If you ever feel the need to tell God what you don't want to do for Him,
be prepared to hear Him laugh at some point,
when He sets you up to do precisely that thing.
Today's Christian church has a huge lack of understanding and support when it comes to single parents, especially single mothers.
In twelve years of attending various single-event single mom ministries, I have heard two messages, if any message is shared at all. Either we are given the salvation message or a message about how we should focus on our children and lean on Jesus. In other words, "don't even think about dating or marriage. Jesus is your husband now."
And who would deliver these messages? It was either pastor of the church or a happily married woman. While we always appreciate those who give their time, it is honestly difficult to accept encouragement from someone who hasn't walked in our shoes.
As my friend Tina and I prepared to speak at the conference from this weekend, we knew we needed to present topics that women like us needed to hear about. This is what we came up with:
The stereotype isn't accurate (You are normal.)
Our weaknesses are our strengths
Enjoy your children while you can.
Know Your Worth
God wants more for you than you want for yourself.
God will meet you where you are, but He doesn't want you to stay there.
Save yourself first (Take care of yourself.)
Keep your focus on God
Be prepared for the comments. (This was fun. lol)
Desperately want to remarry or the thought makes you want to hurl, which perspective is healthier?
Forget all the advice you have heard before.
How to know if you are being respected once you are in a relationship.
We are both so excited about the feedback we received from our sessions. We were able to speak freely, from our hearts, about what God has shown us over the years. Because of that, we had to talk about some things that don't often get talked about in church.
Tina and I both brought up sex a few times during these sessions. Much to Tina's surprise, we did not get struck by lightning. Much to my surprise, we didn't get kicked out before it was over.
It wasn't until afterwards that I remembered I had told God I didn't want to speak about sex publicly.
When I shared about my past over lunch, I danced around the topic a bit. I talked about how my distrust of men grew because they "only wanted one thing" and "would get it and not call" (and how I didn't take any responsibility for my bad choices at the time.)
I also alluded to the times God rescued me from the brink of REALLY stupid and dangerous decisions... but I didn't ever say the word... sex.
When I did say it later, I didn't give a whole lot of time to it. I didn't dwell on it. But I did tell the single moms in that room some things that I've needed to hear in the past.
When talking about being respected and not settling for less than what God wants for us in new relationships:
"Sitting at home on the couch and watching a movie is nice, but it is NOT a date.