Nothing is worse than a telephone call that comes from out of nowhere from an angry single mom who wants to “tell you like it is”. You didn’t see it coming. You are pour heart, mind, and soul into the ministry. You eat, sleep, and breathe single moms’ ministry and love those ladies with all your heart. You have sacrificed blood, sweat, and tears to ensure that single mothers are loved, seen, and know their value in Christ. And yet, here it is – the rearing of the ugly head of criticism. It cuts like a knife, swiftly slicing through the very heart that bleeds for single moms. In order for no single mom to walk alone, you are going to have to push through the negativity of criticism and learn to handle it well.
How you handle the next few moments of criticism will be critical for your health and the future of your ministry. Here are some of the best tips we’ve learned on how to handle the critics that will inevitably come your way:
- Recognize you must be doing something right. The enemy is never happy when we take territory for Christ. When you empower single moms, teach them about the truth of who they are, and impact the lives of future generations, you can rest assured division will come. Recognize that it must be because you are doing something right. There’s comfort in that. Expect it. Know it will come.
- Be mature. There is no reason for you to retaliate, lash out, or air a grievance on social media for the world to see. In fact, pray about it more than you talk about it. We must relinquish our need to be right. Sometimes, the bitter root grows deeper, without us even realizing it, because we need to show the world we are right. How could she say that? What will they think? I need to tell them that isn’t true. The Lord is your ultimate vindicator. Be a woman of high integrity, no bitter, and no gossip. God will redeem all.
- Understand the root. The root is always hurt. Always. There is hurt from a past that hasn’t been resolved. That unresolved issue can cause jealousy, bitterness, and cause another to lash out. See it for what it is. It isn’t always about you.
- Pray for them. Prayer breaks walls. It sets captives free, and that includes you! Pray for the hurt mom. Pray for the one who criticized you. Pray for the woman in church who wont’ come to single moms’ ministry because of this or that. Pray with a genuine heart for them. Ask God to reveal any impurity in your heart that needs to be handled. Pray without ceasing. It surely changes things.
- Evaluate what may be true. Sometimes, there is truth to criticism, thus the term “constructive criticism”. There may be some things that have been said that were rooted in hurt and weren’t delivered with love or kindness, but evaluate what is true. There may not always be truth to the criticism, so don’t beat yourself up, but be open enough to hear if there certain things are necessary. Could you be more loving? Could you take more time for others? Is it possible that you are long-winded? There are slivers of criticism that may help us grow, so consider what is true, and focus on improving that.
The Life of a single Mom is a national, faith-based, nonprofit that exists to see that no single mom walks alone. Our primary focus is in helping churches and communities launch single mom’s ministries and have done so more than 1,500 times! Our support groups connect 71,000 single mothers each year to a local church. We are a one-stop shop for all things single mom ministry related. For more information, visit http://www.thelifeofasinglemom.com.