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Helping Teens by Helping Their Moms

mom, parent, child

If we truly want to make a difference for the teens of this nation, we will reach out to help single mothers. Single moms who can pay their bills while only working one job are very rare. Often they must rely on two. I personally know some who juggle three different jobs while finding time to care for their children's daily needs. I know the Bible teaches that we as men are supposed to be the stronger vessel however few and far between are the men who could handle this kind of responsibility, pressure, and still maintain a loving home for their children as a single parent.

The church is an amazing organism. Most Pastors agree that 80% of the work is done by 20% of the congregation. As I have traveled and preached in many churches through the years, and I have always found the 80/20 rule to be true. May God ignite a fire under us to be more involved, not only in our churches but in our communities and especially as it relates to helping single mothers.

Do you have any idea how much it would help a teenager, of a single mom, or a family of children in practical and financial ways? You may be one of those people who cannot seem to figure out what ministry you have. What greater ministry could a person have than showing the true love of Jesus by helping out a single mother, and in so doing greatly help out the teens of that home?

Psychology Today on their website posts a very helpful article regarding the problems of single moms. 

Let's take a look at the seven things they list as being the greatest challenges and apply some Christian principles to their ideas of helps.

The number one challenge of being a single mom is; "Having no one to tag". In other words as another writer puts it; "It takes a village to raise a family"! Having no one to call in the case of an emergency or an unexpected appointment is a problem. There are times that single parents need to get some help watching their kids or just someone to vent to on the phone. Oh, what a ministry this could become if only our churches could get behind it. Guess what though; you don't have to wait for a church program to be developed to get on board with this. Single moms exist all around you. In New York State, where I live, 8.23% of all households are being parented by single mothers. Your state will vary slightly. 

Challenge number two is dealing with self-doubt. As believers we do all struggle with this. How many married couples can testify that when it comes to parental decisions its always such a blessing to have someone there to bounce a decision off of? The Bible says in Titus 2:4a (NLV) "Older women are to teach younger women". I challenge the older women in the churches to become a spiritual grandma to some kids.

Challenge number three is making decisions solo.

Now I want to speak directly to single moms: Oh Moms, the wonderful fact that Jesus is your husband! This is not to throw a spiritual bandage on something. He is real and He does love you so much!

Through prayer He can guide you and give you peace about all your decisions. He is with me every day and I have found He cares about even the smallest things in life.

Challenge number four for you as a single mom is missing the kids when they are with the other parent. Try to occupy those times with things that need to be done and whenever possible take some time out for just you! Do not think it is unchristian to treat yourself to a talkfest with a good friend, or just picking up a tub of your favorite ice cream. Release your kids into God's hands for enough time to take a needed break! By the way Halo brand ice cream is awesome and it's so low in calories it's almost sugar free!

Challenge number five is experiencing stress and anxiety about money. I have been a Christian for many years and all I can say is that have learned that God is faithful. I am a first fruits tither and once what He calls His is in its rightful place I know He will guide me in the rest. He will make sure what you have left will cover your true needs! This is another place having a spiritual mom or grandmother would be a great blessing in your life.

Challenge number six is accepting the fact that you have a different family than you planned to have. The beautiful story of Hagar in Genesis 21 shows a very special woman in history; the Bible says of her "God sees"! He called her by name in the desert and gave her clear instructions on what to do for her safety and the safety of her child. From before the foundations of the world God saw every life that you have born and has a precious plan for that life. Realizing that will greatly liberate you emotionally and spiritually!

Challenge number seven is "Losing a sense of self". I often said: "If we did not love our kids so much we could not do what we do." I realize the world plays up a lot about doing for number one first, and then take care of everyone else. Jesus actually taught all of us when He said in Matthew 16:24 (ESV) "Then Jesus told his disciples; If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. If there was ever a worthy reason to loose your sense of self, in addition to what Jesus calls us to, it's for the benefit of your children.

May the Lord your husband, help you single mom, and your children today!

Rev Nolan J Harkness is the President and CEO of Nolan Harkness Evangelistic Ministries Inc. since 1985. He spent most of his adult life working in youth ministry. He also felt the calling of Evangelist/Revivalist and traveled as the door was open holding evangelistic meetings in churches throughout the Northeast. His website is www.verticalsound.org.

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