Copyright 2018 © Philip Shelley. All rights reserved.
This Devo is transcribed from the Ready Set Go Podcast.
Encouragement for Single Parents
Welcome to the Family Second Program
My family welcomes you Divina, Isabella, Everette, Eva, and Dallas
Thanks for listening today or whenever you turn this on. So grateful.
It’s our desire to create a culture of strong biblical families, to see them blessed and flourish in the things that God has for them. The breakdown of the family is the single greatest cultural crisis that we face and probably the single greatest institutional breakdown because everything in society is counting on it. From the economy, to crime, to other social elements, they are all impacted when the family breaks down and is redefined. Through this program, we want to encourage and strengthen families one individual at a time. As the family goes, so goes the nation.
Today I want to bring encouragement to single parents. Sometimes we forget about those individuals that are serving in both the mother and father roles. I talk a lot on this program about the two together in the family unit. But we can never forget those that are raising children on their own. Whatever circumstance you find yourself in, God still has a plan for you and your children. He still sees you, He knows you, and He cares. I’m truly amazed to see single mothers rise above their circumstances and do all they can do for their children. I personally know of 3 single Moms right now as I just reflect on what God can do, that through different circumstances of maybe the dad not standing up or leaving and not taking responsibility, these Moms just purchased a house on their own so the children can have their own place to live. And it’s that determination that God can give you to say to whatever mountain that stands in the way, MOVE!
There is a story in the Bible that has some real-life lessons for single parents, and that is the story of Hagar. We first meet Hagar in Genesis 16. Here she is a servant of Sarai who has a husband named Abram, and Sarai is unable to have children.
Now the custom of their day was that barren women in this situation would bring in another woman who would have the child and act as a surrogate. Hagar became a surrogate for Sarai. The story gets crazy here because when Hagar got pregnant, Sarai became jealous and drove Hagar out of the house. Now, Hagar was pregnant and alone. She had no Abram, no other male to support and protect her, and she found herself wandering in the wilderness. I hope that speaks to someone today. You might be wandering in the wilderness so to speak because he or she left or is no longer here. And Hagar was about to become a single parent all because she got caught up in someone else’s plan. Let that just marinate in your mind for a second.
But the Bible says that an Angel went out to the wilderness for the benefit of this single mother-to-be, which in other words, God showed up. And that was good news for Hagar. If you are a single parent, this is good news for you too, because when you have been rejected, when a spouse or help mate is nowhere to be found, God knows the situation you are in, and He knows where to find you. He has compassion for you and Loves you so much. He knows your stigma, loneliness, and pain. When you hurt, He feels it, because He experienced the fullness of all three on the cross.
The story goes on and God told Hagar to name the boy Ishmael which means “God hears and God knows”. Every time she used that name, she remembered something about God. That’s the beauty of grace for a single parent. Hagar is out on her own with no help, but God says, “I Know”. We also see that Hagar gave God the name El Roi which declares “Thou art a God who sees”. Do you know that God sees you? That He sees the circumstances you are in, out in the desert all alone with no one to provide for you, give you spiritual or emotional covering and protection. No matter what you are going through, God says, “I see. I hear. I know.”
The Saga of Hagar didn’t end there. It picks up again in chapter 21 of Genesis and we see Hagar went back as the Lord instructed. Now Sarah has Isaac, which is the son God had promised her and Abraham. One day, Ishmael was making fun of Isaac and Sarah had Abraham send them away. Hagar and her son were homeless. She is now a bona fide single mother. This is a classic single-parent scenario that could be easily repeated today. Hagar lost her home, she had a teenage son, and she was on the streets with no money. She was thirsty and probably hungry. She had fear her boy would die, so in her despair she sat down and cried. Here is where God showed up again and asked Hagar “What is a matter with you?” What He was saying was “Hagar, have you forgotten what I did for you earlier? How I found you in the wilderness. Do you think I am going to remember you one minute and forget you the next? You yourself said I am the God who sees. Do you think that now I have gone blind?”
Single parent, God has not gone blind. He sees, He hears, and He knows. You may be in a far-from-ideal situation, but you have an ideal God. Single mother, the greatest thing you can do is have a passion for God. When you have a passion for God, you have Someone who will be a Father to your child and a Husband and protector to you. Single father, when you know God, you have Someone to lean on who understands a father’s heart and desires for his children. As He was with Hagar, He is also with you. The God who sees and knows and cares.
1. Make sure your first passion is for Christ. It’s easy for make your first passion your kids, but truly make Jesus your first passion.
2. Surround yourself with a family that supports you with love and encouragement.
3. Wake up every day knowing you have a purpose. You might not be in an ideal situation, but remember God sees you, and you and your children have purpose.
Thank you so much for listening. It is a true privilege to speak into your life and elevate people with the hope that Christ gives. It’s because of Him I can sit here today. Always know that You are Loved.
If you have loved ones that need to hear this please share it with them.
This has been a pshells, Diva Divine, 4Shells production, and remember that God sees you, hears you, and knows you. Peace.