GOD loves the widowed (of all ages)

I can’t imagine a greater loss and pain than the death of the love of your life. I have known people who have been married for over 60 years. One dear couple  that I had the privelege of spending time with last year had been married for (DRUM ROLL PLEASE………………….)  ***  75  *** (yes, that is correct)  ***75 *** years!!!!!  Sylvia and Arthur were a sweet Jewish couple who lived in the Ritz apartments (yes, The second Ritz Carlton of all time and the building where Boardwalk Empire both occurred and was filmed. Too cool (for all you trivia buffs)! Arthur sold men’s belts and suspenders in his business in Manhatten and Sylvia was an Executive Secretary for NBC in the pioneer days of television. They went to brunch and they loved ball room dancing htough their 95th birthdays. Sadly, Sylvia succombed to pneumonia. Their son called me while the family was “sitting Sheva” as they mourned her death and requested that I attend her funeral. It occurred on a frigid, drizzling November day in New Jersey. Arthur wanted “their” new friend, the nurse, to be there. So, I was.

A Jewish funeral is different. A celebration and reflection on a brilliant life. Sadly, no talk of an afterlife. No expectation of meeting Jesus (remember, as Jews, Jesus wasn’t in their beliefs though they certainly were aware of Him). Just a 45 minute activity of closure.

Arthur told me when I walked him to the car that he didn’t want to live anymore. His love was gone. He had climbed out of bed for 75 years anticipating seeing Sylvia! And she was gone. “What’s the point?” he asked.

Arthur’s son called me two weeks later…..

Here’s my point! God loves the widows and widowers. Some are in their 80’s or 90’s and have benn married “forever”. Others are much younger. All have had their heart broken. So, we must remind them that God does love them and understands how they feel. But we also have a lasting responsibility to help fill the tremendous void that is left behind. Take a meal. Do an errand. Send a card. Make a call. Be a friend….long term….because it is needed and it is the right thing to do.

God loves those who mourn for they will be comforted………………

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Who are the Single Parents at your Church?

Who are the Single Parents at your Church?

When I visit a new congregation for the first time, I always ask about who the singles are. Frequently, the minister or elders say, “we don’t really have singles here”. This statement perplexes me as I know research shows that 51% of the U. S. population is not married. When I push for answers, I sometimes hear the following, “well, Mrs. Jones is a widow and has 3 kids but they are in high school and don’t attend regularly.” “We have a divorced man and his kids come when he has visitation”. “We have 4 or 5 college kids but they are dating”. “Barbara has two kids but she isn’t living the single life”. So, the conclusion is that you have some singles that you don’t do much for and don’t go out of your way to get others into the flock. Sounds harsh, doesn’t it? Except that it is a true statement. So, who are those single parents?

  • The divorced lady with the unruly son
  • The never married young lady who made a “mistake”.
  • The YOUNG widow and widower who make everyone else uncomfortable.
  • The older widow who just wants to get out of the house.
  • The military spouse (yes, married but alone) who needs extra involvement.
  • The parent of the special needs child.

James wrote that pure religion is taking care of the widows and orphans….time to start!

17 Ways to Reach Out to Single Parents

17 Ways to Reach Out to Single Parents- from Pinterest (Tricia)

A little over forty years ago, a single, young woman was about to give birth. She didn’t know how to afford a child without her parents’ help. She hadn’t talked to her former boyfriend in months. She couldn’t reach him, didn’t know how to tell him she was having his child.

This young woman attended church some, yet her dialogue with God was stilted. How could God let this happen to her? What would her life be like now?

A baby girl was born, and upon holding her child this young lady knew things would be OK. Perhaps this baby was a gift, not a burden as she supposed.

This woman raised her daughter the best she could, and while she wanted to give her child more than she had . . . history has a way of repeating itself. When the daughter became a young woman, she found herself in the same situation — living at home, pregnant and scared.

The daughter knew she could raise this child. After all, her mom had done it. But what would her life be like? How could God let this happen to her?

If you haven’t guessed already, I was the daughter born to a single mom and as a teenager became a single mom myself. At age 17, God gave me a son. My boyfriend was out of the picture, and I faced raising a child alone with little education, no money and, maybe according to the world, little hope for my future. I know what it’s like to be a young, simple mom and what made a huge difference in my life. Here are some ways you can reach out to single parent:

1. Free childcare.

A Moms’ Day out is greatly needed! You should know that these moms, especially teen moms, may have a hard time leaving their children. Outline for them as clear as possible who will be watching their kids, what type of childcare experience they have, and what activities will be done. Many young moms have been hurt in the past in numerous ways and they are very sensitive when it comes to their kids.

2. Guy Events.

Many children of single parents don’t have positive male role models in their lives. Activities for guys to do with kids–fishing, an obstacle course, Lego building, etc. would be a huge blessing for these moms. They understand this need in their kids and feel bad because of it.

3. Car clinics.

Many single moms don’t have someone to help with maintenance stuff like checking the oil, checking the tires, checking the windshield wipers, etc. And cleaning out/detailing the car would be a huge blessing, too.

4. Expert advice.

Do you have experts who could help them with advice?

  • Legal (custody stuff)
  • Resume building or job training
  • Parenting tips or help
  • Cooking simple meals
  • Reading the Bible

Pass out a questionnaire ahead of time and find out their needs.

5. Necessity kits.

Many moms struggle with money. Kits you can put together.

  • First aid kits
  • Cleaning kids
  • Spice cabinet basics
  • Toiletry kits
  • Home “office” kit: calendar, stamps, pens, tape, stapler, etc.
  • Kitchen towels and potholders

6. Christian books and resources.

Again these are “splurge” items they’re not able to buy for themselves.

7. Craft time!

Single moms often don’t have time to sit down and have fun. Create a craft event where they can sit, make something cool, and chat with others.

8. Gift cards

Give them a gift card for dinner out at someplace other than McDonalds.

9. Gas cards.

They often get stuck at home because they don’t have enough money for gas.

10. Christian music.

They often don’t know it exists, but find it uplifting.

11. Toys-R-Us or Walmart gift cards.

So they can buy something nice for their child’s birthday or a holiday.

12. Home improvement projects.

Mowing the yard of a single mom, or putting together a set of bunk beds is a huge help.

13. Offer a mini-vacation.

This takes more work, but moms often don’t get a change to get away. Does someone you know work at a hotel chain where you can get a discount on a hotel room? Or does someone have a vacation home or time share nearby?

14. Invite her to your house for dinner.

She’ll be happy and shocked!

15. Free haircut, manicure or massage.

… from a professional! Being pampered is something they usually don’t have the time or money for.

16. Kids haircuts.

This is a huge help to her, too!

17. Birthday cakes.

Do you have someone who can bake a birthday cake for her birthday or her child’s?

Download the FREE printable of how you can reach out to single parents today!