I had an experience yesterday that I wasn’t expecting…….
We went to church yesterday, and it was Child Dedication day at The Orchard. I always love child dedications, because they were really special days for us when we dedicated our kids, and I’m a softie with it comes to kids, and the concept of God watching over them. I am just always very moved, and invariably will shed a few tears (of joy!).
Yesterday, Scott had the families come to the front, and he went through a very nice series of questions, requiring the standard “We will” or “We are” set of answers, followed by a prayer for the entire group. Then he had the group come up the stairs to the platform, where he and his wife prayed for the individual kids and families. Moms and dads brought the kids forward, Scott would chat with the kids for a moment and then pray for them. Very Cool!!!
But the single moms were the ones that affected me most this time…….
They were both very pretty women, with beautiful kids. The thing that hit me all of a sudden was the lack of a husband, and my heart broke.
I obviously don’t know these ladies situations. It could be that the dads were working, or out of town, and it was the first weekend of deer season I think, or just not there, but the emotions that I was feeling was not just for these two women, but for single moms in general.
My wife and I have had the good fortune of going through some very fine pre-marrital counselling, and some really solid parenting classes. All of that to say, that we have had LOTS of teaching on the importance of the man in the family unit, specifically the marriage. I’ve also been really busy recently working on our townhome, and haven’t been around very much. I’ve seen the effect that my being gone has had on my kids. I can’t imagine not having a stable male influence around at all would have on the family.
As I’m writing this, and I look back on it, it could appear that I have a condescending view towards the single mom, that I’m looking down from the ivory tower that is my marriage and family, and I want to dispell that immediately. My marriage is far from perfect, because I am far from perfect. My kids struggle with discipline just like other 5, 3, and 2 year olds do. I know how hard it is to parent and to just generally “do life” when my wife and I are unified and trying to be godly spouses and parents. Life is hard.
But I can’t imagine what it’s like for a single mom. As Scott prayed for them, I just wept. I wanted to do something, but didn’t know what. I saw them both in the lobby after church, and wanted to say something, but didn’t know what (odd for me to be speechless I know). So I said and did nothing…….. and it’s a pretty empty feeling.
For now, I think I’ll pray for them…… and me.
When I pray for them, I’ll pray that perhaps there is a Godly man in their lives that for whatever reason just wasn’t there yesterday. I’ll pray the if there isn’t a man in the picture that these women will make God “the man”, and rely on his strength, love and power. After all the Word says that he’s “Father to the fatherless”. I’ll pray that these children have Godly male role models in their lives, whether it be teachers, pastors, friends, neighbors, or whomever.
When I pray for me, I’ll pray that I’ll have the wisdom and discernment to avoid assumptions when I see moms, kids, and no dads around. I’ll also pray that God will reveal to me how to help. I’ll also thank God for my wife and kids, and pray that I not take them for granted.