More and more I see women raising children alone. Sometimes the father won’t provide. When he does, he either won’t provide enough, or he does it begrudgingly. Although this is not always the case, it happens often.
Women and children often live in poverty when they are left behind. Sometimes the children grow up to repeat the pattern.
I really had not realized how much this happens until the summer of 2007. We were participating in a ministry event at an apartment complex along side of other ministries. Bob leaned over and asked me, “Where are all the men? Have you noticed most of the people here are women and children?”
As the years have passed, I started paying more attention. I started listening closer to women when I talked with them and made a point to take note of their situation.
Some women tell me how they struggle to get child support. Some will tell me how their spouse won’t help out or won’t get a job. Others will share how their husbands will go off on the weekends alone and leave them to tend to the children. Sometimes those kids are not even the wife’s, but they are from the previous marriage of the husband.
I know there may be men in similar situations. Sometimes mom takes off, but most of the time it is the other way around.
Maybe you are thinking equal rights and all that. You cannot ever delegate your responsibility as a parent. Men, you cannot delegate the responsibility of providing. Scripture is clear.
But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
1 Timothy 5:8 KJV
What can be done?
We must start now teaching today’s youth the responsibility that comes with being a parent. If they have a father that doesn’t provide for them it’s wrong. Teach them to man up as the expression goes. Own up to what they need to do. Assume responsibility for caring for their family when they have one.
If you are a dad who provides for his family, you have an opportunity to reach out to the young men who don’t have a father. You have an opportunity to teach them what it means to be a man and take care of a family. You can make a difference simply by being an example. Actions speak louder than words as the saying goes. Be sure your light shines in the lives of these young men.
If you are a mom and you have a single mom’s children over for play time, be sure to offer that mom a chance to get away from the kids for a while. She will appreciate the break even if it is only a short one!
Today’s challenge is to look around at the single parents. Talk to those folks and see what you can do to assist them. Sometimes they just need an ear. Sometimes they need a hug. Maybe God has called you to give them a few minutes of your time. Responsible moms and dads can be great role models for the future generations. Above all, pray for them. Parenting alone is a really tough job!