This is a tough area because as a single mother we wear a million and one hats on a daily basis (excuse my exaggeration), but we wear a lot of hats! Chef, tutor, transportation specialist, disciplinarian, nurse, maid, not including bread winner, project manager, party planner (every day is practically a party in our home)… The list goes on.
Yes there are a lot of things to do, but we need to make sure our priorities are in order. All of the above mentioned areas do need to be carried out daily (minus party planner, unless your kids are like mine), but even more importantly we need to be a minister of God’s word.
Now I bet you’re saying, “This lady is crazy! I work 40 hours a week, go to school, have my kids 100% of the time, and I’m supposed to minister to them too?!?”
My answer. YES! That’s the most important thing you can ever do for your children!
“Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 NKJV
This is probably one of the most memorized scriptures in the bible, BUT IT’S TRUE!!!
If you sit down and talk to your children and ask them about something you’ve previously taught them, you’ll be surprised how much they remember. If you ask them about it regularly, it will bring back the memory of that teaching and they’re more likely to remember it moving forward. Don’t believe me? Try it.
Ok, now you may be saying, “So I need to make a lesson plan and have church at home. We go to church EVERY Sunday, they learn in Sunday school/ children’s church”
I understand where you’re coming from, I really do… BUT that’s not how church is supposed to work. Let’s look at it like this:
You’re an athlete training for a marathon. There’s a group who trains daily, but you only train once a week… Who is going to be better prepared?
We ALL know this answer… The ones who trained every day! Same thing goes for the Word. If you’re only getting the Word once a week you’re not going to be as strong! You can leave church on Sunday saying “Thank you Lord, I needed that message!” But what happens if you come up against something different on Thursday? You pray that the pastor teaches about it on the coming Sunday?!? NO! You pray and dig in the word yourself and find what God says about it!
Now how do you turn that into a family ministry? Talk to your kids about it! If you learned that you can save money by grocery shopping on Wednesday, would you keep that information to yourself? Hopefully not! You’d share it with the ones you love, or who you know is trying to save money. Same thing goes for the Word! If you learn how to deal with the toughest situations in life, why wouldn’t you share that information with your children?
After all, if you don’t, when they get older and move out, they’ll be calling you to handle their problems because they never learned how to take their problems to Jesus…
As parents we are to prepare our children to become successful adults. As believers we are to equip our children to be followers of Christ.
Not only do we need to engage them in the Word, but we need to show them. That whole “do as I say, not as I do” doesn’t work! Train them up by your actions too. If they see you volunteering, they’ll want to volunteer. If they see you reading your bible, they’ll want to read theirs. If they see you watching tv, getting high, drunk, dating multiple men, dressing scantily, cussing, being rude, all of that… They’ll want to do it too.
I am NOT perfect! I will be the first to shout it from the mountain top! But these are all things I have been consciously working on. God is good because I’m not where I used to be. He’s given me the tools and resources I need to see I was wrong and a DESIRE to change myself. We all need that desire, otherwise it won’t happen. If you don’t have it, pray for it. He’ll give it to you.
Single parenting is VERY tough. You may be unmarried, but you’re never alone! Give your children to God. Get your life in order and He will protect and cover them.
What made me change my life?
We were moving (as we’ve done so many times – ugh) and I went through this envelope and saw my girls’ Dedication certificates. I started to cry. Because until then I had never read the words on it.
For the life of me I cannot find the actual certificates!!! So to sum it up, they say that my daughters’ father and I vow to raise them up in service for and with a fear of the Lord.
Although I was so adamant about getting them dedicated, I didn’t know what it really meant. From that day forward, things changed! I made a promise to God to bring up my children, MY BLESSINGS, in reverence for Him… He’s kept all of His promises to me. The LEAST I could do is keep one I made to Him.
Through my daughters I have learned God truly gives us what we NEED, not what we think we want. I wanted one child, he knew I needed these two specifically to mold me into the woman He intended for me to be. And I am BEYOND thankful!
Don’t think of ministering to your children as a task or chore. If you’re living a life for Christ, you’re already ministering and you may not have known it!