sees the joy ahead.
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