Seems every week I discover another tragic tale from a teen or tween whose parents have decided to separate or divorce. A Christian teen or tween.
Todays blog is not just about our own kids. It’s not just about understanding the unbelievable privilege we have to raise children to adulthood, or the joy of watching our kids embrace their dreams and hopes…its about seeing with new eyes and greater awareness in our own world. Seeing with Jesus eyes. Parenting with a Jesus heart, and with a Jesus faith.
What I’m talking about is the painful reality that there are way more kids than parents these days. Oh sure, there are lots of biological fathers and mothers and statistically there should be a consistent 2:1 ratio for conception etc… but there is a significant lack of “Parents” around. Have you noticed ?
Please understand, let me be SUPER CLEAR. I am not in any way judging, condemning or thrashing on single parents. Completely the opposite, I’m asking for those who are able to reach out and go intentionally to help single parents. I don’t believe there is a greater mission field in the US for the church to reach than single parent families.
If you read the bible you are going to encounter repeated scriptural references in both the old and new testaments about the urgent and passionate love that God has for widows and orphans. Regardless of the cause of the single parent tragedy, in Gods eyes it’s an orphaned child and widowed parent. Men and women who are left vulnerable and often unjustly abandoned, desperate for someone, anyone to help.
Consider if it’s time for you to expand your parenting eye beyond your own mini-van and over to the driveway next door. Could it be, that God is calling you, me, us… to step into the lives of those who are seriously struggling to just make it through another day. YES. Let me speak presumptuously here… YES. Definitely its a YES. I have no doubt in my mind that if Jesus were walking the earth, He would be ardently engaged on behalf of the single family. And… since we are commanded to be Jesus to our world, I can speak with conviction in saying this is a significant and undeniable call to comfortable Christianity for us to stop being “Fan’s” and become “Followers” of Jesus.
So, look more, listen more.. and pray more for your friends, co-workers and neighbors who are struggling emotionally, physically, financially with the incredible pressure of being a single parent. Don’t wait, engage them… they are counting on you to notice, to care and to support them.
Take the time, slow yourself down… consider this. Act upon it. Make a difference in the life of a single father or mother and love without condition, with a whole and sincere heart and watch and see what God will do through you.
If you are one of over 20 million single parents, I want you to know… YOU ARE NOT ALONE. God is not going to “drop” you, He can’t. His nature is love, His heart is to be your solace and hope and healer. He will send you help, in every way and everyday. Look for His hands and feet in your life and hold on to Jesus. (great support links below)
So, thanks for your time… todays blog is more statistical than provocative… I hope those figures speak louder than I ever could. Peace out…
US Census – Statistics for Single Parents
She is a Mother:
- Approximately 84% of custodial parents are mothers, and
- 16% of custodial parents are fathers
She is Divorced or Separated:
Of the mothers who are custodial parents:
- 45% are currently divorced or separated
- 34.2% have never been married
- 19% are married (In most cases, these numbers represent women who have remarried.)
- 1.7% were widowed
Of the fathers who are custodial parents:
- 57.8% are divorced or separated
- 20.9% have never married
- 20% are currently married (In most cases, these numbers represent men who have remarried.)
- Fewer than 1% were widowed
She is Employed:
- 79.5% of custodial single mothers are gainfully employed
49.8% work full time, year round
29.7% work part-time or part-year
- 90% of custodial single fathers are gainfully employed
71.7% work full time, year round
18.4% work part-time or part-year
She and Her Children Do Not Live in Poverty:
- 27% of custodial single mothers and their children live in poverty
- 12.9% of custodial single fathers and their children live in poverty
She Does Not Receive Public Assistance:
Among custodial single mothers:
- 22% receive Medicaid
- 23.5% receive food stamps
- 12% receive some form of public housing or rent subsidy
- 5% receive receive TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families)
She is 40 Years Old or Older:
- 39.1% of custodial single mothers are 40 years old or older
She is Raising One Child:
- 54% of custodial mothers are raising one child from the absent parent
- 46% have two or more children living with them
United States. Census Department. Custodial Mothers and Fathers and Their Child Support: 2007. By Timothy S. Grall. Census, 2009. 26 Feb. 2010 [http://www.census.gov/prod/2009pubs/p60-237.pdf].
Single fathers – http://robertbeeson.com/
Single parent issues – http://factoidz.com/life-as-a-single-parent-convert-minuses-into-pluses/