The other part of the equation…

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Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27 NIV

Love this verse — it resonates with my whole entire being and I desire wholeheartedly to minister to the orphans and widows.  Knowing the best way to do this and where to start is hard to know without asking, praying and researching,   Based on the worldwide need, we still miss the mark with helping orphans here locally and worldwide, but helping the widows is often left by the wayside altogether.  It is the other part of the equation that is not as much focused upon by society or  the church.   There are ministries and some programs online and in the local church for widows but I would say majority of the church is not focusing on this need adequately.

While I am not a widow or a single mom myself, my heart goes out to these who are often in distress suddenly doing things on their own, burdened with the loss of a loved one and/ or burdened with the fact they are doing it all alone.   A large majority of single parents are unchurched and struggle to find their place within the church and are often ostracized within the church walls.  This is not Father God’s plan- his plan is for them to find a home of healing, redemption and restoration.    The single parent has a lot to juggle.  The mom is trying to be both mom and dad and the dad is trying to be both dad and mom.  There are many ways we can help and minister to these two groups within our communities and our church body.

This past week-end, I took my daughter to her gymnastics class, and I began to speak with another mother whose daughter was also doing a make-up class on Saturday.  She was a widow of 5 years and a single mom.  She said she had a job at the daycare and that her daughter was in that class.  She said she was with her little girl constantly, who she dearly loves, but she never got a real break from motherhood.  There was no one to help out so she could have some “Me time”. There is nothing wrong with her wanting to have some time to herself.  She needs that to energize herself in order to be the best mom she can be. 

God brought her story back to my thoughts this morning, and began to speak to me about ways we can help the widow and single mom, young or old.  My mother is a recent widow and had been married 45 years to my dad.  She is in distress as the word of God points out because she lost her best friend and soul mate from her youth.  She feels lost, she misses him so bad it hurts, and she just has so much pain from his loss.  She gets up every day and tries to give it her best effort but sometimes it is just a day that involves grieving all day long.  There is a lot of sorrow she has experienced; I have truly never experienced this kind of sorrow ever in my life.  I am as the daughter trying to figure out how to best support her in her distress, sorrow and daily needs.  Covering her in prayer, lots of phone calls and visits regularly have been some ways I have tried to support her during this time.

When someone experiences tragedy and loss through losing a loved one through death or through divorce, people need to rally around them with ongoing support and love.   I have sought out things we can do to minister to the widow and the single parents out there.  And I challenge you to develop a ministry to the widows and single parents within your community and church.  Most of all I encourage people to love and embrace them and be ready to help as needed.  Here are just a few ideas I have based on some brief research I have completed online.

 Put your Faith into Action and Live out this verse by:

Offering the Widow and Single Parent Families:

Love

Protection

Support

Encouragement

Mentorship

Redemption for themselves/ Their Children

Kindness & Favor

_____

Daily/ Weekly Meal Preparation

Take a Widow out for a meal/ to see a friend for coffee

Provision- Food for Family

Safe Shelter for Family

Childcare

Counseling

Homeless Assistance

Clothing/ Thrift Shops

Education/ College Funds for Children and Them

Job Readiness Skills

Financial Education/ Budgeting/ Building Credit Responsibly

Grocery Store Services

Bible Study/ Devotion

Outings/ Events (Dinners at the Church)

Activities for Kids/ Devotions for Adults

Never let them leave empty handed

(Resources, Bible, Devotions, Food, Clothing & Shelter)

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