GOD’S FAMILY PLAN: Reflections from a Single, Christian Parent

Plans I have for you

It seemed an insurmountable task—raising a four-year-old son alone. This was not something I ever expected to happen, and, thus, was not prepared to meet at all. Having married a Christian man in the church, embracing the concept of family with both mother and father parenting, I never anticipated being a single mom. But, there I was—and there he was, a son whom I would have to be mother and father to throughout his childhood years, his pre-adolescent years, his teen years, his young adult years, and beyond. I came to realize that this definition of a single mom is fairly accurate: “She has to have four arms, four legs, four eyes, two hearts, and double the love. There is nothing ‘single’ about a single mom.” ( Mandy Hale) It wasn’t supposed to be this way though. The other arms, the other legs, the other eyes, the other heart were missing in physical presence. If we look at statistics today, we will find that the “other” –the father—is physically absent in many families in America, including Christian ones.

Such was not—is not—God’s intention for His children. His plan from the beginning was one man and one woman united in marriage: (18) The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him” . . . (21) So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. (22) Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. (23) The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” (24) That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. (Genesis 2: 18, 20-24)

The unity would bring forth children, and God’s plan was for the children to have a father and a mother: (1)And God spoke all these words: (2) “I am the LORD your God . . . (12) “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.” (Genesis 20:1-2, 12) Paul reiterates this commandment in the New Testament: (1) Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. (2) “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise. . . (Ephesians 6:1-2) The command is still applicable today.

The task of raising a son was not one that I could manage alone as his mother. I could not fulfill the role as his father. Thus, I sought help from Christian men. His granddad became my son’s dad in many respects. I met with my brothers in the church and asked them to also help me raise my son and be the male examples he needed in his life: Teach him how to correctly tie a tie, teach him how to fish and hunt, teach him how to do house repairs, teach him how to treat a girlfriend, teach him how to be a loving husband, teach him how to be a good father, and especially teach him how to be a Christian man for God.

God’s plan for the family was—and is—perfect. We are the only imperfections in the plan when we make other choices that do not honor His Word. Heartache, despair, poverty, anger, violence, brokenness, falling away from faith, and more can—and will—occur when we change His family plan. Our children’s lives, futures, and eternity are affected by our choices as parents. A single mom cannot fully fulfill both roles as father and mother; two men or two women cannot fully complete both roles as father and mother. Let us strive to follow God, the One with wisdom, in all our choices.

(Sharon G. Tate blog 07/05/2015)   teacherforjesus.com   Meditations on God’s Word

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