Challenges Facing the Single Parent Family and Passing the Faith Forward - Linda Jacobs


Our guest blogger today is Linda Ranson Jacobs who ministers as a DC4K Creator and Ambassador. She is also the Single Parenting Expert for the National Center for Biblical Parenting. Linda continues the series on challenges facing the family today. 

I’ve been reading with curiosity the post from Ed Miller and others about the greatest challenge facing parents regarding passing their faith onto their kids. It is interesting because years ago I thought I would just pass my faith onto my kids like my parents did to me, that is until I became a single parent.

Single parents have two critical factors hindering them from passing the faith forward to the next generation. The first is of course the lack of time. Every parent faces this challenge. Our world is crazy busy and single parents can add in the factor that they are doing it alone. There are never enough hours in the day.

However, for the single parent one must add into the mix the issue of why you are parenting alone along with the influence of the other parent.
·   If you lost a spouse due to death then you may have kids questioning why a God, who is supposed to be good to kids, took their dad or mom away from them.

·   If you are divorced you are forever explaining or giving excuses as to why you are no longer married and if the Bible says God hates divorce, doesn’t that mean God hates you and maybe even me, the child. Along with this is how do you combat what the other parent may be telling your children. What if he or she believes something entirely different from you?

·   If you have never been married you may be facing or still working through the issue of having a baby out of wedlock or wondering what happened to the child’s other parent when you thought things were moving along so well. 

·   Or maybe you have adopted a child or were artificially inseminated. There are and will be questions as to why you didn’t marry in order to have a child that you will need to explain to your child at some point.

I would encourage you to not let these issues stand in the way of gathering your children together in family devotions times or worship times. When I first became a divorced mom I had so much guilt, anger and hostility that it was hard to set those feelings aside. But one day the Lord shook me to my core when we went to church and a man in our church was  taking family pictures of each family as they arrived. My daughter screamed, “We don’t have a family anymore!” as she raced inside the church. My son, just as lethal, bowed his head and said, “I guess you don’t know my dad moved out and we don’t have a family now” as he walked with slumped shoulders into the other entrance.
I had to do some heavy duty praying to work through that day. My children were only replicating what I was projecting. We did have a family. It was just a different family now and before I lost my kids to the world I had to pull things together. In time I was able to minister through the divorce. The Lord allowed me to use all the issues of divorce to minister to and disciple my kids.  God became the other parent in our home.
God is full of grace and mercy. Single parents more than any other parent have to grab onto and hold onto God’s grace and His mercy. We must tell your children how much God loves them and that His Son died for each of them. It is our responsibility to tell the next generation so they in turn will tell their kids. Don’t let anything stand in your way. Whether you do daily devotions; meet once a week or even come together as a family once a month do something.

If you are having problems getting started, then meet the first Sunday of each month. At then end of the year you will have met twelve times. Next year meet twice a month and so on. Make it a point to share how the Lord used you or ministered to you during the day. Ask your kids to share something also. The main thing is to meet, share, rejoice, share your joy and give your kids a faith to hold onto.

Psalm 78:4 “We will not hide them from their descendants; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done.”

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8 comments:

  1. I so agree with the thought of parenting alone- busy lives is really an understatement. But as this reminds us, you have to start somewhere- family devotions is a great place to start!

    My children are now grown and seem to have a hard time starting devotions in their own family- could it be because I started and stopped family devotions so many time when I was a single mom so many years ago?

    If you're a single mom or dad NOW, take this word and start your family devotions today- tonight. Pull a verse out and talk about it, read a short story in the old testement- Daniel in the Lions Den, Samson, Parting of the Red Sea, The walls of Jericho- the list is endless. Find it in your concourdance and read it right out of the bible and talk about it- start with 10 minutes and build.

    God will meet you there

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know this is Kathy Fallon because we talked. Thank you for commenting. And thanks for posting this article on the DivorceCare.org online Forum and the Single & Parenting online Forum. Hundreds will learn about Scott and Joanne's site because you are faithful to the Lord.

      Linda Ranson Jacobs

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  2. Hi! I never had family devotions as a child growing up in a divorced situation. I lived with my mom most of the time, in a very dysfunctional household. I would visit my father ever other weekend and one week out of the year, but never really had a close relationship in my youth. It was a hard situation growing up. I never really knew what a stable family structure was like, till just a few years ago.

    As of recently i have the opportunity to live with a couple who took me under their wings and have shown me what it it is like to have a that stability. We have breakfast and dinner together. This is something I never did with my father or mother much, if at all. After breakfast we have devotions, we read a devotional book and then have a list of people we pray for. Every day of the week we have different names on different lists. For example Thursday's list consists of family names, and Saturdays are friends. Then we are off to work.

    I am grown now so its kinda funny that I can have the opportunity to do this, but its neat too because I have a model of what I would love to do with my family for if/when do get married and have children one day. Its been a really great experience and it actually has grown us closer together as a family, even though I am not blood related. I truly enjoy our devotions and time together durning meals, we talk about our day and just have really great times together.

    I think its a great idea to have devotions with children, especially in a single parent home, it will definitely grow families closer together.

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    1. Wow! God has provided a tremendous opportunity for you. Thank you so much for sharing what these devotions mean to you. You are also telling us that it is never too late to learn about devotions.

      Blessings,
      Linda Jacobs

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  3. This is a confirmation for me. I had asked God what can I do to bring the Word into my kids life other than going to church two to three nights of week. His answer was to start with a devotion in the morning and asking the kids what they want to pray about. Thanks for this article.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for responding. So glad the Lord used this piece to bring His design for your single parent family to fruition.

      Linda Ranson Jacobs

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  4. I tried many times in our blended family to do a devotional time with our kids but only to give up in frustration and failure. One reason being that we were influenced by a legalistic church we attended at that time; and I wasn't at all creative about the way I presented it. I really love the plan of beginning small with once month devotions and then doubling that schedule the second year. I really think that would have worked for our now, already grown children. But I praise God I am in a position to help people not to make the same mistakes that we made including our own offspring and Grandchildren.
    Also like the comments of Anonymous who grow up in a dysfunctional household. The structure in the home is something that has not come up in our sessions and I think it's one point I will raise at the appropriate time. Thank you so very much. God Bless you and the ministry.
















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