By Rhonda Stoppe, Crosswalk.com
Single Moms, when Father’s Day comes around do you feel alone––maybe even discouraged? Do you find yourself holding back tears because your little ones have no daddy upon whom they can shower homemade cards and kisses? Or maybe you’re the mom who stands alone in the doorway of your home as your children ride away to enjoy a few hours of playtime––with their every-other-weekend dad.
Even though you may feel like you’re the only one raising kids without a spouse, statistics reveal you are not alone. However, far beyond the comfort of knowing there are lots of other single moms out there who have the same struggles as you, find comfort in knowing you are not alone because God says you are not!
Do you realize God is more interested in nurturing and building the character of your children than you are? Be encouraged by this promise from the Lord:
“The Lord is a father of the fatherless.” (Psalm 68:5)
Just meditate on that for a minute. The Bible says your partner in parenting is God himself! Years ago, I shared Psalm 68:5 with a young man whose father had died of a drug overdose. When this young man heard that God promised to be a father to him because he was fatherless, he was filled with relief, courage, and hope for the future. Imagine how your own children can find strength for tomorrow knowing the Lord Himself promises to step in where their father has failed––or perhaps passed away.
So Mom––What’s your part? What can you do to help your kids grow up with the love and security that you long for them to enjoy?
You have no power to change the hearts, minds of others––or any circumstances around you––so stop trying. You’re just going to wear yourself out. And worrying about the “what ifs” won’t change a thing. Worry will only rob you of the strength to do well the incredible ministry of motherhood––to which God has called you.
The only element you can control is your own response to your circumstances. Philippians 4:8-9 shares the secret to gain control over a fretful mind: “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”
Did you catch that? Peace–God is promising peace.
You may be thinking, “Yes, yes I know that Scripture, but I need some real help here.” I understand. I used to think the same way when it came to controlling my thoughts. But when I sincerely determined to drive away troubling thoughts by thinking only on those things listed in Philippians 4:8, I began to gain victory over anxiety––and so can you.
You can find hope in knowing that if you determine to walk closely to God, He is faithful to keep His Word, and He will help you raise your kids. Isaiah 41:10 God says:
“Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
If it Worked for This Single Mom it Can Work for You Too
I have a friend who was a single mother of two sons. I have known Sherry since her boys were very young. Over the years, Sherry has diligently worked on two major relationships: Intimacy with God and intimacy with her kids.
Sherry took seriously God’s promise to be a father to her fatherless sons and knew He would be the One to help her gain their obedient respect. She taught her sons that they were obeying God when they obeyed their mom, which is the greatest motivation for obedience. Sherry also spent a great deal of time building a thriving, loving relationship with her boys.
The result of Sherry’s diligence paid off when her sons became adolescents. When their father was unavailable to help her enforce the rules on her boys, Sherry offered correction, not so much based on her authority to do so, but on God’s authority. And upon the relationship she had built with her sons.
She Looked for Heroes for Her Sons
Along with trusting the Lord to help Sherry earn the love and respect of her boys, she wisely looked to her church for believing mentors for her sons. She wanted the boys to have heroes to look up to. How better to find God-fearing men than to ask the Lord to direct her sons to men in the church? Now in their 30s, Sherry’s sons can look back and name several Christian men who taught them to be men who honored the Lord–and their mother.
When looking for someone to mentor your sons, look not just for a religious person, but those who have a genuine passion for Christ. Don’t find men who simply follow religious rules, but men whose faithfulness draws your son to imitate their Christlike character.
Timothy, in the Bible, was raised by his mother and his grandmother. (The text in Scripture implies Timothy’s Greek father was likely not even alive when the Apostle Paul came on the scene.) God brought the Apostle Paul to not only mentor their young son, but he became Timothy’s father-in-the-faith. At the end of his life, the Apostle Paul handed the very mantel of his ministry over to his young protege, instructing Timothy to “guard the deposit entrusted to you” (1 Timothy 6:20, 2 Timothy 1:14).
Our oldest son Tony did not come to our family until he was 15 years old. God raised up my husband to be Tony’s father-in-the-faith, and allowed me to be Tony’s momma as well. Tony is now a Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force, but his greatest accomplishment has been in the godly husband and a father he has become.
When my husband was a youth pastor, we met a young man named Kacy. Kacy was desperately in need of a family’s influence––and a godly role model. Under the godly influence of my husband and some other Christian men, the Lord took Kacy from a night-club stand up comic, to an evangelist––who now shares the gospel with thousands each year. (You can read more about Tony, and Kacy’s stories in my book Moms Raising Sons to Be Men.)
As you prayerfully ask God to grant you His wisdom to find godly mentors for your children, remember being faithful to God is not revealed by one heroic action, but rather in Christlike actions in everyday-ness of life. This generation aches for heroes who are genuine, passionate and noble. Determine to expose your children to men who sincerely love the Lord, and passionately glorify Him.
Rhonda Stoppe is a pastor’s wife, speaker, and author. As the NO REGRETS WOMAN, Rhonda has more than 20 years experience of helping women live life with no regrets. Through humor, and honest communication, she helps women build NO REGRETS LIVES by applying sound teaching from Scripture. Rhonda appears on radio programs, speaks at women’s events, MOPs, and homeschool conventions throughout the nation. Rhonda Stoppe’s book Moms Raising Sons to be Men is mentoring thousands of moms to guide sons toward a no-regrets life. Her new book If My Husband Would Change, I’d Be Happy: And Other Myths Wives Believe is helping countless women build no-regrets marriages.
Publication date: June 9, 2016