Single Moms and the Gospel

We were pushing our strollers through our neighborhood that beautiful, sunny day. We had an immediate friendship since our babies were just a few months apart and we were both home during the day. We found ourselves escaping from our houses around the same time in the afternoon with two fussy, sleepy babies as two moms who could use a walk and adult conversation.

This day was like any other, except we began to talk about spirituality. Then the subject of church came up.

She said, “They told me I was wrong to raise my baby alone. They said I needed to have a husband if I wanted to be a good mom. They didn’t know his dad was the one who left us. But their words still hurt. You and your husband seem so different when you talk about God. You say how God loves me and my son; and He isn’t mad at me. I’ve never heard that before. You talk like He’s real.”

I cannot even remember what I said in return. All I could remember was that she needed to hear that Christ loves her and her son, He sees her, and they are welcome in the body of Christ as they are.

Each Sunday, I teach a small group with a single mom whose story is similar to my neighbor’s. These women are sometimes overlooked and often marginalized due to circumstances, which are oftentimes outside of their realm of control or influence.

Yet a single mom raising her child in the body of the church can bring such an authenticity to ministry. We as believers have a responsibility to minister to single moms both within and outside our church body.

What are some practical ways to reach out to single moms?

1. Ask them. Ask a single mom how you could serve her. That may seem too simple, but try it. Be authentic in your approach and open to the ways she could potentially need help. For example, see if a youth boy could cut her grass or rake her leaves. Some moms may like to do this, but this may be one of those things she has to do because no one else will.

2. Pray for them. Check in with her and ask her how you can pray for her and her children. Send cards on her birthday or Mother’s Day. Be sensitive: Father’s Day may be difficult for both her and her children.

3. Feed them. Send a meal. Commit to cooking a little extra food for her and her children once a week and dropping it off at their house to ease the burden of having to cook or buy food that evening. Or invite them over to your house to share a meal.

4. Talk to them. One of the best ways to minister to a single mom is to be her friend and someone she can talk to and share hardships and celebrations with. Be inclusive of these women who need community and desire to have a strong support system.

Bekah Rivers* is a momma to a darling little girl (and a sweet pup), wife to a pastor, and advocate for all believers to be on mission.


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