Why Single Moms Don’t Go To Church

It is estimated that 67% of single parents in the United States do not actively attend church anywhere. Why don’t they? In talking with single parents from around the country, conducting independent studies, and doing research for our ministry, here is what we found:

  • Many single parents fear they will be judged. Whether unplanned pregnancy or divorce led them to become single parents (or some other reason), there is a fear that they will not be accepted by the congregation.
  • Some single moms carry shame from past mistakes that may have resulted in their current situation. They fear they have somehow failed their children and forever scarred them. They cannot forgive themselves.
  • They do not feel that they belong. The typical family that we all grew up watching on television consisted of Dad, Mom, white picket fence, and 3 happy children, right? Many churches are made up of similar families. Therefore, single parents do not feel there is a place for them. They struggle to find a place where they fit in.
  • There is no Sunday School Class, Connect Group, Cell Group, (or whatever else your church may call its small group connection) for single moms. As is the case with all of us, we want to be with people who understand our journey. Support groups provide that environment.
  • Unplanned pregnancy, oftentimes, is categorized by the church as a more significant sin that perhaps lying, cheating, stealing, or any of the other sins that God detests. This, in turn, leads the church to believe any type of support for the single mother may in some way be promoting a “loose sexual lifestyle.”

We know that single parents can arrive at their journey in a variety of ways, just as diverse as the single parents themselves, and we know there are some amazing single parents out there thriving in their local churches. We also know that we dare not paint every church with the same brush, as there are some amazing churches out there doing amazing things for single parents.

We thank God that many of the churches around the country that have recognized the need to reach out to single parents in their communities. Many have understood the importance of the church being “inclusive” not exclusive. Many have seen that Jesus did not come to save just the finely-dressed folks that are perceptionally sin-free (however disillusioned this perception may be), but rather came so that all may have life and have it abundantly.

If you are a single parent in need of encouragement, or if you want more information on ministering to single parents in your church or community, as well as how to move past just a one-time event in your church for single parents, visit http://www.thelifeofasinglemom.com.


Our programs provide solutions to single parent challenges. We are the industry leader in helping churches and communities start or improve a single mom’s support group, ministry, and outreach plan. Our programs focus on helping single moms succeed in finances, parenting, and health & wellness. We serve more than 72,000 single mothers annually and have worked to launch or improve 1,500+ single mom support groups. We are a hub for all things single parent and single parent-ministry related, offering a barrage of resources and services for single moms and those who work with single moms. We are a multi-award winning, fully-accredited 501(c)3 nonprofit that offers in-depth training for those who want to start single moms’ ministries, ongoing coaching, single mom & pastors events, state-of-the-art curriculum, and so much more.


  1. susan roberts June 26, 2013 at 9:05 pm - Reply

    sometimes we didn’t have an unplanned pregnancy, didn’t get a divorce on a whim…. {had grounds and had to protect self and children} not on welfare nor ashamed of anything i’ve done. quite proud of how i’ve handled myself in extreme, threatening, and damaging behavior by a wayward “spouse”. i am affected by the church {that i love} constantly only referring to marriage in tact people being “a family”. God’s family comes in all shapes and sizes. Jesus told us members of our own household would be the enemies we would face, and even the reason many families break up. i have an appt to present tloasm.com to my 8000 member church leadership in august…. pray pray pray. thanks, didnt know you existed and believe you are ministry for the age we are living in. wouldn’t want to do it w/out you!

    • Jennifer Maggio June 26, 2013 at 9:16 pm - Reply

      Susan, so thankful for your heart to serve other single moms. You are right. The variety of reasons moms arrive where they are can be as varied as the number of moms themselves! We know Jesus loves us all, regardless of whether we made poor choices in that arrival or if someone else made choices that we were a victim of — either way, all of these precious moms should be in the local church, thriving, growing, being discipled, etc. We are happy you found the site. Be sure to sign up for our monthly newsletter. Great encouragement, there, too!

  2. Kimberly Hunter June 27, 2013 at 3:29 am - Reply

    You are so smart! My church has a single women’s ministry where single moms are welcome. When I first inquired about it they told and me I was welcome but that all the women that currently attend were older or widowed. I am 28 with three small children and even though I like older women, their insight, experiences and just plain company, I was a little bit taken back that no young single moms attended this group. My church has over 4,000 members. So instead, I went to the singles group geared to singles in there 20’s and 30’s. Believe or not, I was the oldest and NO ONE had children. 🙂 It is different when your a single parent with kids still to take care of. A different level of emotions to conquer, not necessarily harder but definitely different. It calls for a specific type of attention. Which is why I started my little blog for single moms. There are a few others out there but its not the same as face to face, phone to phone, communication with someone you can call when you need that God given comfort.
    Check out my blog and maybe I will get the opportunity to grow my church more in a single mom ministry with my attendance!
    Thanks for all you do Jennifer!

  3. Dena Johnson June 27, 2013 at 12:48 pm - Reply

    I agree completely! As a former pastor’s wife whose life was rocked by infidelity and divorce, it’s been SO hard to find a church where my kids AND I can feel that we belong. While I love home groups, I simply can’t find a night in my schedule where I can regularly attend–if I find a group that fits my stage of life and provides child care. I’ve also been in the shame category–despite a very public divorce where the facts were well documented–when the pastor made a comment about “divorced people.” I am currently praying God will lead me to the right place and open doors of ministry for me! He has drawn me so much deeper in my relationship with Him through the trials of life, and I long to share that encouragement with others!

  4. April June 27, 2013 at 3:41 pm - Reply

    I have felt the stigma of being a single mom-though I am widowed. I also feel left out a lot because I just don’t ‘fit’ into any group. My church is and has been very supportive of us-they have come out and done work on the house for us-even bought us a stove when ours went out. so I think our church is miles ahead of many-but there isn’t very many studies/activities I can attend because of my being a single parent-not having childcare and not being able to afford it-or having special needs kids that look ‘normal’. I believe God is moving on behalf of our demographic though! God bless you for being in the frontlines!

    • Jennifer Maggio June 27, 2013 at 3:47 pm - Reply

      April, it is so important to do those one-time events, such as grass cutting or other errands for single moms and we LOVE that churches do those. Kudos to your church! But we want to challenge churches to go beyond one-time events. Providing childcare, free meal, and Bible Studies for all single moms makes its possible for them to grow and participate. Encourage your church to check us out! Also, here’s a cool article highlighting just that — http://thelifeofasinglemom.com/?p=1137. Thanks for visiting our site! 🙂

  5. Ivy June 27, 2013 at 7:36 pm - Reply

    Exactly WHY I left the church I grew up in!! Everything was centered around the “family” i.e. meaning dad, mom, child. My husband and I divorced, my daughter and I weren’t “accepted” as a “family”. No church function included US. We did find ONE that accepted US and recognized us as a “FAMILY”. Thank God for that ONE church. God is not like the “churches” that don’t forgive or hold blame.

    • Jennifer Maggio June 27, 2013 at 8:49 pm - Reply

      Ivy, we thank God that you have found spiritual home in a local church. We are so appreciative for your church (and the many like yours) who are effectively ministering to their single parents. Thank you for sharing and thank you for stopping by the site.

  6. Bridget June 27, 2013 at 10:34 pm - Reply

    In the old days lots of husbands died with young children. The “widows and orphans” of the Bible are the single parent families. But my church thinks all the younger adults are there to serve the old. And single parents should double the volunteer hours of other parents to “pay” for the programs for their kids, as if the whole community was just a co-op. I once asked if they would still teach my child his faith if I were a useless drunk but they didn’t get it. They wanted me to finish my 10 hour work day by driving some treats to the Chirch, which resulted in two days of back pain. I could have been much more valuable to that group by serving as a mentor to one of those teenagers who was interested in my career. At one family retreat the Priest wanted to make it very clear that the separate programs for adults and kids were not just “babysitting”, as if that would have been a waste of anyone’s efforts. I don’t have a young child anymore, but I’m still tired and work way harder than most of the parishioners and still I’m encouraged to “help out” by baking and letting them sell the product for the cost of the ingredients.
    Accepting single parents isn’t enough, we should be helping them, and everyone, to each according to their needs, from each according to their means.

  7. Kimberly Hunter June 28, 2013 at 3:50 am - Reply

    Jennifer, you are very smart! I asked my current church of about 4,000 people if they have a ministry towards single moms. They took me to a single women’s ministry that caters to single moms, widowed, and just single women. When I inquired about the group, the director told me that I was more than welcome to join but that most of the women were older and they didn’t provide child care for most of the activities. So, I went to the young singles group open to single ages 20s-30s but I was actually the oldest person attending at the age of 28 and I also was the only one with kids. Not to mention, I have three. I definitely didn’t feel like I would be challenged enough in this group. I love this church! There are so many Godly women and they have a great mentorship program that I’m involved in but a single mom with young children really is a hard battle to fight. Not harder than others but definitely different, and needs different attention. I started a blog as a stepping stone in allowing God to equip me for leadership in this area. The church are its members. If anyone is going to start a support group its going to be the people that want it and the people that are in it. I’m so glad I’ve ran across your pages! Thank you for all you do!

  8. Melissa Henry July 2, 2013 at 2:42 pm - Reply

    I read this and it brought back haunting memories. I was abandoned by my ex husband. The stigma of even being divorced in church is enough to keep singles away. I cannot imagine how much harder it would have been if I had children. I thank God for this ministry. Keep pulling for the single parents. They need God’s love in such a special way.

  9. Joanna July 2, 2013 at 4:26 pm - Reply

    One of the reasons I miss church is because we do not regularly get out of the home before noon! Sorry! I was a night owl/slow in the morning before the baby. Now, oy vey! Working on it.

    That, and I sometimes don’t have gas money. This past Sunday, two of my fellow parishoners (City of Grace in Scottsdale, AZ) helped me with gas money and I was able to go!

    The congregation has been great. I feel accepted. On a personal note, getting “welfare” is nothing to be ashamed of. The truly shameful thing would be if you let your kids go without because you’re too prideful to get help.

    Have a nice day!

  10. Rita Wilhelm July 2, 2013 at 11:26 pm - Reply

    I was a single mother back in the 60s. I had grown up in the church, my dad was a deacon, so church was a large part of my life. The man I married was physically abusive and after my son was born, I had to get him away from my husband. There were no Sunday School classes for single moms, just a ladies group, a single’s group (never married or a senior group. I had absolutely nothing in common with any of these groups, so I finally stopped going to church at all. I still loved the Lord and felt his presence in my life, but I had no real friends that understood what my life was like.

    I later married a wonderful Godly man and we will be married 40 years this October. I still remember what it was like to not feel a part of the church. When my daughter became a single mother back in 1989, the Lord impressed upon me the need for a single mother’s ministry by way of a home where they could live safely while learning life skills as well as getting their education. I am still trying to find a way to get funding for this while I am going to school. I have my state teaching license and am 10 credits away from my Masters in Ed. That should be enough credentials to start the home, so all (?) I will need is the money.

    In the mean time, I am trying to convince our church that having a single mom’s ministry will be a wonderful addition to our church and will help it grow. Unfortunately, our membership is predominately elderly people who just don’t seem to get the picture. Please pray for this ministry for us.

    Thanks so much,

  11. Anonymisss July 3, 2013 at 6:13 pm - Reply

    I have never felt welcome at any church since my I had my daughter. I long for a sense of belonging, compassion, and community. I see signs up all the time where churches protest abortion. But I have seen no church put up a sign thanking women who were the victims of rape and domestic violence for keeping their children, and doing whatever they have to in order to survive. Life is hard for us. It is complicated. We have to do whatever we have to do to survive. There are many, many like me. It is unfortunate. But, we are survivors. What other choice do we have but to love our baby and survivor each day? We work hard, and we are unable to get state assistance. We work hard, and we never receive child support. We work hard and we are unable to afford health care. We fall down, and the state wants to force us to meet with the “fathers” who beat us and raped us. (This is the law, even if you were raped by a relative!) Change needs to come to these systems in our communities. Understanding needs to come from the churches that supposed to help heal and solve problems. The issues run deep, they are systematic, they need solutions, and the solutions are simple: just notice the errors, and correct them. If I apply for assistance for me and my daughter as a working mom they say I am not poor enough to get help as a two person household. But if my neighbor has a boyfriend who pays her bills, and she does not work at all, she can get help I work hard and can not get help, but if my neighbor keeps her boyfriend who beats her or who does not work, then they are a three person household and can get help, and I can not get help. The system is broken, and many of our churches are broken. Morality becomes something that the poor dream of and the rich can afford. There is a quote: It is my poverty not my will that consents. Money is not the root of all evil, it is the lack of money that is the root of all evil. Abortions are not the root of all evil, it is the lack of support and funding and rights for women and children and education and rape and abuse prevention education that are the root of need for abortion. My prayers are with your cause. Thank you for being here. You fight for us, when we don’t have any time left to fight for ourselves. God bless you all.

  12. Ruth Naomi July 4, 2013 at 7:35 pm - Reply

    I as a single mom & I do not go to church because I haven’t found one where my son and I are loved the way Jesus shows us to love. I divorced my ex-husband when my son still a baby because he was very abusive and our lives were in danger being with him. There is still a stigma about divorce like it’s this sin that is so horrible and when the church sees us struggling financially it’s like we had it coming for not sticking with our horribly tormenting marriage situation. Like when I went forward for prayer when I was going through my divorce and I asked for prayer “for the Lord to protect me and my son,” and the ignorant the elder without me even asking, started praying for my marriage to reconcile which is so insensitive and ridiculous to disregard a woman and child that way when she is fearing for her life and the life of her children – but some elders and people in authority can’t see past their own happy Christian marriages.

    God delivered me and my son from my ex and he hasn’t been a part of our lives for several years now. Go loves me and my son too much to force us to suffer or possibly die just to stay honor our marriage vows. As far as the heavens are above the earth SO GREAT is His mercy towards those who fear Him – Psalm 103. The God that loves me and my son has mercy so high man cannot comprehend it or come close to imitating it.

    Also, I have been abused by the church and church elders who have said horrible things to me and my son that they’d never say to a married woman who has an earthly covering or husband as a protector. Also, people in church, just because a woman is a single mom it doesn’t mean she needs or wants all of your unsolicited parenting advice. God knows our limitations as single moms and He sovereignly chose to give us our children despite ourselves. He helps us to parent our children the best we can and promises to be a father to the fatherless. My hope is in Him and what His word promises – not how man sees me and my son.

    I’m forgiven for my sins, including my divorce, I have been washed clean by Jesus and no one in the church will ever make me feel otherwise ever again. I praise God for delivering us from a violent man, I love the Lord, my son is saved and has been baptized and all glory goes to God not church or any man on this earth. Not by might nor by power but by His Spirit.

    Any tithe I give is not to the church but directly to the poor and single moms and the fatherless. In church is it obvious that Pastors kiss the butts of the money bags in the church and the money bags get to be heard and the single moms who can barely contribute have no voice. BUT we have a voice with God and that’s the best One to hear us. He is the Promoter not man, and I still have no desire to return to church and its cast system based on marital status, money, and not love.

  13. Heidi July 5, 2013 at 9:26 pm - Reply

    Great article. I am a single mom and I am active in my church. I have been a Christian my whole life and I have a very close and growing relationship with Christ, but I still find it difficult to feel like I “fit”in at my church. It is difficult because our church has a lot of young people and the rest are married couples. I have thought about starting a single ministry there because I know there are other women who feel like I do. My confidence is lacking, but I do need to pray about it. It’s not anything that the church body is doing or isn’t doing to make me feel out of place, it’s just the way it is. It’s like anything else, if you haven’t lived in that particular situation, then it is hard to identify with it. I don’t feel judged by my church family, but I just feel like I have nothing in common. That’s not the fault of them. It’s where my life is. But, I definitely would like to encourage other single mom’s with this, even though you may not feel like you “belong” at church for whatever reason, that is a lie. You do belong there and you need to be there and your children NEED to be there. If I didn’t have the safe haven of my church to go to, I would be even more lonely than I already am at times. I also think that there is a lot of shame and embarrassment with single mom’s. It’s hard to reach out and ask for help from your church family. I love my church family and feel super close to them and to my pastor, but it is still hard for me to reach out at times. That is another tool that Satan uses to keep us out of fellowship and to keep us from tapping in to the resources that God has in the body. I’ve learned you never know until you ask. So, if you don’t have a church to go and be fed, pray that God will lead you to the right one. Also, another key thing we must do as single mom’s, or believers in general, is to SERVE. I teach Sunday school on Wed nights and it has brought me so much joy and I have met a few other single moms through doing that.And by serving, it also makes you appreciate and realize how much you do have. It is very humbling. Just jump in and do it. The only other option is to sit at home feeling lonely and defeated. Not only is that not fair to you or your children, but it’s not how God created you to be! 🙂 <3

    • Mary July 9, 2013 at 4:52 pm - Reply

      I am so thankful to have found this website! As a single mom of two daughters, one of the main reasons I haven’t attended church regularly is because by the time Sunday morning comes around, I don’t have much strength or drive to get up and going once again! I find myself wanting to have one morning off where I don’t have to get dressed, get the children motivated, and rush out the door. During the past 3 years my world was also rocked like most other single mothers. I was grieving, angry, and in survival mode. My daughters and I moved across the country to my hometown to live with my mother and rely on the support of my family. Thank God for all of them! We are now going back to where we came from and I find myself afraid of yet another change. The good news is that I know that the Lord sustains me and will provide everything we need. I am also ready to once again become a part of a loving church family. I think now I’ll have what it takes to get going of Sunday morning! I know that being a part of that family and giving my girls that foundation is too important to neglect. I am so grateful that God is so good!!

  14. Priscilla July 13, 2013 at 1:07 am - Reply

    Wow! I wish this had been around 12 yrs ago when I became a single parent with 7 children. You can imagine how much free time I had what with raising them on my own and working 2-3 jobs to make ends meet. I’m down to my last child with 2 yrs left in high school, 2 kids in college and I have returned to college. The years have been a blur. The only church support I can remember is criticism, judgement, and looked down upon like I had some contagious disease. I remember asking my pastor if any elders or deacons would mentor my sons (I have 4). He went to the board twice and reported no one had time or was interested. Eventually 2 men took an interest in 2 of my sons and one ended up being molested by an elder in the church. Another group of men volunteered to rebuild my deck. I didn’t ask them. I ended up with a deck in worse shape than it was. When attempting to join a professional singles group of 40+ I was told by an elder and his wife that the group wasn’t appropriate for me because I was divorced. I could go on. But you know what? It’s water under the bridge. Now that I am older and wiser, I would so much love to be part of a ministry to help other single moms. To be someone to call. Help babysit so they can get a night out. Offer a shoulder to cry on. Job share with chores around the house. Pray for and with them. Open my heart to let them know I understand, I’ve been there. To be all the things that I never found during these past 12 yrs. Remember, there is now no condemnation in Jesus Christ. I am not damaged goods. I am a child of the King: a princess. I am redeemed.

  15. Mary Colleen July 15, 2013 at 12:14 am - Reply

    Although I presently attend a mega church it is with a heavy heart. This is the 2nd church I have attended since my divorce in ’09. At the time of my divorce I had been a stay at home mom who was homeschooling my five children. I did go back to school and do have a new degree, but I have not found a permanent position ..My substitute teaching and small amount of child support is basically all I have to live on. What I found is that no matter how hard I’ve attempt to fit into the church by volunteering, getting into a small group and faithfully tithing it has never been enough for the church to try to help me, help my children or understand us. An example of this is when my house was being foreclosed and I had no idea where I was going to live with my five children. There was a leader in my small group who was part of a ministry where they had a house to rent. He presented this situation to the group then looked directly at me and said: “we don’t take children.” This same group also informed me that I would need to provide dinner for the group of adults at my home now and then. (This was the small house I had rented from some gracious Christians who do allow children.) I had previously informed them I was on food stamps and I had very little space to accommodate the crowd. After I had the group over for dinner, which I felt was a disaster, I was never asked to do that again. They just did not seem to understand. The church wanted to reach out to the “poor” in or near the community but they were not interested in supplying a member’s needs. Summer camp would have been a good thing for my children to attend but I simply could not afford to send them on my own. When requesting scholarships the two churches I attended both wanted me to go through all kinds of hoops: ie: be working full time, have my 13 yo son write an essay, know my ex-husband’s address, etc. None really wanted to talk to me until I’d adhered to “process” so they could allocate their “limited funds” wisely. REALLY? There have been times when I have thought “wow I guess I should have been strung out on drugs and neglecting my children in order for them to help.”
    At this point I go to church, sit in the back with my 13 yo son and have mad no friends. No, I can’t attend the church summit ($79.00) or the women’s conference with my daughter ($110) or summer camp for my son ($350). I want to ask the church am I really wanted here or is this just lip service. What do I need to do to be accepted?

  16. Linda July 18, 2013 at 5:59 pm - Reply

    I would add that dealing with visitation every other week keeps single parents out of church. One person I know of has to drive her daughter back and forth several hours for visitation. My ex told the kids that they were not to bring homework with them when they visited on Saturdays – it was “his time”. So we were usually doing homework Sunday afternoons. I have a friend whose wife died suddenly and left him with a 7 and 8 year old. He ended up working another job to pay for the babysitter needed, so he was working 7 days a week and went to a different church according to when he had off (he sometimes had Saturday nights off and sometimes Sunday mornings – sometimes neither!).

    It takes a lot of work to connect with a single parent and most people aren’t willing to take the time and effort to try.

    Mary Colleen, I’ve seen the same thing in the church. I’m tired of people telling me who to call to get my dishwasher fixed. How does that help when I don’t have the money??

    But things are better in the church than 7 years ago when I went through the divorce. Our church has a group called “Walking Alone Together.” I don’t get to go often, but it’s a good group.

  17. Toys Wright July 24, 2013 at 12:11 am - Reply

    I am in the process of separating from my verbally and mentally abusive and controlling husband. I have two small children. And I’m not going to lie, I’m scared scared of what lies ahead for me and my children. Though I know god is real, stepping out on faith and trusting that god will provide … Is easier said then done. Though I love my husband I have realized that our current situation is not healthy & emotionally n mentally and now physically the stress of constantly trying to make him happy is exhausting.
    God saved my life just last year after 21 hrs of brain surgey while 4 months pregnant with me second daughter. God has demenstrated his miracle powers on my life. My church has been very supportive, but my immediate family is in tx. I live in NJ and I’m just nervous … Though I know I can’t stay with my husband … I can now see how the enemy has used him to try to constantly bring my self esteem down and try and make me loose my sanity.

  18. Micha August 12, 2013 at 4:41 pm - Reply

    Sometimes, the hardest thing I have to do during a week is to get up on a Sunday morning and go to church. Attend bible study on a weekly basis. It’s difficult to sit in service look around and all the husband/wife teams raising their families when I do it alone. And listen to women share the stories of their husbands during study. I’m tired on Sundays. It hurts. It is, at times, lonely. And I often feel jealous (1Corth 12:14-26). Why attend when it reminds me of what I no longer have, of dreams crushed? It saddens me to listen to some of the sermons on husbands and wives or dads. It’s hard work to walk unashamed. The stigma of divorce hangs like a thick cloud over my head. My husband, of 25 years, walked out on our family into the arms of another three years ago. He rarely sees our children, maybe once every year and a half. I would have done anything to save my marriage, but I had no choice. Laws are written to protect the one who wants to leave not for the one who wants to save the family. Those left behind are left to grieve through the binding of pain of the past.

    Why do I go some place where it makes me, at times, feel heavy of heart? Where it’s a struggle to feel like I belong? The answers are simple, yet not easy. Because I love Christ, I need to be there. My kids need to be there. I do it because it is His will that I worship Him and fellowship. I must believe that my anguish will not be wasted, that God will use it. If I do not believe that, I think I would whither up. I choose to lean on Him. (Heb 10:24-25)

    I have three children. My oldest (21), has walked away from the Lord. She has bought into the callings of this world. Her anger toward God because of the sting of divorce has been too much for her to handle. I will continue to pray that the seeds planted when she was young with take root and grow. That her heart, that God wants, she will one day be willing to give up to Him. It is very difficult to watch her struggle to pull away from Him, but ultimately I know it is for Him to call her and for her to answer. My job is to pray and lead by example. It’s hard, challenging and work.

    In my middle daughter (17), I have begun to see some of the fruit of my choice to take my kids on Sundays, and choosing the continuation of fellowship. She has spent her summer working with the middle school ministry. She has been able to mentor some of these children who are now walking through some of the pain she has experienced. Whose families are in the throes of divorce, have absent fathers, or have experienced death of close loved ones (we have lost four immediate family members in the past four years, three to long illnesses). She has been able to sit and cry with them, listen to them with a heavy understanding and sympathetic heart, guiding them toward the love of Christ in difficult situations. He is using her pain to help others. He has placed us there to be used by Him. I will trade my sometimes discomfort of sitting in church for His glory.

    My son is seeking the Lord’s favor day by day. He’s eleven. I must fill his young and tender heart with the things of God. God had given me the awesome responsibility to be his mom. But as a single mom it is always a challenge to raise up a man who will seek the things of God and not glories of this world. Giving a boy the understandings of a man when you’re a woman seems almost impossible. But I will not give up. I will continue to pray into him the Word. I will continue to take him to church, Sunday school and youth group, as I am called to do. I know God can use others to fill in voids that I cannot fill. I will pray with openness, with my son, to reveal that I do not always know what I am doing but that I am confident God does. We will do our best to listen to Him. Our love given to Christ will not be wasted (Rom 5:2-5).

    I can choose which church to attend. It is not my intention to bash my church or my fellow members. I love them. Their blessings may not be like my blessings and my blessings may not be like theirs. But because of Christ we are all called for the same purpose (Rom 8:28). At times, I must remind myself of this day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute and second by second. He is strong where I am strong and strong where I am weak. I will continue to seek him to gain knowledge and wisdom through my struggles (Col 2:2-5).

    Thank you for your ministry and for the encouragement it gives many.

    • Rebecca June 28, 2018 at 7:37 pm - Reply

      Thank you SO much for sharing this Micha. This is a treasure, I want to share this wisdom with other parents at my church. Bless you!!

  19. T August 14, 2013 at 1:33 pm - Reply

    As April, I am also a single mom because of being a widow. Our church has nothing for single mom’s and although there are several widows I assume, I am the only young widow with children. It is very difficult to attend church, but because I love the Lord and desire to worship Him and because I am a former pastor’s wife I know the best thing for all of us is to be there. I love our church and just think they simply don’t see the whole picture on single parents. It is very lonely and for me a constant reminder of the loss what I don’t have with my family. It is difficult to be involved in any ministry because I have the young children. I have an incredible family, and as much as they want to understand what this journey is like, they can’t. What a blessing to have a ministry like that in your church. To have that support with each other and friendship’s that would take place would truly be a blessing to each other. I have had to look outside of our church to attend grief groups as we don’t even have a widow’s group. There is much emphasis put on the family which by all means should be, but there is a growing group of single parent’s that just need support and help in spiritual growth. I will be praying that in the future, the Lord will open a door for me to help single parent’s in church. Thank you

  20. SB in Indiana August 14, 2013 at 2:09 pm - Reply

    Problems for a single parent can go even further than church members realize. For instance, being a single parent and not having any family or support. No one to babysit, little money. Single income households are barely hanging on! If a single parent has no family and the church is pushing for them to be involved. No one likes just sticking their child in a room with a coloring book for over an hour. Single parents need the support. Get them enjoying what the church has to offer and let the rest come naturally. and never judge!

  21. Lynda August 14, 2013 at 5:51 pm - Reply

    I would also inject that the majority of single moms not attending church probably have to work, or only have Sunday as a “rest” day. They are simply too exhausted emotionally and physically to attend.

    Really good post!

  22. Toya Wright August 15, 2013 at 1:31 am - Reply

    As I opened my email just now, your post was hit me fresh in the face. And as I began to read … I see where u say “open the door”… I had to smile because I just finished watching tbn on which a pastor just finished speaking of how god opens doors … I am sorry about your lost. And pray you find much comfort in the book of psalms. The Lord is our shepherd and I shall not want. God knows our needs … & he is always so faithful. He will continue to be with u and ur family. God bless you !

  23. Anna November 24, 2013 at 4:30 pm - Reply

    Well I’m glad to see some women were treated well because I wasn’t. My children and I were shamed for years at church because I choose to leave my abusive spouse.I was beaten down and depressed and they made everything worse. And before I divorced I live away from my home church so when I moved back I couldn’t wait to be back in the arms of the church I was raised in. Only to be met with scorn. Fingers were pointed, jealousy ensued many times for no reason, rumors and lies were little games to them. Until I finally decided this wasn’t good for my kids.

    So the church ran me off even though my crime was only leaving an abusive man. With my family being so devout they too treat me like an outcast because the church says so. It was horrible and hurtful to the point that it made me sick. To this day my own brother who always loved me shuns me because I am divorced. It’s almost like they have a twisted cult mentality. And this wound has yet to heal.

  24. Ashley January 8, 2014 at 8:10 pm - Reply

    I am struggling and have been looking for support. I was raised in the church and in 2009 I had my first child out of wedlock. Since that relationship, my church has been supportive but I fell into another relationship and got physically involved again. We weren’t exactly being safe and now here I am and found out I am pregnant again. I’m devastated. We had just broke up because he had some baggage he needed to take care and I needed someone who could commit 100% to me. He called me stupid and crazy and told me to have an abortion. Which I am against. He has since said he is going to take care of the child. But I’m scared and so lost. Why when I turned from my sin once and for all am I pregnant? What good can come from this? How is my church going to look at me? My daughter and I share a condo with my Dad who is goin to freak and leave. I can’t afford the condo on my own. My daughter is in private school and now I’m going to have to pull her. I’m so angry at myself and telling myself I’m so stupid to let this happen again. Please help! Any advice?

    • TLSMSTAFF January 13, 2014 at 2:01 pm - Reply

      Ashley, thank you for contacting The Life of a Single Mom Ministries. We’ve added you to our prayer list. There are a few things we can do to serve you from afar, so make sure you check out the list below:

      1. Be sure you tune in every Tuesday for our Topic Tuesday Facebook Chats. This is a LIVE, interactive, chat with single moms from around the country that our ministry hosts. All you have to do is log on to Facebook, go to our Fan page and join in the discussion right there. (Facebook link is on home page of our site). This is a great way to get some encouragement throughout the day.

      2. We’ve taken the liberty of signing you up for our free monthly newsletter. We try to provide single mothers, like you, with encouragement there every month. We also highlight various events we are doing, how you can join in on phone calls and webinars for single parent encouragement and more.

      3. On the lower, left-hand corner of our site, you will see a link that says “Are you a single mom who needs help, then click here”. That link is a resource list that provides public assistance programs and information for financial resources that may be available in your area.

      4. Look at some of our available resources, Overwhelmed: The Life of a Single Mom, would be a great start that details a woman who was in a very similar situation as you, pregnant for a second time and devastated. There’s also Peace and the Single Mom, and Kids and the Single Mom. They are amazing resources to encourage single mothers, including budgeting/financial advice, parenting, freedom in Christ, overcoming emotional hurdles, and more.

      We’d like to send you a copy of Overwhelmed: The Life of a Single Mom, please email us at info@thelifeofasinglemom.com with your mailing address.

      Be encouraged,

  25. Kimberly January 15, 2014 at 10:20 am - Reply

    Hi Ashley!

    So many have been in your position. Or similar to. My advice? It’s time to surround yourself with christian women. We are broken people that need Christ and His saving grace. Trust me lady, we all need His grace and I personally have thought that I would have emptied that grace well but somehow He manages to still shower me with that living water.
    Can I tell you something?
    1. Ask for forgiveness. Pour your heart out and a good cry may be needed
    2. Let go of the shame and pick yourself up
    3. Something has to change in your life…. time to bury yourself in Christ and see where your lacking. Sorry to say, but we can’t reply on answers from any blog, any person, or any church. Pure scripture sometimes will slap us in the face and encourage us to know how deep the love of our God goes.

    Women slip up mostly because we are trying to find a god in everything but not ever actually finding God on His level which is actually right where you are- broken and empty. Having a group of Christian women to help hold you accountable can benefit.

    I have three children. Two out of wedlock and one from a marriage that should have never been (I don’t know which is worse)
    God is sooooo good.
    The reality is, you CAN’T do it. BUT, God wants to show you how HE can!
    Feel free to e-mail me for anything. 🙂


  26. J's mom May 6, 2014 at 8:59 am - Reply

    Late to post I know, but as a single mom I stopped attending for awhile when my son became old enough to be disruptive in the service. He did not (still does not) do well with separation, and leaving him screaming in the nursery was too hard, knowing I was already leaving him places 5-6 days a week to go to work. It would have been so helpful to have someone come along side us and help during the service – take him for a short walk out in the hallway, play quietly with him while we sat in the back so I could actually pay a little bit of attention to the service, help me carry all of his stuff plus my stuff plus him back and forth to the car in the rain, etc. Now he’s four, and we’ve started attending again (different city) because I want him to learn and grow, but it still can be tough some days. That “2nd set of hands” would come in handy quite often 🙂

  27. kat July 13, 2015 at 8:04 pm - Reply

    I’ve been a single momma since I was 1 month pregnant. One thing I’ve found is that the church is the first place I need to be. Trust me there is way less judgement than portrayed. I recently moved and go to a small church where I’m the ONLY single mom. Not easy but very important to raise my son with fellow believers!

    • TLSMSTAFF July 14, 2015 at 10:34 am - Reply

      Wonderful testimony! Thank you for stopping by and sharing!

  28. Memeb August 2, 2015 at 6:06 am - Reply

    The reason I miss church is because there’s no children’s ministry for my child’s age group. (She’s 1) so I spend the whole sermon running in and out of the sanctuary then even in the Little sanctuary I’m chasing her around more than I’m sitting watching and listening. She’s just started running so she’ll run right through the doors. It seems as though no one understands but they want to bash me for deciding to watch online rather than going

  29. Elisha August 3, 2015 at 2:07 pm - Reply

    I am a single mom and am starting a single mom ministry at my church. Do you have any suggestions, wisdom, or resources that you could direct me towards? Thank you so much for your site and your hard work!!

    • TLSMSTAFF August 3, 2015 at 4:58 pm - Reply

      Hi, yes, there are a number of resources available for you to launch a single moms ministry. Visit the “start a single moms group” on our website at http://www.thelifeofasinglemom.com for a step-by-step launching plan. Also visit several resources on our site, including Ministry Leader’s Corner, our free monthly newsletter in the bottom right-hand corner of our site and our TLSM Store. You can also check out the For Churches tab on our site that details other resources.

  30. Karen October 1, 2015 at 7:53 am - Reply

    I am now an empty-nester but when I started back to church after the divorce, my daughter and I were treated like dirt. There is a Bible verse about whited sepulchres; looking clean on the outside but nasty on the inside. The smiling people who greeted me at the door on Sunday ignored me once they did their “duty” of saying hello. My daughter and I always sat alone in church and at the Wednesday night fellowship meal. Once when we approached a table the couple sitting there said “These seats are saved” yet later I noticed no one was sitting there. My daughter was questioned in Sunday School about her father’s whereabouts. People seemed to assume he was in prison or vanished from the face of the earth. I was asked extremely personal questions about the reason for the divorce, which I considered my business and no one else’s. Every Sunday I would see families heading out to eat lunch at a restaurant but no one ever asked us to join them. There were a few other single moms in church but I couldn’t connect with them. Usually they dropped their children off at activities and picked them up later. No single person had a leadership position in the church. Everything was family this and family that. Christmas was horrible — my daughter was with her father and I would have given anything to be invited to sit with someone at the church’s candlelight service — but everywhere there were families and no place for me. The one time I went, I left sobbing. There was a ceremony each Sunday of Advent of one family being chosen to light the candle. I prayed so hard that we would be asked but we never were. When my mother died no one reached out to me. No meal was brought to my home even though I had contributed to meals brought to other homes in bereavement. I regret to say I did not act as I should have. That was somehow the last straw. I called my Sunday School class leader and demanded to know where the hoot was my meal? She stuttered and stammered and finally said she and the bereavement committee didn’t know how to put together a meal for one person (my daughter was grown and on her own by then). I never went back to that class and less than a year later, left the church altogether. I now attend a church where I knew very few people. I come to the Sunday service but do not belong to any groups. No one is going to have the chance to reject me again.

  31. Kate October 2, 2015 at 7:13 am - Reply

    I have been a single mom of 4 for about 4 years now. I also just moved my mother in with us because she broke her back and needs care…most likely from this point on. When my husband left for another woman, I went from being a homeschooling mom to a full-time working mom. As many single moms, my day starts at 5am and I don’t have time to myself until about 10pm..and then I stay up too late because I want some quiet time to read. I am blessed to have a job I love and a loving church family. AND…I am the only divorced mom in the church. I went from being a mentor-leader to irrelevant. My church is about half homeschool families and all of the ‘families’ are ‘intact’ and sermons are frequently about marriage. It (unintentionally) makes me feel like a total failure. I’m trying to work on my sin of pride and feelings of shame, because I think that is what often keeps me gun shy about volunteering…I don’t feel like I have anything valuable to share. The church is home to about 300 families, however all of the other single women are older widows. Awesome, wise ladies that I am in a Bible study with…when I can go, which is about once a month. I have looked around at other, larger churches…same kind of feelings though. To get to the point :), maybe I missed it, but the one thing I didn’t see is…many times I don’t go to Sunday worship because I am EXHAUSTED. Work, sports, grocery, cooking, cleaning, being emotionally ‘present’ for each of my kids, loneliness and depression…I just cannot make myself get up. It’s the one place where no one is waiting for me, needs me, is expecting me…so I lay there in the bed and think and pray and sometimes fall back to sleep for a bit.

  32. Nurse A November 14, 2015 at 7:24 pm - Reply

    Hopefully whoever judges a single mother at church has some SPOTLESS judgment (and not just in the area of “you’re worthless because you had sex outside of marriage/married the wrong man! I never did, so I can judge you for it!”), because one day their style of judgment will be used on all aspects of their lives (not just the pretty, flawless parts). (Matthew 7:1-2) We’re all sinners. God is a husband to the husbandless and a father to the fatherless, and I know that my heart is as pure in God’s eyes as any woman who has walked with God her whole life. Don’t compare yourself to others, ladies. That’s breaking one of the ten commandments, dontcha know? 🙂 Go to church and hold your head high because you are a daughter of the King.

  33. NoName March 8, 2016 at 7:13 pm - Reply

    Well, Nurse A, if God is my husband then I wish He’d help me get the carpets shampooed! I wish He had been around to dispose of the headless rodent my cat left on the doormat. I wish He had been there to deal with the rude insurance adjuster when I wrecked my car. I wish He had been there to help me with the sad task of clearing out my parents’ house after they died. I wish He had been by my side when my boss laid me off after 20 years of service. And let’s not forget the time I couldn’t get the lawn mower started. I could have used a husband, heavenly or not, in all these and many more situations. Now of course I know that God is with me in spirit, but He is not a flesh and blood hubster. As for breaking one of the Ten Commandments, as you accused someone else of doing, read the verse in Matthew about judging others.

  34. 'lise August 20, 2017 at 9:09 pm - Reply

    First of all, thank you for being a voice for single mothers.

    Sometimes I feel that people in the church are more interested in your past history (what you did wrong) than focusing on what you are trying to do right at the present moment, as a new creation in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17). They ask questions about under what circumstances you became a single mother. I am not sure if these questions are intended to calculate whether a single mom deserves help or not.

    However, I know moms who were faithfully married and their divorce did not result from their own faults, but have now fallen out of grace by living with their new boyfriends. And I also know moms who conceived out of wedlock but now standing firm in their commitment to never resort to living with boyfriends no matter what hardships they face. If a single mom repented of her past mistakes and now trying to live a good Christian life, I feel that her effort should be supported.

  35. Shana August 31, 2017 at 11:25 pm - Reply

    My church does have women’s groups, but they are during the week and I don’t have daycare. Not everyone wants to or can leave their children (or has the money to) during the week after working all day (and leaving them at daycare)… I wish that mine had Sunday morning groups (like the old fashioned Sunday school), where I could just stay the extra hour and not have to worry about childcare.

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