So…. was talking to nice gentleman last night about being a single parent…..What a challenge! Raising a child by yourself in this world…Wow!
So…..churches aren’t (much) help to the single (parent). Statistics and witnessed behavior supports this statement. Some of the time the single doesn’t help their cause either (another time).
I am married and blessed to have a gentle wife. I have great kids (15 and 13) at home who I am trying to teach to work in a realistic setting. Jessica and I are going on a mission trip so we are selling Lemonade at the fair this weekend (well, actually, we sat at the fair at sold 3 cups for $2 which = $6 in and about $50 dollars in the hole). Today started with severe thunderstorms….Jameson has a sea shell and knick knack “store” in the local “antique” mall. Rent is $24 a month and his intake thus far is about $13 (minus expenses). He is learning to do a spread sheet….AND, since the weather is lousy, they are now tasked to plant seeds in small planters. Much conflict. They are learning to build character and that life doesn’t come easy….
Last night, Christina Christian, was the featured Entertainer. She (and her accompanying guitarist) is very talented with a mix of original and covered songs. And wonderfully pleasant and cheerful. Professional. Sadly, because nobody was there her talent was largely unseen and she probably didn’t paid. Character building…and good examples for teens learning to work.
Parenting is tough……….
There is a difference between being alone and being lonely. No doubt one contributes to the other but while we are legally single we don’t have to be miserable in our aloneness. Hmm. Seems like a “Catch- 22” or double talk but hang with me. Here is my point!
There are many worthwhile opportunities that can be enjoyed as a single person. Some can be better! Honestly, many activities can be better for the single for a variety of reasons. A few? Let me list a few examples….. 1) You don’t have to ask permission 2) opportunity to meet new friends without interference or obligation 3) cost 4) creativity 5) preference…………..
This summer my daughter and I (Jessica) are going to work at the Camp Ruta Bible Camp in Lithuania. Most of the volunteers are single. Camp Ruta is a camp which serves many children and families who are largely unchurched in a country that until 1989 was a part of the USSR. Most of the parents of the children grew up in a country that did not honor God or religion. Today, Lithuania has the highest suicide rate in the world and Christianity is still more of a novelty than an anchor to many. As Jesus once said, “the fields are ripe and the workers are few”. we have the opportunity to mentor and mold the lives of the kids we meet and contribute to the spiritual and mental health of the entire family. Ask me how you can be involved either in a support role now or a possible camp worker in the future.
Another opportunity is to go on a medical mission or a work mission. I know one RN who goes on a medical trip every summer to South America. Another MD takes a trip to Zambia each summer. I have friends who build houses in Honduras through the Torch mission. You help others and travel with hard working, compassionate Christians, many who are single.
Visiting the sick:
As an RN, I noticed years ago that less people visit the sick in the hospital than I remember growing up. It is a blessing and an opportunity to make a difference. Go sit and hold a hand, serve communion, pray or just watch TV with someone who is sick. Many nursing home residents are lonely and need encouragement. Adopt a senior and visit once a week or whenever you can. Make a difference.
Feed the hungry:
Does your congregation have a food pantry or serve a meal to the homeless? A great opportunity to serve and encourage. Work in your community clothes closet, with Habitat for Humanity or with another volunteer organization.
Love in the Mail:
Mail a card to someone. many who are sick at home or away with work, the military or even the imprisoned need to know that someone cares about them.
The windows of opportunity are open. you don’t have to succumb to loneliness. Make your mark on someone’s heart!