Dear Single Moms,
We are quickly approaching one of the most celebrated days of the year, Mother’s Day. We owe a great deal of love to our moms, so thank you so much, Moms! Happy Mother’s Day!
Encouragement from the Son of a Single Mom!
Recently I wrote of my Mom’s awesomeness in the article If I Don’t See You Here, I’ll see you in Heaven. Something I don’t touch on in that article is how, for most of her parental life, she raised four children alone. So today, I wanted to give a shout-out and some encouragement to moms that are doing it alone.
Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to provide some encouragement to a mom who was raising a young boy on her own. Her concern was that he needed a male influence in his life. While studies do show having a father figure involved in a child’s life is so important, some only have the option of a heavenly one. In our conversation, I gleaned that the latter was her case. Thus, she was concerned that she had passed up on some Godly men who might have made excellent fathers for her children. A consistent theme I hear from parents is the fear that they aren’t enough, or they are making too many mistakes that will have a lasting effect on their children and their future. This Mom’s comment to me was, “What if I really blow it?”
I was like, “girl… (in my North Carolina accent, which I break out for special occasions) you don’t need to worry about all that. I can speak directly to this and tell you what I saw God do on my Mom’s behalf for me.” But before I finish that story, let me give you a little background on mine.
While my father and mother never divorced, they lived apart in two different states. Dad did his best to provide financial support over the years but was relatively absent from my childhood, teen, and adult life.
As I entered my teens, we were homeless for a time. I recall sleeping in the car, at the campgrounds, or at random houses until we finally settled in a little home. I know this grieved my Mom, and she felt like she failed us. However, during this time, God had opened up a door for me to go to a private Christian school based out of a global television ministry. Visitors to the campus included world leaders and well-loved ministers like Billy Graham. So, as I matured as a teen, I did it with resources all around me, that only God could have provided.
So, as I was speaking with this Mom, an exciting realization came in the way of encouragement. I said, “God has given you and your son everything you need, and when he needs something more, it will show up.” After hearing myself, I realized what God had done on my behalf through my Mom’s prayers.
A Praying Mother
First, Mom was a praying woman. She may have ruined my new white shirt in the laundry (it came out pink, and yes, 14-year old me wore it), but that woman could pray. I recall that whenever I needed wisdom or direction that only a man could speak to, God would place Godly men in my path to provide that wisdom and nudge me in the right direction. From choosing jobs, college, or other significant decisions these wise men would always follow some star in the sky, and boom, I had what I needed.
Doors would open wide or shut tightly. God put in my Mom what she needed to raise me, then brought others alongside at different stages of life when needed. She never had to search for men to mentor me, God did it. Its why being involved in the local church is so essential for you and your children. But I digress.
Observing my Mom’s prayers and then seeing them answered, is one of the ways I learned to look to God as my father, rather than any one person. Do you know how powerful that is? Mom showed up with five loaves and two fish (Matthew 14:13-21), and God multiplied it over and over again. Don’t forsake the power that God has placed in your hand and heart for your children. Through your prayers, God goes to places with your children you may never see or know about. On the surface, it may look like a failure, but in many cases, God is working in the areas we can’t see.
Everyone is always looking for the secret recipe in these things. So here is what I observed my Mom do, and you are reading the results:
1. Pray Protection Over Them.
I can’t tell you how powerful this was a child to an adult. Hearing mom pray this over me, gave me confidence in God. I just assumed God protected me, and there was no question in my mind that he would, and he did and will.
2. Pray Favor Over Them.
There is something special each time she would pray this over me. I would walk into places with favor. I have always had favor wherever I went. Today, I pray this over my children. She would often pray, “Oh God give him favor with you and men in high places.”
3. Pray Blessing Over Them.
Your kids may think you are crazy for doing this and roll their eyes as I did, but they will remember and use it. She would pray Deuteronomy 28. Some of my favorite parts I would recall her saying: “3You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country. 6You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out.” Time and again, I received those things, and God’s blessing has followed me.
4. Pray Joy and Peace Over Them.
One evening I was talking with my sister, and she reminded me how Mom exhumed so much peace and joy as she was serving Christ. While Mom leaned more toward praying for peace, she never really prayed joy over me. However, what I learned is that with the peace of God, joy comes as a bonus. I pray them both over my children. In a world where people look for things to fill their lives, Mom looked to Christ to do it. I pray that type of peace and joy over them. “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” John 14:27 (NLT) I don’t want my children to miss out on this peace and joy!
Mom’s, I remember hearing her loud cries and calls out to God for so many things for her children. As a son, I said, “yes, God, do it!” It was a model of prayer that blessed me as a son, and I have used it as a father. Don’t miss out on doing this for your children, as generations will remember your faithfulness.
May I reiterate what I said above?
Single Mom’s, God has put in you all that you need to help your children grow and live beautiful lives. He multiplies what you have and makes it last like the five loaves and two fish in Matthew 14:13-21. When something more is needed, it will show up. When you can’t be there, or you feel like a failure, he fills the gap and goes where you can’t. It’s that type of faith that prayer ignites and is what I observed.
I have met many people in my life, but the strength and faith I see in single moms who are pressing into God are unparalleled. The level of confidence and trust in God just to make it through one day is amazing to observe. I had a front-row seat for many years. Many things in the Christian walk only happen when we start to move. I want to encourage you to move toward prayer over your children and watch how God will use what you have and give your children what they need. All for his glory and his love of you and your children. Happy Mother’s Day…