Being involved with women’s ministry, I understand the desire to reach the single moms within your church and community. Having lived the single mom life, I know the heart’s desire to connect with other women and have meaningful friendships. The Lord provided these friendships, and I learned valuable principles through the actions of these women and their husbands during my single mom years.
Luke 5:18 introduces four friends who chose to be intentional regardless of how inconvenient the circumstances were. “And some men were carrying on a bed a man who was paralyzed; and they were trying to bring him in and to set him down in front of Him.” They knew Jesus was teaching that day and were determined to bring their friend to Jesus. If he wanted to get to Jesus then he would need someone to carry him. His friends looked beyond his limitations and saw his need.
My friend’s actions and intentionality with me during my single mom years taught me principals that I believe we find it Luke 5 as well. These four principles could change how you not only do ministry with single moms but how you build meaningful relationships with those moms.
- Look beyond her circumstances
My friends did not continue to talk with me about why or how I became a single mom. Some single moms feel that they wear a label and are uncomfortable with the label. Other single moms have come to terms with the why and the how. Regardless of which side she identifies with, single moms desire to be seen. Such is the man in Luke 5. Because he was seen by his friends for who he was and not what had happened to him, these friends were able to know the person.
- Think outside the box
Getting their friend to Jesus was a little more complicated than they might have anticipated. Building a close friendship with a single mom can be complicated. Not because she makes it that way, the circumstances are often more of a juggling act. The obstacles that the friends of the paralytic man faced did not discourage them but motivated them to think outside the box. When building the friendship with the single mom in your church and community, consider her obstacles: time, child care, work, household chores, and daily routines. She is only one person doing a two-person job. Go to her and know her world she lives in. Invite her and her children into your home regularly. Entertain her kids at times to give her personal time and space. Do something for her on Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day.
- Be intentional
Luke 5 says, “…they were trying…” This word trying means deliberate. My friends taught me what it is to be loved on purpose as a single mom. Whether it was bringing me my favorite Starbucks coffee, a gift card to a restaurant, helping me clean my house, funny texts and encouraging notes, or just spending time together at the pool, I was loved on purpose with purpose. Being deliberate with the single moms God has placed in your church and community not only will make the difference it will be the difference.
- Watching Jesus do the miracle
Deciding to look beyond her circumstances, thinking outside the box, and being intentional with single moms make provisions for Jesus to work His amazing grace. Jesus did make all the difference in the paralytic man’s life, and his friends were the difference in his daily life. As a women’s ministry leader, you get to be the difference in the everyday life of the single mom. Your daily difference will lead her into a deeper relationship with the Difference Maker. When you lead her to Jesus, the lover of her soul, you will have a front row seat watching all that He will do for her and her children. Get ready to be amazed!
Joy Anisa realized years ago that with a fabulous group of friends, a good pair of Spanx, a great cup of coffee, strong hair spray, and being deeply rooted in God’s Word the storms of life could be passed through. If only life could be made of such simple ingredients… While fabulous friends are a treasure of life, being rooted in God’s Word is THE necessity to weathering the storms. All the other things in life usually just help us feel good about ourselves.
Joy would have never dreamed that her life would be filled with such incredible sadness that comes with loss. She never would have imagined that she would experience the personal effects of emotional and mental abuse, the silent killer of the soul. She is in awe of how God is the keeper of her soul and He has kept what she committed to Him. He would not allow her soul to be destroyed! Joy Anisa is married to Jeff, a bi-vocational pastor and they live in Conyers, GA. Their oldest daughter, Meighan, is serving for a year with the London City Mission in London, England. Their son, Caid, is a sophomore at Eagles Landing Christian Academy and plays football. A graduate of She Speaks with Proverbs 31 Ministries, Joy’s story will inspire, encourage, and bring laughter through the tears.
The Life of a Single Mom is a national, faith-based, nonprofit that exists to see that no single mom walks alone. To date, we have worked with more than 1,500 churches & community groups to start or improve a single mom’s support group in cities throughout the U.S. and beyond. We have a large array of books, curriculum, training materials, and online instructional videos to support ministry leaders who lead single moms. Our single mom programs focus on empowering single moms to grow spiritually, emotionally, financially, and parentally through a number of projects including: Single Mom University, Single Moms Across America, the National TLSM Single Moms Conference, and a variety of programs throughout the U.S. For more information, visit www.thelifeofasinglemom.com